Having lived in England and South Africa (Cape Town) John arrived in New Zealand with his family at the age of 9. "They totally opposed apartheid, so we left." He started his career in Auckland at 19 performing live on Auckland's nightclub circuit. Within a few months he was appearing in local variety television shows and gaining a solid local following.
Within two years he appeared in his first major stage show and shortly after began combining his club and television work with repertory theatre. He gained both popular and critical acclaim playing "Charlie Brown" in "You're a good man Charlie Brown".
His next stage production couldn't have been more removed. He once again built on his reputation for versatility by taking on the role of the effeminate character "Emory" in Matt Crowley's "The Boys in the Band". Numerous stage and club appearances followed over the next few years but in 1976 John switched to the business end if the industry and joined the local branch of RCA records in sales. "There just wasn't the scope for a sustainable career in the industry and I had recently married and felt it was time to move on." It proved to be a good move.
Within 18 months he was transferred by RCA to regional HQ in Sydney, Australia where he rose up the corporate ladder in both A&R and marketing.
Returning to New Zealand after the birth of his daughter, he headed up marketing for a major local home video distributor and is an acknowledged local pioneer in developing that industry.
John left the corporate world to start his own business in 1985. In 1992 the urge to return to performing saw him audition for local commercials. Within a matter of weeks he had appeared in a number of high profile campaigns "As a marketer myself it helped to know what they trying to achieve, I guess I might have had a bit of an inside running."
His talent was once again quickly recognised and the next phase of his performing career saw him appear in a numerous local film and television series and productions. As the international film and television industry arrived in New Zealand so did the opportunities and since then he has appeared in many productions seen around the world.
John combines his business interests of heading e-Learning ASP company GuideTools with his passion for the acting craft. His business skills as a database-marketing specialist is both as a practitioner and tutor, having trained teams throughout the Asia/Pacific for clients including IBM among others.
"I have the absolute luxury of living in a fantastic country, being able to work with so many talented people in both my chosen fields, many I have admired for years and maintain a great family life"
John has been married for 26 years, has a daughter, two step sons and lives Auckland.
Name: John Sumner
Known for: District 9
BirthDay: 14, Oct ,1951