Mon, 24 Oct, 2016
Where is the cast of A Country Practice now?
Can you believe that it’s been 35 years since the iconic Aussie soap A Country Practice graced our screens for the first time? Airing from 1981 to 1993 (and then briefly rebooted in 1994), the show was filled with drama, laughter, tears and some of the most lovable characters on Australian television. Guest stars such as Nicole Kidman, Baz Luhrmann, Toni Collette and even former Prime Minister Bob Hawke also paid a visit to the idyllic Wandin Valley. But just where is the cast of A Country Practice now? Let’s take a look.
Shane Porteous, who played Dr Terence Elliott, hasn’t done much television acting since the show, but continues to grace the stage, do voiceover work and write scripts. The 74-year-old lives in the Blue Mountains with wife Jenny and has three adult children, Fiona, Polly and Ben.
Brian Wenzel, who played Sergeant Frank Gilroy, is the oldest living cast member at the age of 87. Since the show, he has appeared in several Australian films and plays.
Lorrae Desmond, who played Shirley “Shirl” Gilroy, just celebrated her 84th birthday. After A Country Practice, she retired from television acting and switched her focus to writing musicals, plays, and a column in That’s Life magazine.
Joyce Jacobs, who played Esme Watson, had guest roles in films and the series G.P. before retiring in 2006. She sadly passed away in 2013 at the age of 91 after a decade-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Gordon Piper, who played Bob Hatfield, was forced to retire after losing both his legs in 1997. He passed away after a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 72.
Syd Heylen, who played Vernon “Cookie” Locke”, left the show in 1992 and died just four years later from a stroke.
Joan Sydney, who played Matron Margaret “Maggie” Sloan, left A Country Practice in 1990 and went on to have a recurring role in Neighbours as Valda Sheergold. The 78-year-old has one son, former Great Southern Rail CEO Tony Braxton-Smith.
Shane Withington, who played Brendan Jones, went on to play surf lifesaver John Palmer in Home and Away. The 58-year-old married his on-screen wife Anne Tenney in real life and the couple live in Pittwater, NSW, with their daughter Maddie, who is studying acting.
Anne Tenney, who played Melissa “Molly” Jones (and delivered one of the most heart-wrenching death scenes we’ve ever seen) co-starred in beloved Aussie film The Castle with Michael Caton and has appeared in several Australian series. She is 62 years old.
Grant Dodwell, who played Dr Simon Bowen, is now 64 and still a prolific actor, writer, director and producer. He has since worked on shows such as Home and Away and Packed to the Rafters. His daughter Celeste is also an actress, appearing in the upcoming film Allied.
Penny Cook, who played Victoria “Vicky” Dean Bowen, left the show in 1985 but returned in 1993. From 1992 to 1996, she was a presenter on the travel show The Great Outdoors and in 2007 became a recurring cast member on Neighbours.
Tell us in the comments below, what’s your favourite Aussie television show?