You can talk about ex-Neighbours actors going on to greater success; Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce, Natalie Bassingthwaite and Delta Goodrem for example. But here at mrtrivia.net we believe the real success story of the vintage Aussie soap opera is New Zealand actor, Alan Dale.
From 1985-93, Dale played the character of Jim Robinson. Jim was a linchpin parental character of the early series. He managed to be both a concerned dad and a bit of a ladies man. Jim Robinson died of a particularly spectacular heart attack that viewers from that era will remember with great clarity. Alan Dale made it look horrendous.
But since his Neighbours days, Mr Dale has been anything but idle. He has created for himself a truly international television career (with the occasional small movie role thrown in).
Dale as billionaire publisher Bradford Mead in Ugly Betty
Let us examine the shows that have been graced by Alan Dale’s grey eminince since the year 2000. The X-Files, The Lone Gummen, ER, The Practice, JAG, The West Wing, CSI Miami, 24, NCIS, Ugly Betty, Sea Patrol, Entourage, The Flight of the Conchords, Lost, Torchwood and Law & Order SVU. He was also in the movies Star Trek Nemesis and Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
These days he tends to play power-mad patrician types – presidents, CEOs and generals, but I’m always glad to see him. I clocked another of his appearances in the UK sitcom Moving Wallpaper. Dale played himself as an actor cast in the show within the show, a zombie series called Renaissance.
If you haven’t seen Moving Wallpaper it focuses on a team of television writers and their self-centred leader, producer Jonathan Pope (brilliantly played by Ben Miller). It ran for two seasons in 2008 and 2009. Season 2 is screening 10.15pm Fridays, ABC 1.
It’s the closest you’ll come to seeing Jim Robinson battling zombies.
Ben Miller and Raquel Cassidy from Moving Wallpaper