Thursday, May 25, 2006

Eddie Hepple

When I visited Ernie the other night he gave me the latest edition of a magazine devoted to the history of Theatre in Australia. In the final few pages I found a listing of actors, writers and other theatre practitioners under the heading Exeunt...

When I was a kid, one of my favourite TV shows was The Rovers. This series was based around the adventures onboard an old boat captained by Sam "Cap" McGill. Cap was played by Eddie Hepple with child actor Grant Seiden as his grandson. The other main cast members were handsome Noel Trevarthen and gorgeous Rowena Wallace (plus various native Australian animals such as a cockatoo and a koala). Thinking about it now, I wanted those critters as pets, but I guess I also wanted to be the grandson living a life on the water.

In later years I would meet both Noel Trevarthen and Rowena Wallace. And in a strange twist I also had a connection with Grant Seiden (whose other claim to fame was starring in TV commercials as The Milky Bar Kid). It turned out Grant Seiden (now older and unrecognisable) and I drank at the same hotel night after night, week after week, in the Melbourne beachside suburb of St Kilda. Sadly, I don't recall us ever speaking to one another and by the time I found out who he was (and that we knew people in common) I was on the move to Sydney.

As for Eddie Hepple (who was sometimes credited as Edward or Teddy), he had a long and successful career as both an actor and a writer (my dream combination vocation). His most notable role later in his career would arguably be as Sid Humphries in Prisoner opposite fabulous Sheila Florance as Lizzie. There was something lovable, scruffy and Irish roguish about Eddie and I'm sure he would've had a great ability to tell enchanting tales of his life and times. I'm only sorry I never got the chance to find out. Sadly, when reading that Theatre magazine, I discovered he died last September aged 91. Farewell Eddie Hepple


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor old milky bar kid. Its awful to see people fall down in a miserable life.

May 27, 2006 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching The Rovers was an enjoyable part of my childhood. RIP Eddie Hepple and Noel Trevarthen.

November 20, 2009 5:29 AM  

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