March 15, 1965
Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand
Robyn Malcolm was a New Zealand-born actress who became one of the most beloved thespians in her home country, enjoying a prolific and highly acclaimed career across film, television, and stage. Born on March 15, 1965 in Ashburton, Canterbury, NZ, Malcolm first got the acting bug while attending university at Ashburton College. She transferred to Toi Whakaari (New Zealand Drama School) and graduated in 1987. The next year, she appeared in no less than six productions at the Downstage Theater, the first being Lucy Brown in "The Threepenny Opera" (1988). After making her TV debut on the crime procedural drama "Shark in the Park" (NZTV, 1989-), Malcolm made her film debut in the indie drama "Absence Without Leave" (1992). It would be on TV, however, that Malcolm would find the role that made her a household name, playing Ellen Crozier on the popular soap opera "Shortland Street" (NZTV 2, 1992-). Malcolm held down the role for five years, during which time she also appeared in two Shakespearian productions: "Othello" (1995) at the Watershed Theatre, and "Much Ado About Nothing" (1999) at the Downstage Theatre. When her time on "Shortland Street" ended, Malcolm co-founded the New Zealand Actors' Company, appearing as Titania in two different productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," one in 2001 and another in 2001. The following year, she appeared as Morwen in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002). In 2003, Malcolm won an International Actors Fellowship at the Globe Theatre in London. Her next role, however, would be her biggest yet. In 2005, she first appeared in the family crime dramedy series "Outrageous Fortune" (TV3, 2005-2010), as Cheryl West, the matriarch of a clan of career criminals. The show quickly became one of the highest rated and most awarded shows in the history of New Zealand. Much of the acclaim was focused on Malcolm, who was voted Favorite New Zealand Female Personality by the readers of Woman's Day magazine in 2005, and New Zealand's Sexiest Woman at the 2007 TV guide Best on the Box awards. Malcolm proved that she wasn't just a pretty face the following year, when she lent her voice to campaign ads for the Green Party in New Zealand's 2008 general elections. She also spearheaded a successful, but hard fought campaign on behalf of the actors union to negotiate standard contracts for actors in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy of films. Following an arc on the first season of Jane Campion's police procedural series "Top of the Lake" (BBC Two/BBC UKTV/Sundance Channel, 2013), Malcolm finally got a big break in America, co-starring as Maxine Pavich on the medical drama series "Harrow" (ABC, 2018-).