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Picture (1026) in Cafes, Shops & Cinemas enlarge


Picture: John Wood, veteran Australian television and stage actor

 

mesmerised a capacity audience with stories about his acting career, relationships with the public, and above all his "love affair" with the Roxy cinema - "one of the great venues to play in, in Australia".

IMDb biography for JOHN WOOD

Date of Birth 14 July 1946, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Mini Biography


'The mind of an artist, the body of a labourer' is the way a CES vocational guidance officer described John Wood in the 1960s - and promptly sent him off to start a job as a brickie's labourer! While they're words John has never forgotten, he's certainly proven them wrong. Born in Melbourne in 1946 into a working class family, acting was just not something anyone did professionally.

While he obviously had a natural talent, John's passion for acting saw him fail his secondary school Leaving Certificate. At 16, he landed a role in the school production of The Fish, a farce by Yves Gabrol. Unfortunately the play was at his old school, and John put so much time into the production that he neglected to sit for his final exams at his new school!

Convinced he needed a 'real job', John joined the Victorian Railways as a clerk. Thankfully his ex-English teacher, John Ellis, returned from overseas and, with wife Lois, formed the Melbourne Youth Theatre, a drama group for people under 26. John performed in its first production Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle, then Eh?, a comedy by Henry Livings, directed by Max Gillies. Lois Ellis gave John the push he needed, one day handing him an entry form into NIDA. He was accepted and at 21, John and his girlfriend, Leslie (now his wife of nearly 30 years), moved to Sydney in 1967.

NIDA usually required entrants to have at least that missing Leaving Certificate, but luckily they made an exception for John and even granted him a scholarship - of $6 a fortnight. To pay the bills, he worked the lights at Neutral Bay's Music Hall and was overawed by stars such as Benita Collings - but felt deep down that Chekhov and Shakespeare were more his style.

Yet fresh out of NIDA in 1969, he landed a guest role on Channel Seven's half-hour series "Barrier Reef" (1971). His first stage role was as Happy in Death of a Salesman at the Old Tote (now the Sydney Theatre Company), which toured NSW. On New Year's Eve 1970, John and Leslie married. They now have two adult daughters: Meg and Lexie. John, Leslie and baby Meg moved back to Melbourne in 1974 to be near her grandparents.

John had signed a 12-month contract with the Melbourne Theatre Company, performing in plays such as Jumpers, Last of the Knucklemen and All My Sons. Then the writer in him reared its head and John decided to 'give up acting for a while' and applied for a Literature Board Grant in 1975. As fate would have it, he was immediately offered the role of Sugar Renfrey on the ABC TV production of "Power Without Glory" (1976) - John snapped it up and sent back the grant from the Literature Board!

His ABC appearance spawned offers to appear on shows such as "Bellbird" (1967), Lawson's Mates, "The Truckies" (1978) (for which he wrote his first TV script), "Catspaw" (1978) and End of Summer in the late 1970s. Then came a strange chain of events. John fell out with MTC over his TV appearances and he tired of playing 'silly roles' in the soaps. He turned to writing again and completed 15 episodes of Cop Shop, 15 of Prisoner and 15 of The Sullivans. In 1981, he got a gig in an Adelaide production, Lulu, with Judy Davis.

The following year he moved to Adelaide and began acting with Jim Sharman's 12-man Lighthouse Company. They performed the world premiere of Patrick White's Signal Driver. In 1983, the company toured Sydney, successfully performing Twelfth Night and Netherwood '.

As a direct result of the plays, John was offered the lead role of magistrate Michael Rafferty in "Rafferty's Rules" (1987) on Channel Seven. He filmed the pilot in 1984 and starred in the hit drama until 1989. In 1988 and 1989 John won TV Week Logie Awards for Most Outstanding Actor for his portrayal of Rafferty. Despite the show's success, it was a relief to move on and back to Melbourne and his loved ones.

John seized the opportunity to get back on the stage, appearing in Chess, The Musical, Love Letters, Away, A Flea In Her Ear, Another Time, King of Country, Jonah, The Trackers of Oxyrhyncus, Brittanicus and For Julia from 1990 to 1992. In 1993, John got another incredible opportunity. Tired of waiting, he was about to accept a role in the soap, Paradise Beach, when the offer to make the pilot of "Blue Heelers" (1994) finally came through.

Recognising Blue Heelers' potential to be a huge hit, he jumped at the chance to star as Sergeant Tom Croydon of the Mount Thomas police. Shooting the drama in Melbourne also enabled John - for the first time in years - to be based with his family at their country property about 40 minutes out of Melbourne. Keen to combine his writing and acting, John has written three episodes of Blue Heelers in the past few years and has also managed to combine several theatre roles with his regular work on the hit drama.

