Stingers: profiles

Peter Phelps


Peter Phelps is one of Australia’s busiest and best-known actors. He has appeared in dozens of film, television and theatre productions, spent four years in the U.S., written a best selling book—a wry look at his years in Hollywood, and won an AFI Television Best Actor Award for his portrayal of a male rape victim in an episode of GP.

He was Abo Henry in the chilling BLUE MURDER. Les Darcy in THE LES DARCY STORY. And Mick Webb in ONE WAY TICKET, a telemovie inspired by a 1993 jailbreak. He played opposite Jason Donovan in the movie ROUGH DIAMONDS, and with SUDDENLY SUSAN regular Judd Nelson, in the telemovie BLACKWATER TRAIL.

He was the lead in the Australian feature films ZONE 39, THE LIGHTHORSEMEN and PLAYING BEATIE BOW and has starred in films in Italy and the Czech Republic. On television, Peter was a series regular on FIRE, THE FLYING DOCTORS and BAYWATCH. His extensive guest credits include POLICE RESCUE, HEARTBREAK HIGH, A COUNTRY PRACTICE and RAFFERTY’S RULES. And most recently he guest starred in four episodes of WATER RATS.

But nothing he has done, Peter says, matches the scope and the opportunities of STINGERS. He has relished researching the two very different perspectives of his role—the duality of a cop masquerading as a crim.

"This project gives me the chance to play so many different parts. I like that. I like to live vicariously in roles such as Abo in BLUE MURDER and it’s the same with this show."

Peter was rewarded for his work on STINGERS with a Silver Logie nomination for Most Popular Actor in 2000.

Anita Hegh


Actress Anita Hegh continues to find new facets to the character of Detective Sergeant Ellen Mackenzie. In this third series of STINGERS, Anita has the chance to dig even deeper into Mac’s personality when she takes over the police undercover unit.

"Mac has taken me on a fascinating journey over the past couple of years," Anita says. "She is edgier than most of the female characters on television. She has to be tough to do her job but there is also a softer side to her which will come out in this next series."

The daughter of an Estonian mother and a Norwegian father, Anita was raised in Sydney. She didn’t become interested in acting until she was in her late teens.

"I was surrounded by a lot of artistic people when I was growing up but I was painfully shy so acting was never an option," she says. "Whenever I had to do a school play I was the kid hiding in the back."

Anita’s passion for acting didn’t surface until 1990 when she went to Sydney University to do a teaching course. She joined SUDS—the Sydney University Dramatic Society which also included Lucy Bell (Murder Call) and Sacha Horler (Praise and Soft Fruit)—and was captivated.

"I think I enjoyed it because I was still really shy," she says. "It was a great outlet because I could take on characters who would say and do things that I wouldn’t say or do in real life."

Anita decided to audition for NIDA later that year and was accepted. All thoughts of the teaching course evaporated.

Anita graduated from NIDA in 1994 and went straight into a thriving stage career. Her credits include major parts in AS YOU LIKE IT, KING LEAR and THREE TALL WOMEN for the Sydney Theatre Company, and THE ROVER for the Melbourne Theatre Company.

She made her feature film debut as Bett in Bruce Beresford’s PARADISE ROAD, shot in Port Douglas and Penang in 1996.

"That was an experience. Twenty two actresses from around the world, people of the calibre of Glenn Close, Frances McDormand and Cate Blanchett," she says.

Anita’s television credits include guest roles on STATE CORONER, WATER RATS and WILDSIDE. Mackenzie is her first on-going role in a series

Kate Kendall


Kate Kendall comes from a proud acting family. Her father, David, was a major figure in Melbourne’s ground-breaking Pram Factory and La Mama theatres.

Kate decided to make acting her profession in her teens. She studied at the Adelaide Centre for Performing Arts and went on to play Rebecca in SOLSTICE for the State Theatre Company of South Australia as well as Hermia in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and Cinderella in INTO THE WOODS in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens.

She has also worked at the Adelaide Festival Centre, The Carlton Courthouse and Budinski’s Theatre in Melbourne and with female prisoners through the Aboriginal youth company, Jumpback Theatre.

Small parts in HOME AND AWAY and NEIGHBOURS led to an acclaimed guest role as Rosie Burgess in BLUE HEELERS in 1998. She has also appeared in the movie DEAD END and audiences will recognise her as the "stroke girl" in the Australian Unity commercials.

Kate describes the part of Angie Piper as her ’big break’ and has a lot of praise for the character.

"Angie has grown from a girl into a woman over the three series of Stingers," she says. "She was na’ve at the start but now she is a lot more capable at her job. There is a spunkiness to her that I really admire."

Kate is an accomplished horserider with a special fondness for the Victorian High Country.

Another of Kate’s passions is country and western music. She also loves going to the cricket and is an ardent supporter of the Carlton Football Club.

She also enjoys reading crime novels and is a supporter of Greenpeace.

Kate recently completed the feature film KING OF THE MOUNTAIN which is due for release in the second half of 2000.

