All Saints: profiles

John Howard…

John was awarded the 2001 Silver Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor for his role in the hit Australian drama series Seachange.

He is one of the most in-demand actors in Australia for television, film and theatre. John has acted in the feature film The Man Who Sued God with Billy Connolly and Judy Davis, the successful television series Always Greener, television feature The Road from Coorain as well as the TV mini-series Changi which also starred Mark Priestley (who plays nurse Dan Goldman on All Saints). Most recently John played a lead role in the feature film, A Man's Gotta Do.

Among his numerous additional credits are the films Dating the Enemy, Blackrock, In A Savage Land, Young Einstein and Evil Angels. He's also appeared in the television series Stingers, Water Rats, State Coroner, Heartbreak High, Joh's Jury, A Town Like Alice and Water Under the Bridge.

John received the Variety Club of Australia Stage Actor Heart Award in 1992 and the Sydney Critics Circle Best Stage Actor Award in 1991.

In his spare time John's hobbies include reading and astronomy. He also likes to play golf, lawn bowl and swims when he can.

…as Dr Frank Campion

Dr Frank Campion is the Head of the Emergency Department. He's a driven, committed perfectionist who demands nothing but the best from his staff.

He's a brilliant man and a highly skilled doctor who possesses boundless energy, enormous intelligence and a scathing wit. Unfortunately, his professional brilliance fails to excuse his abrasiveness, his seemingly determined ignorance of people skills and a supreme indifference to being liked.

After many years of studying and, more importantly, gaining medical experience that has taken him to extreme places, and imbued him with resourcefulness as well as the skill to put it to use, Frank is supremely confident and can back up this confidence with great flair in his work. While many are awed by his extravagant personality and audacious doctoring, Frank doesn't automatically inspire love in his staff - quite the opposite. His last ED team walked out - tired of his constant interference, lack of respect for traditional lines of demarcation between nursing staff and doctors, and continual high demands.

Frank is a very complex man - full of contradictions. On the one hand, he can be blustering, rude, obnoxious in the extreme, and on the other, thoughtful and compassionate. He is incapable of letting slide an opportunity to point out a mistake - in the most abrasive, scathing terms - and yet, when proven right, usually doesn't gloat.

At work, he shouts, accuses and delivers retribution, but he is utterly loyal to his staff when outsiders threaten them - and will fight for them against the upper echelons, aggressive relatives - or whoever it may be. He can't tolerate stupidity, dishonesty, refusal to take responsibility or those who are not committed to his number one priority - the patients.

The patients always come first with Frank, and though he's been known to have a go at malingerers, he genuinely cares for the welfare of the people who enter his ED. He's a different man to the patients than to the staff - he sees himself as the pointy end of the arrow, directed towards patient care, and expects all under his command to fall in behind him.

Frank's language could be described as colourful - and he peppers his speech liberally with "bloody", "arse", "crap" and many other general curses. However, he also enjoys the finer things in life - opera, ballet and the best restaurants. He can quote the great poets and statesmen at the drop of a hat.

Perhaps the key to Frank is in knowing his vulnerability. His wife left him years ago, unable to deal with the most difficult, challenging and heart-wrenching part of his life - his daughter Kathleen. She's profoundly autistic and now, at the age of fifteen, is harder to control than ever. This is why Frank is such a control freak at work - with his hands on every part of the emergency department - because he is unable to control his life at home.

Frank has lost faith in God, and often despairs at the brutality of life. However, it's this part of him, too, that gives him a deep understanding of suffering and an abhorrence of discrimination. And when his ex-wife re-enters his life and that of his daughter's, Frank's world is turned upside down. He's a challenge - an incorrigible bastard we may just fall in love with…