Australian actor Andrew McFarlane would be returning to Sydney after 12 months in Europe in August 1987. Liz Burch told Amanda Zachariah, "I can’t wait to see him. It will be wonderful to have my mate home. Andrew has been living in London and having a great time. We have been in regular contact since he left and I went and stayed with him over the new year (in 1987), but it will be terrific to have him home. Andrew always planned to be away a year. I think he was really brave to just take a year off and go away. I wish I could do it." 

"When I go abroad, I find Texas is known as the home of 'Dallas,'" Susan Howard made known in 1982. "With 'Dallas', I came into a hit. I was in Paris and 3 men followed me at least 10 blocks, no doubt trying to get a date. I had to ask a policeman for help, and all he could say was: 'Do all Texas women sleep around?' I was shocked, and I cut my Paris stay in half. The show gave me a guaranteed future and, at my age (40 at the time), you can't afford to be associated with too many flops. As long as I stay in the series, my face is being seen, and so I’ll be able to get work more regularly afterwards."

Before Diahann Carroll made her appearance on 'Dynasty', "I did a little homework, and I learned that the show is very successful in Europe. I think that the world is just too small now (in 1985) for us to continue to think only of the United States." Reporting for the Los Angeles Daily News in October 1986, Lewis Beale observed, "Despite a number of shows with obvious American influences, when it comes to impact and viewership, nothing seen overseas can compete with 'Dynasty', shown in more than 100 countries, and 'Dallas', viewed in more than 90. The success of these programs indicates that they address some universal themes, and also that they are portraying an image of America that foreigners find intriguing." 

Dr Elihu Katz studied viewers reaction theorized, "The further you are culturally from the country where the series is produced, the more you believe it's real." One European TV producer remarked, "Some believe it is TV, and some believe it is real. Most know it's fantasy. Both 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' are successful in Europe because they're kind of exotic, they're far away, like a fairy tale. They're about rich people who show their money, which you never do in Europe." 

On reflection, Liz Burch made the comment, "I think being an actor would be a lot easier if you have a partner or family near you. Sometimes it can get quite lonely … 'The Flying Doctors' has got to be the most exhausting show I have ever worked on … When the 3rd series came up I thought about it for a long, long time. I just didn’t know if I could keep working at that pace. Actually quite a few things influenced me. I had to figure out where I was going in my career because this business is such a precarious one." 

Gil Tucker told the press in 1986, "When 'Cop Shop' finished at the end of 1983 it was also the end of my marriage. At the moment (in 1986) I feel very excited and confident about my life. I feel it's a time where my career could really take off. I could go anywhere. Coopers Crossing (where 'The Flying Doctors' was based) is great. At last I am playing someone who is nearer my own age. I think of him (radio operator Joe Forrest) as being like the eye of a hurricane – he's always got to remain cool while all hell is breaking loose around him. So it's lucky that he’s such a calm, together person. I have been in this business for 20 years now (as of 1986) and I think it’s typical of an actor’s life that you have the time to do work around the house, you haven’t got the money, and vice versa. Luckily I happen to have both at the moment." 

Brian Wenzel played Sergeant Frank Gilroy on the Australian TV series, 'A Country Practice'. He made the point, "When television first started I played every crook known – I’ve done them all. Crawfords was an incredible grounding for actors, and thank God we had them all these years." Cher told Prue MacSween back in July 1985, "Careers have a way of developing themselves. I know very few people in the business who actually make a conscious road map and then follow it. And with us (Sonny Bono and Cher), things just started to happen." 

Brian continued, "Acting is all recall, anyway, and I was watching an episode (of 'A Country Practice') the other night (back in 1982) and I thought the expression I used in one scene was just like the one my old man used to use when he grabbed hold of me when I was caught wagging school. He'd say, 'Come here you little swine' and belt the living daylights out of me. Unconsciously. I've been doing that in television, so it's all recall. Television is about faces, and you get pigeon-holed according to the type of person you look like. So I've always been in uniforms – or tough roles. I can do any style of acting, but I think television is where I’m meant to be and where I'm going to stay. Besides, it pays better than the other."     

1982 marked the 5th year of the Australian soap opera, 'The Young Doctors'. After the show had taped its 1211th episode before Christmas 1981, some cast members reportedly would be making their exit. However 'The Young Doctors' was said would go on. Producer Alan Coleman told 'TV Week', "'Coronation Street' has been running in England for 23 years (to 1982) with only 2% of the original and it's still as popular as ever. So is 'The Young Doctors'. The rating figures prove it. And the feedback we get from the public, in phone calls and mail, show people are watching. 

