Andrew McFarlane_130212
The Flying Doctors


Andrew McFarlane is an Australian television, film and stage actor. He is perhaps best known for playing Dr. Tom Callaghan on the television miniseries “The Flying Doctors” (1985) and in the on-going series that followed. He left during its first season in 1986, but returned to resume his role from 1989 to 1991. Commenting about his character on the series, she said, “He’s a well-rounded character. He makes mistakes. He’s impatient and he gets frustrated and he hates being in the outback. He’s not that sympathetic to begin with, although I think I could have played him more anti-sympathetic. I probably should have.”

McFarlane also has played John Sullivan in “The Sullivans” (1976), from which he nabbed a 1977 Sammy Award, Lieut. David Keating in “Patrol Boat” (1979), Sgt. Gibson- Police Prosecutor on “Rafferty's Rules” (1987),  Gordon in “Paradise Beach” (1993), Brian Reynolds in “Spellbinder” (1995), Jeff Scheppers in “Heartbreak High” (1998), Bobby Hoyland  in “Neighbours” (2005) and Hugh Delaney in “The Alice” (2005-2006). His film credits include “Break of Day” (1976), “Doctors & Nurses” (1981), “I Can't Get Started” (1985), “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (1988) and “Razzle Dazzle” (2007).

Currently, McFarlane resides in Neutral Bay, Sydney, Australia.    


Childhood and Family:

Andrew McFarlane was born on June 6, 1951, in Albany, Western Australia, Australia. He was raised on a cattle station in Queensland. He has one sister named Fiona. His great uncle,O.P Heggie, appeared in a number of Hollywood classic films in the early 1930s like “Anne of Green Gables” and “The Bride Of Frankenstein.” As a young adult, Andrew studied law in Melbourne for a year, then turned to horticulture before eventually decided to become an actor. He graduated from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1973. While in NIDA, he was in the same class as fellow Aussie performer Angela Punch McGregor. He recalled, “As a kid I didn't think of becoming an actor, there were much more important things to consider: a life as a missionary for instance; an explorer, a doctor, an Egyptologist, a diplomat, an army officer, a magician.”  

Andrew McFarlane is known with the nickname Andy.

The Sullivans


 Andrew McFarlane had his first taste in front of the television cameras when he had a bit part in an episode of the popular Australian police drama series “Homicide” called “Sleeper” (1972). After completing a three year training at NIDA, he joined the cast of the long running police drama “Division 4” in the recurring role of Const. Roger Wilson. He was on the show for a total of 55 episodes from 1974 to 1976. He also made a guest appearance in “Matlock Police” (1974, as Ben Reid).
In 1976, McFarlane was cast in the main role of John Sullivan, the eldest son of Grace and Dave Sullivan on the World War II soap opera “The Sullivans,” opposite Paul Cronin, Lorraine Bayly and Steven Tandy. He, however, departed the series after eight months. The role brought McFarlane a 1977 Sammy Award  in the category of Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series. He would reprise the role in the 1979 television movie “The John Sullivan Story.”  

Still in 1976, McFarlane made his feature film debut in the AFI Award winning drama “Break of Day,” directed by Ken Hannam and written by Cliff Green. There he offered a notable turn as Tom Cooper. McFarlane next co-starred with Tom Farley and Robert Bettles in the Australian/UK TV film “Harness Fever” (1977), which was aired in the US on NBC in 1979, had a guest stint in the short lived drama series “Case for the Defence” (1978) and portrayed Doone Boyd in two episodes of “Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color” (1979). In 1979, he starred as Lieutenant David Keating in the action/drama series “Patrol Boat,” about the activities of the crew of a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat which patrolled Australia's coastline. The show ran for two seasons between June 28, 1979 and August 11, 1983.  

McFarlane returned to the big screen after five years in “Doctors & Nurses” (1981), a family/comedy movie starring Pamela Stephenson, Bert Newton and Richard Meikle. There he played the role of Milligan. In the following year, he appeared with Scott Burgess, Scott McGregor and Lorraine Bayly in the drama /war television miniseries “1915,”  which won the Logie for Best Miniseries/Telemovie and Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries/Telemovie (Adrian Wright).

In 1985, McFarlane took the lead role of Dr. Tom Callaghan on the television miniseries “The Flying Doctors.” The success of the miniseries led to its return in the following year as an on-going with McFarlane being joined by a new doctor, Chris Randall (portrayed by Liz Burch). McFarlane, however, left the series after only 16 episodes at the height of its popularity. He later returned in the fifth season for another 37 episodes. McFarlane stated, “The whole series to me was a bit like what I watched on TV and growing up with in a way; adventurish, very Australian, because it was set in the Outback. It was doctors and, you know, action in flying and action into the rescuing people. It had a great combination of the hard and the ordinary stuff.”

