Blackjack: actors

Colin Friels as Senior Detective Jack Kempson

Colin Friels

Colin Friels has a distinguished career in film, television and theatre, receiving the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in 1986 for his leading role in the feature film Malcolm. More recently he received a Logie Award and a People’s Choice Award for Best Actor for his role in the television series Water Rats.

Colin graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1976 and quickly established a reputation in theatre. His first feature film was Hoodwink and subsequent film roles have included the recent Black and White, Alex Proyas’ Dark City, Cosi, Mr Reliable, Angel Baby, A Good Man in Africa, Dingo, High Tide and Monkey Grip.

On television, Colin delighted audiences with his portrayal of cop Frank Holloway in Water Rats. He was mesmerising in the recent telemovies My Husband My Killer, The Farm and Marriage Acts and he has also appeared in Halifax f.p., Stark, The Last Man Hanged and For the Term of His Natural Life. He will appear in the up-coming telemovie Temptation, also on Network Ten.

Colin is one of the most renowned stage actors of his generation and most recently headlined in the Sydney Theatre Company productions of Copenhagen, The School for Scandal and Macbeth. Other classic roles over recent years include The Cherry Orchard, A Winter’s Tale and The Temple.

Kate Beahan as Constable Julie Egan

Kate Beahan

With her ethereal beauty and obvious talent, Kate Beahan has been compared to Cate Blanchett and it seems that a stellar international career is also inevitable. Kate was compelling in the feature film Chopper as Mark “Chopper” Read’s girlfriend and will be seen internationally in the second Matrix film scheduled for release this year. Kate also featured in the 1998 feature Strange Planet, directed by Emma Kate Croghan (Love & Other Catastrophes).

On television, Kate will be seen in the new CoxKnight production After the Deluge on Network Ten in 2003, and has already appeared in Farscape, Young Lions, Outriders, Water Rats, Home and Away, and Love Is a Four Letter Word

David Field as Inspector Terry Kavanagh

David Field

Though younger than Jack, Terry Kavanagh is very much a career cop. He likes the institutionalised nature of it. There are rules to work by, and there are conventions to get around those rules, which you also need to stick to. He embraces and encourages the notion of "brotherhood" even though it is becoming less popular in the force. He blames this on political correctness.

He's a conservative traditionalist. He's sharp and smart and understands how people work. He probably got promoted ahead of others like Jack because he played the game better.

David Field is one of Australia’s most talented character actors across film, television and theatre. He played Bob Hawke in the feature The Night We Called it a Day and he featured in the Australian box-office hit films Chopper with Eric Bana and Two Hands with Heath Ledger, Bryan Brown and Rose Byrne. David’s other film credits include Silent Partner, Yahoo Serious’ Mr Accident, Sample People with Kylie Minogue, On Our Selection, Blackrock, Every Night Every Night, Broken Highway and Ghosts of the Civil Dead.

On television he starred in the telemovie My Husband My Killer, winning the 2001 AFI Award for Best Actor in a Telefeature or Mini-series. He also was nominated for an AFI Award the previous year for Grass Roots. David has also appeared in Water Rats, Wildside, The Man From Snowy River, Blue Heelers, Police Rescue and G.P., and has numerous theatre credits including the Neil Armfield productions for Belvoir St Theatre of The Tempest, The Governors Family, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and No Sugar.

Marta Dusseldorp as Sam Lawson

Marta Dusseldorp

Sam Lawson is young and feisty — someone who takes it up to Jack. She is very technologically literate and loves having a go at Jack's luddite attitude to technology — "After all, it's what the job is about in Crimetrace".

Sam exhibits contrasts between the young and the old, technology vs. intuition. But over time she learns that the old crimes she investigates with Jack have personal as well as technological facets. The people connected with both the victims and the perpetrators have lasting scars which are different (and sometimes more severe) than they were at the time of the crime.

Sam's a clever middle-class woman who spent 18 months studying for a science degree at university…then woke up one day and realised she wanted to apply the stuff she was learning, not just talk about it. So she set her sights on a career in crime scene forensics, dropped out of uni and put herself through the police academy.

She's an ambitious person, smarter than most. Likeable but slightly arrogant at times, she needs to learn about patience, with a capital 'P'. Luckily, she shares with Jack a quick wit and a dry sense of humour.

Marta Dusseldorp shared the stage with Colin Friels earlier this year in the Sydney Theatre Company production of Victory, directed by Judy Davis. Marta, who studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, has worked across film, television and theatre since her 1995 graduation. Her television credits include After The Deluge, MDA, Young Lions, Kangaroo Creek Gang, Farscape, All Saints, Halifax f.p., Murder Call, Fable and Mercury.

Marta appeared in Bruce Beresford’s film Paradise Road and in the acclaimed Australian features Praise and Paul Cox’s Innocence. Her many theatre credits include the Sydney Theatre Company production of The Way of the World, directed by Gale Edwards, the London and New York tour by Company B of Cloudstreet, directed by Neil Armfield, and the Bell Shakespeare Company production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Marta has also directed for theatre, including plays by Tobsha Learner and Linda Jaivin.

Doris Younane as Christine Vallas

Doris Younane

Christine Vallas is one of Jack's closest (and now only) friends on the force. She runs the forensic department and is often called upon by Jack to perform unauthorised and highly irregular procedures on pieces of evidence.

Christine recognises Jack's qualities as both a friend and investigator and will go out of her way to help Jack's pursuit of the truth. Her dry exterior belies her warm personality and feelings of genuine affection for Jack. In fact, like Jack, she exudes a healthy disdain for authority and a dedication for getting the job done despite the threatened consequences. As time goes by, Christine's relationship with Jack moves beyond friendship.

Doris Younane is perhaps best known to television audiences for her on-going roles in Heartbreak High and McLeod's Daughters. Additional television credits include SeaChange, Murder Call, Wildside, Stingers, and Water Rats. Doris appeared in the films Evil Angels (directed by Fred Schepisi), Death In Brunswick, Heartbreak Kid and Spider And Rose. She is well respected for her many theatrical roles and in 2001 won the Green Room Award for Best Actress for A Beautiful Life.

Gigi Edgley as Liz

Gigi Edgley

Gigi is from one of Australia's best-known showbusiness families. She has garnered considerable attention for her performances in such television productions as Farscape, The Secret Life of Us, Day Of The Roses, Beastmaster, Water Rats, and The Lost World. She appeared in the feature film The Monkey's Mask with Susie Porter and Kelly McGillis.

Russell Dykstra as Det Sgt Buchanan

Russell Dykstra was raised in Queensland where he began his enormously successful career as a theatre actor some 15 years ago. He has come to film and television more recently and in spectacular fashion, winning the 1999 AFI Award for Best Actor for the feature film Soft Fruit. Since then, Russell has appeared in the award-winning film Lantana and in Garage Days, Ned Kelly (with Heath Ledger) and Nick Giannopoulos’ The Wannabes.

On television, Russell first appeared in Medivac and Bondi Banquet, followed by roles in Water Rats, All Saints, White Collar Blue and Grass Roots. His theatre credits are substantial, more recently featuring in Company B’s stagings of The Underpants, The Laramie Project and The Ham Funeral, and the one-man show Children Of The Devil for which he received the Brisbane Theatre Critics’ Matilda Award and was nominated for Best Actor in the Victorian Green Room Awards.