"Departures are good in a way. What do you do with the characters after you’ve had them in love affairs, and left them at the altar? You can only marry off so many. Ideally, you rest the characters and then bring them back later. We are not killing them off. We’re leaving them open so they could come back later. When Lynda Stoner left, some people said the show was on the way down. They said the same thing when Cornelia Frances left." Garry Shelley reported in August 1982, "Lynda was swamped with publicity during her engagement to television and radio personality Derryn Hinch, and the couple's much-publicised break-up made headlines throughout Australia." 

In May 1987 reporter Karen Lateo was invited to sit in on a tarot card reading for Lorrae Desmond. "I was curious about the tarot because Shirley (the character Lorrae played on 'A Country Practice') was interested in it and I used to feel a bit stupid on the set when I had all these (tarot) cards to play with." Paul Nugent told Lorrae and Karen the tarot cards stated Lorrae was "very much intuitive, imaginative and emotional" and at the time, would soon feel a need to "expand her horizons." 

"There is definitely a feeling of change, of new things coming up for Lorrae. It will not be a sudden change but a deliberate, conscious change," Paul told Lorrae. "You will be going back to a more fundamental level within yourself, doing a new project. Happily everything works out and there will be a great deal of satisfaction for you, a period of drawing back and enjoying the gains. You might have a bit of trouble with some people around you but any problems you do have are going to turn good quite quickly and things will become very calm again." 

Lorrae told Karen, "It's kind of a spooky feeling because I've always been the master of my own destiny totally. This is the first time in my life I haven't been in total control of everything I'm doing – every decision is made for you." Shuffling the tarot cards, Paul let Lorrae know of things to come on 'A Country Practice', "There is a period of trouble and suffering associated with a young, dark-haired man, a nemesis of Shirley's. Things will seem to go well for a while but they will be suddenly shattered. This man would be linked with a young blonde, blue-eyed girl."

Gasped, Lorrae exclaimed, "It's absolutely true. The young guy is a guy Jo (another character on 'A Country Practice') got involved with and there is a car accident. Shirley is beside herself." According to the tarot cards, Karen informed readers Shirley would withdraw from things for some time. Lorrae told Karen, "Well, funnily enough I was just on the phone about my holidays. I'm going to Portugal in June (1987) so Shirley will have to be written out for a time. But is that (the withdrawal syndrome) me or Shirley? I’m totally confused." 

Also in 1982, Alexandra Fowler told Garry Shelley, "'Sons and Daughters' is my very first job, really. I did a part-time acting course back home in Adelaide, but when I came to do this, I found the theory was a lot different to putting it into practice. So acting-wise, I’ve learned everything from the series. One of these days, I’d like to go back and do some more studies, or perhaps do a film or some stage work."

English-born Rowena Wallace came to Queensland Australia when she was 5. Rowena and Ally "share a house in Sydney's northern suburbs." Rowena recounted, "Sharing a house works out very well for us, because she does her own thing and I do mine. I feel very protective of her, because this is her first job in a new city." Ally added, "We get along very well. We do make a point of not discussing work unless it's vitally important, and because we are seldom there (in front of the cameras) at the same time, we don't get on each other's nerves. I've hardly eaten anything Rowena has cooked, because I’m out so much. There are times, however, when we meet across the breakfast table over cheese on toast."

In 1984, Judy McBurney of 'Prisoner' confessed to Amanda Zachariah, "I hated the thought of leaving Sydney. I knew no one in Melbourne and for the first 11 months of my time doing 'Prisoner' I lived in a motel. That nearly drove me mad. I knew the entire room-service menu off by heart. All I would do was work, learn my lines and sleep. At weekends I would fly home to Sydney.

"Now (in 1984) I am taking off to Europe to do something I have never even contemplated before, and I'm really looking forward to it. Harry Michaels who is the producer of 'The Greek Variety Show', is a friend of mine. I ran into him in Melbourne and he was looking for a presenter. It was totally coincidental that I was finishing up with 'Prisoner' and would be free to go. I wanted to have the chance to be a presenter, so naturally I was thrilled when I was offered the job."

Mark Hamill visited Australia back in 1980 to promote the sequel to 'Star Wars' called 'The Empire Strikes Back.' Mark maintained, "You get the feeling that in 'Empire', the story is just beginning to emerge, and there's a real Agatha Christie twist at the end which will keep the public wanting more. If you see 'Empire', regardless of whether you like it, you're still going to want to know what happens in the 3rd film. It's like wanting to know who shot J.R. Ewing in 'Dallas'. Even if you don’t like 'Dallas', you’re still going to know who was responsible for shooting J.R."

Blog Archive