In 1998 he played Jock in the Melbourne Theatre Company's five-week season of The Club. In 1999 he played Harry Brock in the MTC's Born Yesterday with Alison Whyte and several actors from former cop shows, including Gil Tucker, Terence Donovan and John McTernan. John won the Green Room Award for Best Actor for that performance. In the same year John played the headwaiter in She Loves Me with Blue Heelers co-star Lisa McCune. John always has creative ideas circulating in his head and he currently has several projects on the brew, including a children's television series, a sitcom, a stage play and a movie.

In 1998 he became a board member of the Playbox Theatre Company and in 1999 became a spokesperson for Friendship Day, run by the Starlight Foundation. His wife Leslie is councillor for the Shire of Yarra Ranges and is the Labor candidate for the seat of Monbulk in the next State Election.

Trivia

John Wood graduated from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) in Australia, and became a well-known and capable character actor in both films and television. He has been acting since the early 1970's.
Won Logie for Most Popular Actor (May 2005)
After ten years of unsuccessful nominations for the Gold Logie award, John finally won his first Gold Logie on Sunday May 7th, 2006.
Won the Gold Logie (Most Popular Personality on Australian Television) in 2006 after being unsuccessfully nominated every year from 1997 to 2006.

Personal Quotes

(During his Gold Logie acceptance speech at the 2006 TV Week Logie Awards) "Too much, too soon."

Where Are They Now

(October 2010) Performing "Strange Bedfellows" at the Regent Cinemas, Albury NSW.

*****************************************************

A number of events were organised to compliment the Anniversary Ball.

See below, the -

Programme for the 75th Anniversary celebrations for the Roxy

Download a .pdf version of the Programme here:

Roxy_75th_anniversary_9+10_April_2011S.pdf

See links to other information, press cuttings & photographs about the 75th Anniversary celebrations at the end of this entry

THE ROXY – 75TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

CELEBRATE THE REBIRTH OF AN ICON
9TH + 10TH APRIL 2011

EVENTS EVENTS EVENTS EVENTS EVENTS

OFFICIAL LAUNCH
PETER’S & CO CAFÉ &
THE MUSEUM OF GREEK IMMIGRATION
IN RURAL NSW AND QUEENSLAND

FILM SCREENINGS

PRESENTATIONS

HISTORIC TOURS

GALA BALL


HISTORIC TOURS OF ROXY

9TH & 10TH APRIL

A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at The Roxy as a symbol that epitomizes the Greek migration experience. The tour includes a visual presentation that examines the important role played by the cinemas and cafés established by Greek immigrants and the outstanding contribution they made to the development of Australia.


FILM SCREENINGS

9TH & 10TH APRIL


The glitter and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age will come to life in Bingara with a weekend of screenings that celebrate the history of The Roxy while setting it firmly in the context of the town of Bingara, northern NSW.

Come and be swept away by a selection of classic footage and unexpected delights that will take you back in time and light up the silver screen.


OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF PETER’S & CO CAFÉ & THE MUSEUM OF GREEK IMMIGRATION IN RURAL NSW AND QUEENSLAND

6PM

SAT 9TH APRIL


The official launch of the fully restored art deco Peter’s & Co Café and preview of the site of the new museum.

GALA BALL

7:30PM

SAT 9TH APRIL


Bringing the glitz and glamour of the 1930s back to Bingara, the 75th Anniversary Gala Ball will be an evening of feasting and festivity. Commencing with a Greek banquet accompanied by a performance of traditional Greek music, guests will be invited to dance the night away to the hypnotic Hellenic rhythms of one of the best Greek bands performing in Australia today. No Greek celebration would be complete without the time-honoured custom of the smashing of plates and the Gala Ball will be no exception. This event will be Black Tie.

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS - SATURDAY 9TH APRIL

FILM SCREENINGS

The Roxy and Other Souvenirs


John Wood is one of Australia’s most recognised and well-loved actors, best known for his role in Blue Heelers. Approached by Foxtel Television to appear in a series entitled As Australian As, the actor chose to feature the story of The Roxy and discuss the unique relationship he shares with the venue.

The Christmas Spirit

In 1958, Bill Koovousis documented the community of Bingara banding together to rebuild the home of a family lost by fire on the eve of Christmas. This remarkable film offers an extraordinary insight into life in a rural town and uniquely captures the spirit of Australians “old and new.”

Roberta

The first film ever screened at The Roxy at the official opening in March 1936. Starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Irene Dunn and Randolph Scott, Roberta features a lively romantic plot, fabulous sets (the three-level salon set required the world’s largest camera crane), memorable music (including Smoke Gets in Your Eyes) and above all, incomparable dance magic to match the score. “The most pleasant moments in Roberta” Time reported, “arrive when Astaire and Rogers turn the story upside down and dance on it.”

