Shane Cortese

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Shane Cortese
Born (1968-08-13) 13 August 1968 (age 49)
Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Nerida Lister (m. 2009)
Children 3

Shane Cortese (born 13 August 1968) is a New Zealand actor and singer. He is perhaps best known for his role of Mac on Nothing Trivial, Loki on the Almighty Johnsons and Hayden Peters on hit show Outrageous Fortune. He was also a runner-up on Season 1 of NZ Dancing with the Stars in 2005.


Cortese started his professional career as a travel agent in Palmerston North.[1] He got involved in the amateur drama society and soon found a passion in acting. He participated in numerous plays before moving to London in 1993 to further his newfound career.[1][2] Cortese trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating from the Musical Theatre Course in 1993, he spent 10 years touring the UK in musicals, performing several times on London's prestigious West End. His performances won critical acclaim from UK reviewers.

Whilst visiting New Zealand in 2000, Cortese auditioned for the popular soap opera Shortland Street for the role of Geoff Greenlaw.[3] He did not receive the part and returned to England to star in the West End. He scored a major part in a production but was contacted by Shortland Street producers who announced their intention to write Cortese a character specifically for him who was to play a major part in the serial.[3] Cortese relished the opportunity and returned to New Zealand to take the part, despite being threatened by those involved in the West End play that he would never work again.[3] Cortese made his Shortland Street debut in early 2003 as the character of Dominic Thompson. The character stayed on screen for just under 2 years, before dying in one of the shows most iconic and well received storylines.[3]

On 29 April 2005 he starred on the New Zealand version of Dancing with the Stars. Partnered with dancer Nerida Lister he was named runner-up on 20 June 2005. He scored a guest starring role in fantasy series Maddigan's Quest and played the lead character, "John" opposite British actress Zöe Lucker on stage in Then Comes Love. In late 2005 after appearing on Dancing with the Stars he hosted TV3's So You Think You Can Dance. In 2006 he returned to his bad boy ways, playing Hayden Peters on Rachel Lang and James Griffin's Outrageous Fortune.[2] Cortese was pleased to have scored the title role in Burying Brian, only to discover his character was to be killed off in the first episode.[3]

Cortese is also the patron for ACTA (Auckland City Theatre Academy), a youth theatre company training students aged 5–18 in musical theatre. He appeared with the students in The North Shore Times in an article describing his involvement with the school and its students. In 2011 Cortese joined the cast of comedy-drama Nothing Trivial as the character of Mac.[4] He was nominated in the prestigious Monte-Carlo Television Festival for "Best Actor" for his role.[5] Cortese also landed the role of Loki in another of Griffin's creations, The Almighty Johnsons, a role he maintained for the show's three season run.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

In January 2006 Cortese and his Dancing with the Stars partner Nerida Lister announced they were dating,[2][8] then in 2006 New Idea magazine announced that they were expecting their first baby. In April 2007 Kees Armas Cortese was born by water birth at North Shore Hospital. The first exclusive photos of Kees were shown in New Zealand magazine New Idea a month after his birth.[9][10][11] Shane and Nerida became engaged on 26 February 2008 and later married in early 2009.[6] In 2008 Cortese was contacted by a 15-year-old girl that he discovered was his daughter from a past relationship.[6] Shane and Nerida welcomed a second son in July 2011 named Jett Patrick Cortese.[2][12]

Cortese remains close friends with his Shortland Street screen brother Michael Galvin.[2]



Title Year Role Notes
Inside 2006 Michael Short film


Title Year Role Notes
Joseph 2000 2000 Pharaoh Television film
SCU: Serious Crash Unit 2001–15 Narrator
Shortland Street 2003 Dominic Thompson Main role
Maddigan's Quest 2006 Timon's Father Episode: "Hillfolk"
Outrageous Fortune 2006–10 Hayden Peters Recurring role (seasons 2–3; 21 episodes), main role (seasons 4–6; 34 episodes)
The Jaquie Brown Diaries 2008 Himself Episode: "Brown Sweat"
Burying Brian Brian Welch Main role
Legend of the Seeker 2009 Morwyn Episode: "Marked"
Brown Bruthaz 2011 Victor Benton
Almighty Johnsons, TheThe Almighty Johnsons 2011–13 Colin Gunderson Recurring role (16 episodes)
Nothing Trivial 2011–14 Mac Delany Main role (31 episodes)
Nominated — Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Auckland Daze 2013–14 Shane 3 episodes
Brokenwood Mysteries, TheThe Brokenwood Mysteries 2015–16 Dennis Buchanan Recurring role (season 2–present; 6 episodes)
Step Dave 2015 Eugene Russell Recurring role (season 2; 6 episodes)
Westside 2017 Danny Peters 2 episodes


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Show Started
Dancing with the Stars (New Zealand) runner up
Season 1 (2005 with Nerida Lister)
Succeeded by
Beatrice Faumuina & Brian Jones