The Cast Of A Country Practice: Then & Now
Incredibly, A Country Practice still holds records as one of Australia’s most popular television series, running from from 1981 to 1994.
Set in the fictional NSW rural town of Wandin Valley, the series revolved around the team working at the local hospital and the characters they encountered in the town, as well as local hangouts including, of course, the local club!
Airing every Monday and Tuesday night A Country Practice was massively popular, winning a stack of Logie awards, as well as making household names of the previously little known cast in the process.
Let's start off with the two characters that Australia fell in love with, and then cried buckets for, Brendan and Molly.
If you didn't bawl your eyes out when Molly died then we can't be friends anymore. The quirky Molly (played by Anne Tenney) was the series most beloved character, and when she died after a battle with leukemia, it felt like we had lost a real friend.
Her final, poignant scene starring her on-screen husband Brendan (Shane Withington) broke our hearts...so be warned...you WILL cry watching this...
Penny Cook: Vet Vicky Dean Bowen
Penny twice won the Logie for most popular female talent, appearing on the show from 1981 to 1986.
Her biggest story line was Vicky the vet's unlikely wedding to doctor Dr Simon, which was a huge TV event!
Grant Dodwell: Dr Simon Bowen
Dr Simon started off as a snooty character from the city who resented having to live in Wandin Valley.
He soon became a fan favorite and Dodwell won the Logie for most popular actor three years in a row.
Lorrae Desmond: Nurse Shirley Gilroy and Brian Wenzel: Sergeant Frank Gilroy
Lorrae played nurse Shirley Gilroy, who famously was a bit of a new age hippy and would regularly meditate under a pyramid in her lounge room, a weird look during the 80's!
She then married gruff policeman Frank Gilroy (played by Brian Wenzel) in a classic case of opposites attract.
Fans of the show were devastated when Shirley was eventually killed off in an plane accident.
Shane Porteous: Dr Terence Elliot
Shane's character of the lovable doctor became the heart of A Country Practice, winning him a best actor Logie for the role in 1990.
Joyce Jacobs who played local busybody Esme Watson passed away in 2013, aged 92, while Sid Heylen who portrayed larrikin Cookie Locke died from a stroke in 1996, aged 74
Helen Scott: Matron Marta Kutesz
Helen appeared on the show from 1981 to 1983, where she enjoyed a brief romantic relationship with Dr Terrence Elliott, before having to leave to return to her characters home in Hungary.
Joan Sydney: Matron Maggie Sloan
Joan played Matron Maggie Sloan taking over from Matron Marta at Wandin Valley Hospital.
Her stern but ultimately sweet character was fan favorite on the soap, starring from 1983 to 1990, before returning for guest roles in 1993 and 1994..
Diane Smith: Dr Alex Fraser
Instantly recognisable for her mop of red curls, Diane Smith played Dr Alex on the soap from 1986 to 1989.
Her character also had a fling with Dr Terrance before breaking his heart again when her character decided to leave Wandin Valley for a job in Sydney.