HISTORIC TOURS

A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at history of The Roxy

LAUNCH OF PETER’S & CO CAFÉ & THE MUSEUM OF GREEK IMMIGRATION IN RURAL NSW & QLD

6PM


The official launch of the fully restored Café and preview of site of the new museum

GREEK GALA BALL

7:30PM


Dance the night away with an unforgettable evening of Greek feasting and festivity

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS - SUNDAY 10TH APRIL

BREAKFAST AT PETER’S CAFÉ


Enjoy breakfast at the Café from 8:30am. Bookings for breakfast are essential

HISTORIC TOURS

A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at The Roxy

FILM SCREENINGS

Cartoons and footage from 1936, Roberta, The Roxy and Other Souvenirs

PRESENTATIONS

Presentation by historian Peter McCarthy: The origins of the name style of Peters Cafes with the establishment of Oyster Saloons and Cafes in the New England and North West of NSW. This encompasses the establishment of The Sydney Oyster Saloon and S. Peter & Co at Inverell in 1899 by Peter Phacheas (Fatseas) to the Peters Cafe at the Roxy Theatre Bingara. Also included the association of Peters Ice Cream with Greek Cafes.

Peter McCarthy to be presented with a copy of the Heritage Australia award-winning book, Life in Australia, by a Trustee of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, for outstanding research efforts.

Drawing of the Raffle Prizes, and finalising of the Silent Auction prizes.

TICKETS

75TH ANNIVERSARY GALA BALL


$55

(includes meal – alcohol is available to purchase)

HISTORIC TOUR OF THE ROXY

$10

FILM SCREENINGS + PRESENTATIONS

$10

BREAKFAST AT PETER’S & CO CAFÉ

SUN 10TH APRIL


$15 (includes set menu – bookings essential)


TICKETS & EVENT BOOKINGS

Bookings for all events for the Celebrations are available through

Bingara Tourist Information Centre
Jenny Mead

Tourist Officer, Bingara

Gwydir Shire Council
Locked Bag 5
BINGARA 2404
NSW
AUSTRALIA

T: 02 67240066

E: Bingara Tourism & Information

INFORMATION


For all 75th Anniversary Celebration enquiries please

e-mail: ROXY

or contact:

Sandy McNaughton
Manager
The Roxy
Gwydir Shire Council
Locked Bag 5
BINGARA NSW 2404

T: (02) 67 242 066
F: (02) 67 241 771
M: 0427 241 582

E: ROXY

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is available in the town of Bingara, as well as the neighbouring towns of Warialda, Barraba and Inverell. For enquiries regarding accommodation, please contact the

Bingara Tourist Information Centre
Jenny Mead

Tourist Officer, Bingara

Gwydir Shire Council
Locked Bag 5
BINGARA 2404
NSW
AUSTRALIA

T: 02 67240066

E: Bingara Tourism & Information

HOW TO GET THERE


Bingara is located approximately 600kms north of Sydney and 500kms south of Brisbane in the New England Tablelands. It is central in the New England North West region, between the major towns of Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell, Moree and Narrabri.

75th ANNIVERSARY ORGANISATION

The 75th Anniversary Celebration has been organised by an inspired group of friends and volunteers of The Roxy working in conjunction with the Gwydir Shire Council.

LEADING INTO THE EVENT

Media Release Roxy's 75th Anniversary

Neos Kosmos article on Katsehamos and the Great Idea

A Night at the ROXY. Neos Kosmos

Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust donates $25,000 to Roxy Museum

Roxy turns 75. The Senior News

Bingara_Advocate_March_23_04_2011.pdf

REPORTING THE EVENT

Happy 75th Birthday ROXY. Bingara Advocate

Αυστραλία: Γιόρτασαν όλοι μαζί την προσφορά των Ελλήνων


PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE EVENT


WEBLINKS

Roxy Theatre, Gwydir Shire

http://www.gwydirshire.com/roxy.html

Roxy Theatre

http://www.kythera-family.net/index.php?nav=117-119&cid=191&did=2177&pageflip=24


Roxy Café
http://www.kythera-family.net/index.php?nav=117-119&cid=191&did=17330&pageflip=1


Roxy Museum
http://www.kythera-family.net/index.php?nav=117-119&cid=191&did=17535&pageflip=1


Katsehamos and the Great Idea:

http://www.kythera-family.net/index.php?nav=6-82&cid=123&did=9989&pageflip=3


Restoration of Kytherian and Hellenic Sacred sites

http://www.kythera-family.net/index.php?nav=117-119&cid=191&did=17857&pageflip=3


Buffer Map of the distances from Bingara to major cities of Kytherian and Hellenic population

http://www.kythera-family.net/index.php?nav=5-56&cid=20&did=18529&pageflip=1

Download a .pdf version of the buffer map here:

http://www.kythera-family.net/download/BingaraBufferDistance 20110208.pdf