Award-winning actress Brooke Williams arrives on Shortland Street as Lana Jacobs, the sister of asperger's sufferer, Gabrielle Jacobs (Virginie Le Brun), with an impeccable acting CV that spans across theatre, feature films and television, and across several different continents.
Born and raised in Christchurch, 27 year-old Brooke knew from an early age that she wanted to be an actress and spent much of her early performing in amateur theatre and taking classes that would help her learn her craft.
After moving to London, where she trained and performed with the prestigious Globe Theatre Company, she then went on to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a show called Gogo the Boy with Magic Feet, which went on to win a Total Theatre Award and was commended for its "creative physical and visual theatrical elements".
After returning to New Zealand, she worked for several years as an actor with the Court Theatre in Christchurch, performing in such shows as The Lesson, Great Expectations and The Cherry Orchard with a variety of well-known directors including Colin McColl. She then moved North in 2004 to begin a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts at Toi Whakaari (New Zealand Drama School), a qualification that she completed in 2006.
After moving to Auckland in 2007, she quickly picked up theatre work including roles in the Auckland Theatre Company's (ATC) highly publicised performances of The Pillowman (starring Craig Parker), and The Crucible. In 2007 she gained her first television acting role with Gibson Group in their series My Story and then quickly followed that with a guest role in the hit South Pacific Pictures series, Go Girls.
Shortland Street will be Brooke's fourth South Pacific Pictures show, she has also recently had major guest roles in the hugely successful Outrageous Fortune (playing Van's Russian Bride) and The Almighty Johnson's where she starred as Eva. Brooke has also had reoccurring guest roles on several internationally successful shows including Legend of the Seeker for two series and Spartacus, series one and two.
In 2010 she was cast as Juliet in ATC's version of Romeo and Juliet, for which she won an Outstanding Performance Award in the NZ Herald Best of Theatre Awards and for which the ensemble cast won the Best Theatre Award.
In 2009, Brooke worked alongside fellow Shortland Streeter, Peter Mochrie on the indie film Predicament which also starred Flight of the Concords star Jermaine Clement. She also starred in the feature films, Meet Me in Miami, Kissy Kissy and Ice.