Ian Stenlake


In 1990 Ian Stenlake finished Year 12 and took a year off to see the world before studying Commerce Law. During the trip, he discovered his passion in life—acting.

Ian was in a Rome hotel when he met actor Frank D’Ambrosio during the filming of Francis Ford Coppola’s GODFATHER III (Frank played Anthony Corleone). It was his last day in Italian capital but he accepted an invitation to go on set and before he knew it he was in a waiter’s costume as an extra in a party scene. He was hooked from the start.

"Acting found me," he says. "I was fascinated by the people and the sense of community the cast and crew shared. I felt at home straight away and knew that acting was going to be my future."

When Ian returned to Australia, he joined the Grin & Tonic theatre group and toured Queensland for two years performing Shakespeare. By 1996, he had graduated from NIDA, one of Australia’s most prestigious acting schools.

Soon after, Ian landed a regular role on the ABC’s CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL and also scored the sought after part of a wealthy Australian in the English comedy film, DINGLES DOWN UNDER. Shot in Port Douglas and Yorkshire, DINGLES DOWN UNDER was a huge hit in Britain.

Following a guest lead in MURDER CALL, Ian landed the biggest role of his career as Constable Oscar Stone in STINGERS and he has seen the character evolve over three series.

"Stone is someone who is passionate about his work but that doesn’t stop him having a good time," he says. "I like the fact that he knows how to balance his job with an enjoyment of life."

Ian was born in 1969 in the central Queensland town of Barcaldine and grew up in Brisbane. The son of a Uniting Church minister, he has two sisters, Susan and Tresona, and a brother, Darryl.

When he isn’t in front of the cameras, Ian enjoys golf, running, triathlons, AFL football (he supports St. Kilda), cooking and gardening. Another major interest is medicine.

A keen pianist and singer, he is also working with girlfriend Rachael Beck (Hey Dad, Me & My Girl, Les Miserables) on a variety of music projects.

Joe Petruzzi


Petruzzi won critical acclaim for his starring role as Carlo Ricci in Warner Bros’ "Mambo Kings". "It was a great experience making that film, it was a very exciting project" he says.

Other film credits include HBO’s "Citizen Cohn" in which he starred as Peter Fraser; "Dingo"; "Captain Johnno" directed by Mario Andreacchio; "Undercover" and most recently "Paws".

Petruzzi graduated from Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts in 1984 and then moved to New York to further his acting studies.

Television credits include a starring role in the CBS mini-series "Mafia Marriage"; a starring role in the ABC (U.S.) mini-series "Guiding Light"; the New World television series "Valley of the Dolls"; "Bordertown"; the U.S. movie-of-the-week "Beast"; "Flipper"; "Police Rescue"; "The Magistrate" and "Fields Of Fire".

Theatre credits include "Helen of Troy" at the William Redfield Theatre in New York; "Biloxi Blues"; Antonio in "The Tempest"; Frederic Treves in "The Elephant Man"; "Christie In Love"; "Cut And Running" and "Woodsong".

Petruzzi returned to Australia eighteen months ago and is now happily settled in Sydney. "I enjoy working in America, but I much prefer living over here. If I’m offered something else over there I’ll go out just for that project, but my home is now very much in Australia."

Roxane Wilson


Roxane Wilson was destined for a life in the entertainment industry. Her father was an Old Vic trained actor and her stepfather is Pee Wee Wilson, leader of the legendary rock’n’roll group The Delltones.

"From the earliest age, whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be, I said ’an actor’," she says. "It always seemed like the natural thing to do."

Roxane was born in Durban, South Africa and came via London to Australia at the age of two. After a couple of years in the Sydney suburbs, her family ’dropped out’ and moved to Eungai Creek, on the New South Wales mid-north coast, where they ran a 50 acre farm.

"It was an idyllic lifestyle for a young child," she says. "When I wasn’t at school, I was exploring the bush, camping, swimming in creeks, and horseriding with friends."

In 1982, Roxane and her family moved back to Sydney and got serious about pursuing her passion for acting. She joined The Rocks Players drama school, paying for her tuition with money she was earning from a highly lucrative modelling career.

At 18, Roxane used her success at modelling to go to New York for further drama training with Robert Modaka. She lived in New York for three years.

In 1991, after returning to Australia, Roxane moved to Perth to study full time at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. After graduating, she had feature roles in plays including Noel Coward’s PRIVATE LIVES, PRACTICAL MAMET, Edward Albee’s FINDING THE SUN and FREAK WINDS, a new Australian play by Marshall Napier.

Roxane made an immediate impact on television as well, with starring roles in ECHO POINT and BIG SKY and guest parts in POLICE RESCUE, COMMON LAW, MURDER CALL and WILDSIDE. Last year, she won acclaim playing Suzy, the girlfriend of Michael Reilly (Aaron Pederson), in WATER RATS.

Now she is set to win further accolades as Constable Danni Mayo in STINGERS