|Born||Brian Thomas Wenzel
24 May 1929
Adelaide, South Australia
|Years active||1968–2002, 2009–|
Brian Thomas Wenzel (born 24 May 1929 in Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian character actor most famous for his long running role as town policeman Frank Gilroy in the fictional Wandin Valley on television program A Country Practice. He was an original cast member and remained along with Shane Porteous through the entire series, Frank became a popular character in the program sinces its inception winning a Silver Logie for Wenzel. Wenzel also appeared in the drama series Matlock Police, Homicide, The Young Doctors and Certain Women. It was the role in Certain Women that won him the part of Frank Gilroy in A Country Practice. Wenzel became very popular with the NSW Police due to his role as Gilroy, and was once presented with a leather police jacket from former commissioner John Avery (the fictional country town of Wandin Valley was in New South Wales, thus Frank Gilroy was a member of the NSW Police). Wenzel spent much of his childhood in remand homes, and ran away several times, including joining the circus at the age of 14. His first performance in an acting role came at the age of 17, when he appeared in a stage play, he started acting professionally in 1945.
Wenzel is an Australia Day ambassador for the state of Victoria, and is a lifelong supporter of the Carlton Football Club. He appeared in the David Williamson play, Travelling North, in 2000. Wenzel also appeared in a guest role on the soap Neighbours. Wenzel has appeared in Marshall Law in 2002, his most recent appearance is in John Doe: Vigilante. Wenzel has been married for 59 years.
In 2009 Wenzel appeared in a TV commercial in the role for a sexual dysfunction therapy. He arrives to save the day when a newlywed wife complains about her husband "speeding" in the sack – and then prosecutes him in court. This commercial created much controversy and Wenzel was featured on A Current Affair, defending the commercial and stating that he was "an actor and this is what I do" and being thrown into the spotlight after almost 20 years out of it. In May, he appeared on a spoof of the ad that was aired on Rove Live. Wenzel remains active in the industry appearing in television commercials, and in cameos in television and film, ACP co-star Lorrae Desmond however has now retired from the entertainment industry
Following the death of Joyce Jacobs on 15 September 2013 at the age of 91, Wenzel is the oldest surviving main cast member of A Country Practice. Both Wenzel and Jacobs appeared in the first episode of A Country Practice in 1981 and stayed with the show until 1993. A Country Practice then moved to Network Ten for a single season in 1994, though unlike Jacobs who stayed with the show, Wenzel did not reprise his role as Frank Gilroy on Channel 10.
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (August 2009)|
1 "Country Practice cop patrols bedrooms in weirdest role". Archived from the original on 10 Mar 2009.