Stingers: profiles

Anita Hegh


Actress Anita Hegh continues to find new facets to the character of Detective Sergeant Ellen Mackenzie. In this third series of STINGERS, Anita has the chance to dig even deeper into Mac’s personality when she takes over the police undercover unit.

"Mac has taken me on a fascinating journey over the past couple of years," Anita says. "She is edgier than most of the female characters on television. She has to be tough to do her job but there is also a softer side to her which will come out in this next series."

The daughter of an Estonian mother and a Norwegian father, Anita was raised in Sydney. She didn’t become interested in acting until she was in her late teens.

"I was surrounded by a lot of artistic people when I was growing up but I was painfully shy so acting was never an option," she says. "Whenever I had to do a school play I was the kid hiding in the back."

Anita’s passion for acting didn’t surface until 1990 when she went to Sydney University to do a teaching course. She joined SUDS—the Sydney University Dramatic Society which also included Lucy Bell (Murder Call) and Sacha Horler (Praise and Soft Fruit)—and was captivated.

"I think I enjoyed it because I was still really shy," she says. "It was a great outlet because I could take on characters who would say and do things that I wouldn’t say or do in real life."

Anita decided to audition for NIDA later that year and was accepted. All thoughts of the teaching course evaporated.

Anita graduated from NIDA in 1994 and went straight into a thriving stage career. Her credits include major parts in AS YOU LIKE IT, KING LEAR and THREE TALL WOMEN for the Sydney Theatre Company, and THE ROVER for the Melbourne Theatre Company.

She made her feature film debut as Bett in Bruce Beresford’s PARADISE ROAD, shot in Port Douglas and Penang in 1996.

"That was an experience. Twenty two actresses from around the world, people of the calibre of Glenn Close, Frances McDormand and Cate Blanchett," she says.

Anita’s television credits include guest roles on STATE CORONER, WATER RATS and WILDSIDE. Mackenzie is her first on-going role in a series