John Howard (Australian actor)

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For other people of the same name, see John Howard (disambiguation).
John Howard
Born (1952-10-22) 22 October 1952 (age 62)
Corowa, New South Wales, Australia

John Howard (born 22 October 1952 in Corowa, New South Wales) is an Australian stage and screen actor. Howard is best known for his appearances in the film The Club, and the television series SeaChange, Always Greener, All Saints and Packed To The Rafters. Howard is married to Kim Lewis (who is famous for her role on Sons and Daughters), and has a child with her.



After graduating from the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Howard travelled to America, where he starred in the 1978 independent film "My Boys Are Good Boys" as a grocery store owner. After the film flopped, he returned to Australia. His next film had him gain high recognition in the industry - starring in the popular film The Club. He then went on to play Marie Curie's evil partner, 'Preston Preston' in the 1988 film Young Einstein. Howard had a minor supporting role in the 2012 Australian comedy Any Questions for Ben?, created by Working Dog Productions.[1]


Howard is also a well-known television actor and has appeared in a number of Australian programs. He began his career as Bob Scott in Young Ramsay (1979-1980) and he has played Frank Reilly in Wildside (1997–1998), Bob Jelly in SeaChange (1998–2000) and John Taylor in Always Greener (2001–2003). He also had the regular role of Dr Frank Campion in the Australian medical TV drama All Saints (2004-2009). He also appeared in Packed to the Rafters playing Dave Rafter's father, Tom Jennings (2010-2011). He also starred in the City Homicide mini-series titled "No Greater Honour" in 2011, while continuing on Packed to the Rafters. He is also known overseas for his role as the villain Silverthorn from the early 1990s Australian children's programs The Girl From Tomorrow and The Girl from Tomorrow Part II: Tomorrow's End.


In 2011, John Howard appeared in the Melbourne Theatre Company season of the Black Swan State Theatre Company production of the Tim Winton play Rising Water. He has also appeared in David Williamson's play, Dead White Males in the lead role of Dr Grant Swain.


Howard has won the Most Outstanding Actor award at the 2001 Logie Award's for his role in SeaChange. He was nominated for the same award in 2000 (for SeaChange) and in 2006 (for All Saints).

In both 2007 and 2008, Howard was nominated for two other awards at the Logies for his role in All Saints - the Gold Logie award and the Most Popular Actor award.

Name confusion[edit]

After the politician John Howard was elected Prime Minister of Australia in 1996, jokes about the coincidence entered Australian comedy - notably in an episode of the satirical television series The Games. Often characters in The Games had the same names as the actors playing them - Howard's episode mocked the Sydney Olympics when staff hired the actor (played by himself) as a stand in for the Prime Minister, as they supposed foreign dignitaries would not know the difference.[2]

Howard, identifying himself only as "John Howard", said "Sorry" to Indigenous Australians for their treatment by English settlers and their descendants.[2] This was a direct comment on the repeated refusal of the then Prime Minister to make an apology on behalf of the Government of Australia.

Howard also appeared on the Australian "news channel" parody television show CNNNN (a mock news channel comedy series created and performed by The Chaser) as a guest to discuss the Iraq war, being criticised by a presenter confusing him with John Howard the Prime Minister.

Howard is the subject of the song "John Howard The Actor (an opening in protest)" by Ross McLennan, former frontman of the band Snout, featuring the lyrics: "My sympathies go out/Go out to John Howard the actor/His nomenclature/Messed up under history's tractor."[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Schembri, Jim (9 February 2012). "Any Questions for Ben?". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Howard, John (8 February 2008). "Apology by John Howard, actor". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ross McLennan - Hits from the Brittle Building". Retrieved on 10 August 2009