Oscar Kightley

BLAKE Leader 2008

Playwright and actor.

Oscar Kightley was born in Samoa and immigrated to New Zealand with his mother when he was four years old. Oscar first recognised his ability to make people laugh when he was a school boy, and at Rutherford High he developed his skills in humour and English (but not maths!) further.

Oscar won the Bruce Mason playwrights’ award in 1998 and has worked as a performer and writer for a number of television shows including Skitz, Telly Laughs, The Panel, Sportzah and TV3’s rugby coverage. His plays include A Frigate Bird Sings (co-written with fellow Naked Samoan, Dave Fane) Dawn Raids, Island Girls, and Niu Sila (co-written with Dave Armstrong).

By 2006 he was a Laureate Award winner and a Qantas award winning journalist. Oscar also co-founded Pacific Underground and the Island Players theatre company, which has produced critically acclaimed work. The same year, Oscar co-wrote and took a lead role in the highly successful movie Sione’s Wedding which was released in New Zealand and Australia.

Oscar co-wrote bro’Town with David Fane, Mario Gaoa and Shimpal Lelisi and is well known for his voice over character, Vale. He completed the fifth series of bro’Town in 2009.

2012 saw the highly anticipated sequel to Sione’s Wedding, Sione’s 2, which he both co-wrote and starred in. Oscar more recently is seen on the small screen in “Harry” starring alongside Hollywood heavyweight, Sam Neill.

Oscar was appointed to the Council of Creative New Zealand in 2007 and in 2009 he received The New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to television and theatre.