All Saints: articles

Chris Gabardi

All Saints's Dr Feelbad

CHRIS Gabardi’s love-life, thankfully, is far more satisfactory than that of his All Saints character, Dr Vincent Hughes.

Gabardi is happily married, but poor Vincent’s love-life is nothing short of disastrous.

After breaking up with his two-timing lesbian ex-wife Charlotte (Tammy Macintosh), Vincent joins the army and falls in love with fellow medico Karen.

She dies after stepping on a land mine in East Timor, so Vincent returns to Sydney and Western General Hospital.

Along comes intern Dr Grace Connolly (Kimberly Joseph) and he falls head over heels again.

But just when Grace is set to become wife No.3, Vince discovers she and her doctor father are ripping off a country community with dodgy Medicare claims. Then Grace is killed in a plane crash.

“You can certainly say poor Vince hasn’t fared too well when it comes to affairs of the heart,” Gabardi chuckles.

“It’s amazing that the guy’s not a total psychological mess.”

Gabardi believes a recent All Saints shake-up—in which several cast moved on and John Howard and others came aboard—has breathed new life into the series.

“From an acting point of view there’s an edginess about it now that wasn’t there before,” he says.

“I think there’s more realism about the cases and the way they’re handled.”

In fact, the realism saved the life of a girl whose family are regular All Saints viewers.

“We did an episode that featured someone with symptoms that led doctors to suspect a tumour,” Gabardi says. “The family thought the symptoms were the same as their daughter’s.

“They took her to a doctor next day, she was diagnosed as having tumors and operated on.

“She is now on the road to recovery and the parents came to the set recently to say thank-you.

“They believe watching that episode, and its accuracy, saved their child’s life.”

At 34, Gabardi is a stage veteran, with a string of Melbourne Theatre Company credits.

He first found TV fame in 1993, co-starring with Annie Jones in the Channel 7 sitcom Newlyweds.

For the past 18 months he’s enjoyed renewed small-screen fame as All Saints’ complex and often unpleasant Dr Hughes.

“All of which makes Vincent a great character to play,” he says. “Maybe if he found true love, he’d be different.”

By Robert Fidgeon
September 22, 2004
Herald Sun