SeaChange: profiles

John Howard as Bob Jelly

Bob Jelly

Bob Jelly is Shire President of Pearl Bay. He is a champion of free enterprise, a creator of opportunity. He represents the little-man-done-good. He is also a man of unstoppable wheeling and dealing, dodgy deals, shonky mates and Machiavellian plotting. But despite all this Bob is a hard man to dislike — although many people try. Like all great men, behind him there's a great woman and in Bob's case two great kids as well. The collected Jelly clan is like a cornflakes ad in wholesome sun-drenched, all-round Aussie goodness. Yet as we come to know them we realise how thin the veneer of perfection really is.

John Howard fell into acting after failing medicine and law. He attended a NIDA audition, along with a friend applying for entry, although he knew little about the college at the time. John was accepted and graduated in 1979. Since his vague beginnings, John has become a committed, popular and acclaimed actor. John's first role was in Lindsay Anderson's production, Bed Before Yesterday. He now has an extensive list of theatrical credits as well as a Variety Club of Australia Best Actor Award and a Sydney Critics Circle Award for Best Stage Actor. For a time John ran his own theatre company, Australian People's Theatre. He is probably best know for his title role in the Sydney Theatre Company's acclaimed stage production of Nicholas Nicklby. John's screen credits are equally as extensive, with performances in such productions as Evil Angels, Young Einstein, Bush Christmas, The Club, The Girl From Tomorrow, Dating The Enemy and G.P. He received an AFI nomination for his role as Hedley in the ABC TV series Joh's Jury. More recently he played the character of Daryl in the teleseries Never Tell Me Never as well as Detective Frank Reilly in the currently screening ABC series Wildside.

'Bob is not unlike me — we both like attention, have vanities, at times suffers from loneliness and we share the same clothes size. Bob's more motivated than I am. He's a real 'doer'. He's always worrying, watching and plotting. Even when he's most relaxed he is still vaguely worried. Bob's fearful of being a nobody…in Pearl Bay he's a big fish in a small pond. But he's not a bad bloke.' — John Howard.