Doctor Blake, Dr Frank-N-Furter, Danny Zuko, Ed from BUGS, Grant from Summer Bay, Henry from Erinsborough.
Names that evoke the warmest feelings to countless millions of people across nations and a whole generation. The only thing this divergent bunch of much-loved characters share in common is, of course, the same face.
2017 proved to be another busy and fun year for Craig. We met surf lifesaving legend Big Kev in the riotous True Stories, faux pas prone Eric was back causing chaos in Wrong Girl season 2 and it was back to Ballarat with Lucien and Jean in The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
Suddenly it’s 2018, which makes it just over 3 decades since the life-force that is Craig McLachlan first appeared on our screens.
It was 1986 when a wide-eyed, big-haired kid from the country came to town and instantly scored himself the leading role of Henry Ramsay in what quickly became the defining TV show of its generation – Neighbours. By the end of that decade, Craig was officially the most popular personality on Australian television, Winner of the Gold Logie in 1990, a household name throughout the UK, as well as a chart-topping rock star in real-life.
At the start of the 1990s, Craig moved to a starring role in Home & Away, playing teacher Grant Mitchell. It helped him complete a rare hat-trick of Silver Logies for Most Popular Actor and Outstanding Actor (1989, ’90, ’91).
In the ’90s, Craig turned his hand to the theatre, starring in the Australian production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show as the one-and-only Frank-N-Furter, followed by a hugely successful sold-out run as Danny Zuko in Grease on the West End.
More high-profile musicals followed, as well as roles in dozens of other TV shows and movies across the globe. In 2014, Craig revived the role of Frank-N-Furter in the 40th anniversary Australian production of The Rocky Horror Show. This won him a new generation of fans across the country plus the prestigious Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical.
Most recently, Australian audiences have fallen in love with Craig McLachlan all over again as the inimitable Dr Lucien Blake in the top rating ABC show, The Doctor Blake Mysteries. Four seasons later, it has been, and remains, the highest rating Australian television show on the ABC.
It’s hard to fathom how the demure Dr Blake and the hyper Henry Ramsay could possibly share the same face, albeit slightly older. It’s called acting, darlings!
Craig McLachlan’s diversity and effervescence – his general lust for life and work – are what’s made him endure as one of Australia’s most eclectic and popular entertainers across an entire generation.
Craig McLachlan has proven himself over and over to be one of our finest and most versatile actors. And there’s every reason to believe the best is yet to come.