Stingers: profiles

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.