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RIP: Rod Johns

Actor and writer Rod Johns has died.

Johns worked in a number of roles in and around the industry. He was the originator of 2000s TVNZ show Orange Roughies, which was made through ScreenWorks. Last year he worked with David Blyth on his recent feature Ghost Bride.

At the time of his death, Johns was producing on two short film projects in progress, Fred Potts’ Clear Eyes Rise of the Zombies and Jonathon Rayner-Burt’s Stella 459.

Johns was a member of the NZWG. The guild’s Executive Director Steven Gannaway said, “Rod was always very supportive, with a great sense of humour. He will be missed.”

Johns was involved when the guild established its awards, SWANZ, and also conducted interviews with writers and directors for guild pubications.

He worked more widely as a journalist, contributing film and DVD reviews for Real Groove and Brass Magazines. Johns also wrote about another subject dear to him and far less slow than the business of content creation – racing cars and bikes.

A keen athlete, Johns was a boxer, cyclist, distance runner and threw himself out of a plane over 250 times.

His wiry frame and distinctive pate cropped up on screen in several productions. He appeared in Stephen Sinclair’s Russian Snark and TV series Street Legal (from Oragne Roughies producer ScreenWorks), SPP’s Shortland Street and Jacksons Wharf, and several Pacific Renaissance productions including Cleopatra 2525, Hercules, Young Hercules and Xena.

A party to celebrate Rod’s life is being organised via his Facebook page for Sunday 11 May in Ponsonby.