Gerald was born in London and spent his childhood in England and Spain. Educated at English public school and London University. He came to New Zealand in 1968 where he trained at Wellington Teachers’ College and upon graduation worked as a teacher/art specialist in New Zealand intermediate schools and later in England and Denmark as a teacher of English as a second language. He has travelled extensively and has a “working knowledge” of Spanish and French. He holds both UK and NZ passports.
With a strong interest in theatre he started acting professionally in 1974 with regular appearances in the early CLOSE TO HOME. Returning to the UK in 1975 he worked in corporate television. In 1981 he came back to New Zealand and was on company at Downstage for over three years, appearing in productions of AMADEUS, THE RIVALS, HAMLET and later BOYS’ OWN McBETH, FORESKIN'S LAMENT and THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, among others. He has also worked in plays and revues at Taki Rua, Mercury and Circa, where he has played Sir Jasper Fidget in THE COUNTRY WIFE, Badger in THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS and Sir Charles Marlow in SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER Professor Furstmere in the premiere production of BRIGHT STAR, Genscher in DEMOCRACY, Aubespine/Melville in MARY STUART and Friar Tuck in Roger Hall’s pantomime ROBIN HOOD.
His involvement with Circa also includes the stage designs for CLOUD NINE, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, BREAKING THE CODE, MURDERER. and others.
Among his many television appearances in New Zealand are lead roles in THE FIRERAISER, CUCKOOLAND, WORZLE GUMMIDGE DOWN UNDER, MIRROR MIRROR, TIGER COUNTRY, THE SOUND AND THE SILENCE together with appearances in GLIDING ON, MDcPHAIL AND GADSBY, INSIDE STRAIGHT, REVALATIONS, DARK KNIGHT, A SEXUAL HISTORY OF NEW ZEALAND and WAR NEWS among others. He also played Dr Watson in 221B BAKER STREET, a game version of the Sherlock Holmes stories recorded in Hollywood.
He has appeared in several films including DANGEROUS ORPHANS, SEND A GORILLA, ANGEL AT MY TABLE, WHEN NIGHT FALLS and most recently THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS. He has worked on ADR on LOTR, MISTER PIP and several other films. He has acted in numerous training films for clients like ACC, New Zealand Post, BNZ and NZ Transport Agency and is employed regularly for improvised role playing as part of student assessments at WELTEC. Over the years he has featured in over 30 TVCs (the last one in the 1990’s)
He has worked frequently on radio. He is a “resting” member of British Equity.
He is passionately interested in food, wine and cooking. To supplement his acting income he has more than thirty years of experience as a professional cook, caterer, food advisor and restaurateur in England and NZ, working in his own and other restaurants, wine bars and as chef to a private hospital. For over twenty years he was senior partner and chef in a Wellington company THE GOOD FOOD GUYS catering for a personal, corporate and diplomatic clientele. In 2004 had the regular "live" cooking slot on TV One's GOOD MORNING and has given numerous other food demonstrations. He holds qualifications in wines and spirits in UK and NZ, in food safety and has been a judge at the prestigious NZ Culinary Fare. Working freelance, he was, until recently, a professional member of the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers, and for four years had a weekly column as restaurant critic/food columnist in THE WELLINGTONIAN newspaper and has also contributed original recipes to a number of cookbooks and magazines.
He has written variously, scripts for theatre awards, museum and other presentations, and the launch of Montana's premier wine, TOM; short-film scripts, children's stories and plays for radio and stage; revues, and it was whilst at Downstage that he co-wrote the record-breaking FULL MARX! and FULL MARX 2! with John Banas and John Callen.
At various times he has worked as an advertising campaign planner, kitchen designer, window dresser, postman, London tour guide, census enumerator, bookseller, Father Christmas and as retail manager for an English wine merchant. He holds a Diploma in Ceremony and Celebration from Weltec and has been gazetted by the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages as a celebrant for both weddings and civil unions.
He enjoys music, particularly early music and jazz but also appreciates more modern classical composers and has acted as musical advisor to several professional stage productions. He adores books, plays competition pétanque and likes bears and gardening.
Gerald is married to Wellington actress Donna Akersten and they have a cat called Parker.