Meanwhile, McFarlane appeared in the independent film “I Can't Get Started” (1985), with Ben Gabriel, John Waters and Milorad Mihajlovic, starred as Det. Sgt. Mark Castelli on the made for TV film “The Rocks” (1988) and supported John Waters, Penelope Stewart and Nicki Paull in the drama film “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (1988), which was nominated for seven AFI Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, and won the awards for Best Actor in a Lead Role (Waters) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Kim Gyngell). In 1987, the actor was cast as Sgt. Gibson- Police Prosecutor on the television drama series “Rafferty's Rules,” opposite John Wood and Catherine Wilkin.   

After “The Flying Doctors,” McFarlane joined the cast of the Australian soap “Paradise Beach” in 1993. There he played the role of Gordon. The same year, he also made a guest appearance as George Whitman in an episode of the science fiction series “Time Trax” called “Fire and Ice” and as Malcolm Henderson in an episode of “G.P.” called “Living with the Past.” In the following year, he starred along with Rebecca Gibney and Sophie Lee in the made for television crime film “Halifax f.p: Acts of Betrayal.”      

Back to series television as a regular, McFarlane played Brian Reynolds, Paul's scientist father on the teen drama series “Spellbinder.” The show ran on Nine Network for a total of 26 episodes from September 25 1995 to November 7, 1995. Three years later, he had a recurring role as Jeff Scheppers on the television series “Heartbreak High” (5 episodes). The same year, he also portrayed Tom Sutton on the television mini series “The Violent Earth” (1998). McFarlane closed out the decade with guest spots in “All Saint” (as David Miller), “Murder Call” (as Adrian MacKerras) and “Blue Heelers” (as Mark Powers), a starring turn opposite Mimi Roger and Temuera Morrison in the crime/drama film “Little White Lies,” helmed by Pauline Chan, and a lead opposite Grayson McCouch in the TV film “Airtight.” Meanwhile, on stage, McFarlane appeared in the production of “Blinded by the Sun” in Sydney.  

Entering the new millennium, McFarlane appeared in episodes of “Tales of the South Seas” (2000), “Water Rats” (2000-2001) and the popular soap “Home and Away”(2004), in which he played  Tasha Andrews's father, Ian Osbourne. Besides, he portrayed Public Servant in a two part television mini series, “The Day of the Roses” (2001), starring Rebecca Gibney, Paul Mercurio and Stephen Curry,  teamed up with Craig McLachlan, Tom Long and Anthony Hayes in the TV film “Heroes' Mountain” (2002), which won the Gold Plaque for Best Feature Length Telefim: Drama and the Silver Hugo Special Achievement in Direction at the 2003 Chicago International Film Festival, and played Mike in the American television film “Tempted” (Lifetime, 2003), starring Virginia Madsen, Lainie Kazan and Jason Momoa. He portrayed Hugh Delaney in the TV miniseries “The Alice” (2004) and  John Phillips Q.C. in the TV film “Through My Eyes” (2004), opposite Miranda Otto, Craig McLachlan and Peter O'Brien. On stage, he appeared in “The Graduate” at Theatre Royal in Sydney from October 10 to December 1, 2001.

In 2005, McFarlane appeared as Bobby Hoyland in several episodes of the soap opera “Neighbours” and as Warren in an episode of “Blue Water High” called “Timing Is Everything.” He reprised the role of Hugh Delaney in a regular television series, “The Alice” (2005-2006), which proved less popular than the 1984 original film and was canceled by the Nine Network. From October 10, 2006 to December 2, 2006, he starred in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of “A Woman in Mind.” The same year, he also starred in the play “Losing Louis” at the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney.

In 2007, McFarlane played the role of Trevor Morgan in the film “Razzle Dazzle,” which was directed by Darren Ashton, written by Robin Ince and Carolyn Wilson and starred Ben Miller, Kerry Armstrong and Shayni Notelovitz. He went on to portray Dr. Henry Forbes in the television film “Emerald Falls” (2008), starring Georgie Parker, Vince Colosimo, Geoff Morrell, Catherine McClement, and Daniel in the TV film “Dream Life” (2008), opposite Xavier Samuel, Sigrid Thornton and Linda Cropper. In 2009, McFarlan played  Donald Mackay in three episodes of the television series “Underbelly,” starring Rodger Corser, Caroline Craig, Gyton Grantley and Kat Stewart. The same year, he also appeared in the short film “Bourke Boy.”  


Sammy: Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, “The Sullivans,” 1977