Johnny Cooper (Home and Away)
|Home and Away character|
|Portrayed by||Callan Mulvey|
|First appearance||19 October 2006|
|Last appearance||7 March 2008|
|Introduced by||Julie McGauran|
Johnny is characterised as being one of the show's "bad boy" roles. A Channel 5 reporter described Johnny as having the type of face people would dislike to "meet in a dark alley". As gang leader he commits many crimes such as robbery, blackmail and murder. His feuds with other characters result in him framing Brad Armstrong (Chris Sadrinna) with drugs and attempting to murder Sally Fletcher (Kate Ritchie) and Ric Dalby (Mark Furze). He also begins a feud with Sam Holden (Jessica Chapnik) when he starts blackmailing her. He orders Sam to help him enter the hospital so he can murder Sally, but she is reluctant. Johnny becomes violent towards Sam and threatens her son Rory Tolhurst (Jack Rickard). Chapnik told a reporter from The Sun that "he scares Sam, she knows that she has no choice but to help him." Sam eventually decides to resolve the predicament by hitting Johnny with a cricket bat. Her actions only hospitalise Johnny and she decides to administer a syringe of drugs to end his life.
Johnny is first seen is his car outside Summer Bay High to warn his younger brother, Rocco (Ian Meadows) that he has a commitment to his gang and cannot back out. Rocco's principal, Brad demands Johnny leave the premises and Johnny threatens him. Johnny then trashes Brad's flat and then forces Rocco into a robbery on Brad's place but Rocco convinces him to rob Amanda Vale's (Holly Brisley) home instead. Johnny and the gang take Amanda and Peter Baker (Nicholas Bishop) hostage and rob the place. Johnny then tells Rocco to ask Sally if he can move in at Summer Bay House but after Brad warns her about Rocco, she refuses. Johnny then has Rocco beaten and he is found by Brad and Sally agrees to let him stay. Johnny continues forcing Rocco to steal and escalates his feud with Brad and forces him off the road. Brad reports the incident but without proof, Johnny gets away with it. He then begins playing mind games with Brad by leaving messages about his late wife Emily (Libby Richmond) on the blackboards at school. Brad eventually snaps and attacks Johnny. Johnny in retaliation pays a student top claim Brad sold him drugs, which results in Brad being stood down as principal.
He then schemes to rob the local Credit Union, and Brad overhears and informs the police. However, Johnny is able to avoid arrest after a police search reveals nothing, due to Rocco removing the plans before the police arrived. Brad is bent on bringing Johnny down and sneaks back into his place and finds Amanda's stolen jewellery. Rocco then betrays Johnny to the police and Johnny tries to changes the plans but Sally finds the real plans and reports him to the police. Johnny is arrested and jailed and demands Rocco either kills Sally or be killed himself. Rocco stabs Sally and leaves her for dead, but she survives. Sally remembers the stabbing and Rocco arranges for him to stay at safe house. Ric arrives to confront Rocco but finds him badly beaten. Rocco dies in hospital and Ric is jailed for his murder.
Johnny begins making Ric's life very unpleasant when he is jailed. However, Ric's friends find evidence that exonerates him and he is released. In early 2008, Johnny escapes prison and returns to the bay in order to gain revenge on Ric and Sally. He poses as a chauffeur and hides out in the bush when the police begin looking for him. He makes his way to the caravan park and holds Colleen Smart (Lyn Collingwood) hostage with a knife and bursts into the house startling Miles Copeland (Josh Quong Tart) and Roman Harris (Conrad Coleby), leading to a tense standoff. Sally comes downstairs and tries to reason with Johnny but he stabs her and runs off into the night. The police give chase and Jack Holden (Paul O'Brien) shoots Johnny in his arm but he gets away. Johnny then hides out at The Holden family's home with the help of Jack's estranged wife, Sam, who he blackmails into helping him. He demands that Sam helps him get to Sally but when she lies about her still being in the hospital, he beats her up then takes Matilda Hunter (Indiana Evans) hostage and confronts Ric with a knife but is hit over the head by Sam with a cricket bat.
At the hospital, Johnny is left brain damaged but manages to utter the words "under the bed" to Jack but before he can say any more, he goes into cardiac arrest. Sam later administers a morphine overdose and kills Johnny. Sam's guilt overwhelms her and she begins seeing visions of Johnny. A letter written by Johnny, exposing Sam's criminal dealings is found and Sam commits suicide as a result.
For his portrayal of Johnny, Mulvey was nominated in the category of "Best Bad Boy" at the Inside Soap Awards in 2007 and 2008, respectively. British newspaper The Sun included Johnny in their "Who's the worst soap villain?" feature in 2008. They said "Dark, brooding and menacing, when it comes to soap villains, Johnny is up there with the best." A reporter from The Age said that the "flat-out nasty" role of Johnny suited Mulvey. Johnny was included in What's on TV's "The 50 most evil soap villains of all time" list. A reporter from Channel 5 included Johnny in their list of favourite Home and Away "bad boys". The character's murder disappointed a Daily Record critic who felt that Sam whacking Johnny with the cricket bat alone would have been "far more impressive". Other writers from the publication have branded the character a "sinister crook" and a "ruthless thug". An Inside Soap reporter branded Johnny a "crazy criminal".
- "Home and Away bad boys". Channel 5. (Northern & Shell). 16 September 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Robertson, Colin (29 March 2008). "Home & Away: Violent Johnny". The Sun. (News International). Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Soap stories: Body on the beach; Home and Away weekdays, Five, 6pm". Daily Record. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). 10 May 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2013.(subscription required)
- Green, Kris (3 July 2007). "Inside Soap Awards 2007: The Nominations". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Inside Soap Awards 2008: Nominations". 16 July 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Batey, Neil; Brand, Claire; Francis, Julia; Maloney, Jim (28 March 2008). "Who's the worst soap villain?". The Sun. News International. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "Mad, bad and dangerous". The Age. (Fairfax Media). 9 July 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "The 50 most evil soap villains of all time". What's on TV. (IPC Media). 12 March 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Play it again Sam; Home and Away weekdays, Five, 6pm". Daily Record. (Trinity Mirror via The Free Library). 29 March 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Soap week; plot the next six days". Daily Record. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). 29 March 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2013.(subscription required)
- "Catch a killer?". Inside Soap. Hachette Filipacchi UK (13): 36. 29 March – 4 April 2008.