The Benny Award
is the highest honour that can be awarded to a New Zealand variety performer.

Each year the VAC presents the Benny Award to an entertainer who has achieved a lifetime of excellence in their field of the performing arts. Nominations are accepted from club members and the recipient ultimately decided by past recipients.

The Benny Award is named after legendary New Zealand variety performer Edgar Benyon (1902-1978) who toured the world with magic, ventriloquism, juggling, rag pictures, quick-change, contortions and impressions.  The original trophy was sculpted by Grand Master of Magic Jon Zealando and first awarded in 1969.

Past recipients include many household names and figureheads of entertainment in this country.  The Benny Award truly is the supreme award of excellence for the New Zealand variety entertainment industry.

Click a name in in the list below for biographical information or view the list of recipients 1969-1989 or 1990-2017.

Full List of VAC Benny Award Recipients :

2017Kevin Greaves
2016Suzanne Prentice OBE
2015Johnny Devlin MNZM
2014Tina Cross ONZM
2013Larry Morris
2012Marian Burns
2011Shane Hales MNZM
2010Gary Daverne ONZM
2009Eddie Low MNZM
2008Suzanne Lynch MNZM
2007Ray Woolf MNZM QSM
2006Alan Watson QSM
2005Elaine Bracey
2004Eldred Stebbing MNZM
2003Jim Joll
2002Tom Sharplin
2001Gray Bartlett MBE
2000Doug Aston
1999Gerry Merito
1998Dame Malvina Major ONZ GNZM DBE
1997Paul Bennett
1996Keith Leggett
1995Guy Cater
1994Rena Owen
1993Mary Throll
1993Rob Guest OBE
1992Carl Doy ONZM
1991Debbie Dorday
1990Billy T. James MBE
1989Sylvia Rielly
1988Ricky May
1988Alma Woods MBE
1987Silvio De Pra
1986Johnny Bond
1985Toni Savage BEM QSM
1984John Maybury Senior
1983Russell Middlebrook
1982Don Linden
1981Marcus Craig
1980Peter Evans
1980Eddie Hegan
1979Chic Littlewood
1978George Tumahai
1977Max Cryer MBE
1976Merv Smith QSM
1976Rusty Greaves
1975Philip Warren QSO
1974Les Andrews QSM
1974Peter Newberry QSO
1974John Rowles OBE
1973Ray Columbus OBE
1972Lou Clauson QSM
1972Jon Zealando
1971Pat McMinn OBE
1970Oswald Cheesman MBE
1970Sir Howard Morrison OBE
1969Edgar Benyon


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