Water Rats: profiles

Bill Young as Clarke Webb

Bill Young

Like his old buddy Frank Holloway, Clarke Webb was born and brought up on the waterfront with his father and brothers all making a living on the wharves. Unlike Frank, his career record is impeccable with a steady rate of promotion over his 30 years in the police service. Being the boss is as far as he wants to go, however. To move higher up the echelons would mean leaving boats behind. And he doesn't want that at all.

As the boss, he's firm but fair, authoritarian—an 'Invitation' to help crew his 18-foot yacht in weekend competitions is hard to refuse—but likely to stand loyally by his workforce in the event of trouble. He's the perfect boss in the old-fashioned sense Of the word, acting as a buffer between his superiors and his subordinates. At 48, he's also happily married and cheerfully contemplating a retirement, when the time is right, living aboard the yacht. His wife cheerfully contemplates it too—although she might not if she had any idea about his masterplan.

Veteran actor Bill Young believes WATER RATS is set for a long and happy run. "it will almost be like a promotional reel for tourists and for locals alike, certainly giving a perspective of Sydney you wouldn't otherwise see," he says. "As for the drama, it's good and tight ~ the kind of stuff you can look forward to each week."

He's pretty keen on his character too, although his only experience with the law was when he lost his motorbike licence, and therefore his car licence too, in 1971. Even that turned out happily he won an appeal on the grounds he couldn't get to work on public transport because bus seats didn't offer enough room for his six foot six frame. Of Clarke himself, Bill says, "He's just a fair person and I'd like to think 1 was that too."

Bill's made a solid, and varied, living out of television, theatre and film for the past 19 years. His first role was in a pub show produced by Bryan Brown, on stage alongside Chris Haywood and Sean Scully. His more recent work on television includes CODY and HEARTBREAK HIGH. In film, he's just appeared in VACANT POSSESSION and NO WORRIES.

Apart from regular acting work, however, he also does voice-overs, plays in a band, is a photographer and has written for series like HEY DAD! In 1994, he directed and co-produced the movie THE ROLY POLY MAN. He also ran the Kirribilli Pub Theatre for ten years up to 1988, producing, directing and performing.