Frankie J. Holden

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Frankie J. Holden

Peter Brian

(1952-12-18) 18 December 1952 (age 67)
Other namesFrank Holden
  • Singer
  • actor
  • television presenter
  • business owner
Spouse(s)Michelle Pettigrove

Frankie J. Holden OAM (born Peter Brian; 18 December 1952) , also known as Frank Holden, is an Australian singer, actor and TV presenter. In the 1970s, he fronted Ol' 55, which had a hit with "On the Prowl" from their debut album, Take It Greasy which peaked at number three on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart in 1976.[1][2][3] For Return Home Holden was nominated for Best Actor in a Lead Role at the 1990 AFI Awards.[4]

Singing career[edit]

During the 1970s, Holden was the frontman for the Australian retro-rock band Ol' 55, which also included Wilbur Wilde and Jimmy Manzie. In the early 2000s, Holden re-emerged on the music scene with the Ol' Skydaddies, a band featuring members from Ol' 55, Daddy Cool and Skyhooks.

Television career[edit]


In the 1980s, Holden appeared in two episodes of Channel Ten's drama series Prisoner (1982–1983) and in the first season of the Channel 7 children's program Round the Twist (1989).[5]

In 1990, Holden appeared in the Australian caper film The Big Steal as a used car salesman named "Frank" and as Arthur 'Ozzie' Oswald in The Flying Doctors.

In the early 1990s, he appeared in four episodes on the Seven Network's A Country Practice, and in 1992 starred in the short-lived Late for School.

He then played Senior Sergeant Glenn "Spider" Webb on the ABC's Police Rescue (1994–1996). The series was about the New South Wales Police Rescue Squad based in Sydney.

In 1996 he appeared in four episodes on Seven's police drama Blue Heelers as Senior Detective Jack Woodley.

From 2000 until 2002, he played ex-cop, then local publican, Stuart McGregor in ABC1's Something in the Air. This series was notable for its high output, producing 320 episodes in just two seasons.

In 2008, Holden was in two Nine Network dramas – Underbelly and The Strip.

In 2013, Holden joined the cast of Seven's A Place to Call Home, a drama set in rural Australia in the 1950s. He plays the part of Roy Briggs, described as "a rugged, unbreakable man capable of charm, good humour as well as a crusty grumpiness".[6]


From 1996 until 1998, Holden was the host of the revamped Monday evening variety show In Melbourne Tonight, co-featuring Julia Morris and Denise Drysdale. For the show's second year, he switched from being billed as 'Frankie J Holden' to 'Frank Holden'.

In 2009, Holden co-presented, alongside his wife Michelle, Discover Downunder, a half-hour Australia-based travelling/caravanning program for the Nine Network. In 2010, he co-hosted What's Up Down Under on Channel Seven. This show is similar in format to Discover Downunder.


Frankie Holden has starred in films as recent as 2007 with Clubland. He was also in Proof, The Big Steal, Return Home, Evil Angels and High Tide.

Personal life[edit]

He married his first wife Leigh Hunter in the mid seventies, divorcing in the early eighties.[citation needed] He had 3 daughters from his second marriage, to dancer Melda Rees, who died in 1997 from cancer.[7] Holden married actress Michelle Pettigrove two years later. They have had one daughter together.

Holden currently resides on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales Australia and is still performing around Australia as a successful entertainer.

In 2010, Frankie and Michelle, with two other couples, purchased the Tathra Beach Family Park, a seaside holiday park in Tathra, NSW.[8] In 2016, Holden was honoured with the Member of the Order of Australia, in the 2016 Queens Birthday Honours List.

Popular culture[edit]

A caricature of Frankie J. Holden appears in the animation Hyper Parsnip Bitches[9] by animator Paul Robertson.

Frankie J. Holden has a star in Caloundra's "Walk of Stars" between Red Symons and Daryl Somers.


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 4 January 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. with notes by Ed Nimmervoll. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[10] Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
  1. ^ McFarlane (1999). Encyclopedia entry for "'Ol' 55'". Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 19 April 2004.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  2. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) OL 55 Archived 18 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine entry. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  4. ^ Return Home - IMDb, retrieved 11 August 2019
  5. ^ Vagg, Stephen (14 July 2019). "Australian Singers Turned Actors". Filmink.
  6. ^ "Roy Briggs". Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Celebrity - Book Frankie J. Holden at MTA - Entertainment Booking Agency Australia - MTA Entertainment and Events". Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Frankie J Holden's holiday escapes". NewsComAu. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  9. ^ Hyper Parsnip Bitches on YouTube
  10. ^ "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 4 January 2010.

External links[edit]