Beloved ‘A Country Practice’ star Brian Wenzel dies, age 94

May 07, 2024
As news of his passing broke, an outpouring of tributes flooded in from adoring fans. Source: Getty Images.

The Australian entertainment community is in mourning today following the loss of one of its most cherished figures, actor Brian Wenzel.

Known for his endearing portrayal of Sergeant Frank Gilroy in the beloved television series A Country Practice, Wenzel sadly passed away at the age of 94.

His agent, Jennifer Hennessy, confirmed his passing, expressing profound sadness over the loss.

“It is with great sadness that we remember the life of beloved Australian actor Brian Wenzel,” she said.

“His iconic and revered performances spanned multiple Australian generations with his wit and humour shining through to the end.

“A passionate family man and devoted Carlton supporter leaves an irreplaceable mark on the Australian film and television industry.”

Born May 24, 1929, Wenzel’s early years were marked by adversity, as he navigated a difficult childhood in South Australia. Despite the challenges, he found solace and purpose in the world of entertainment, joining the Sole Bros. circus at just 14 years old. His journey into professional acting commenced at 17, igniting a lifelong passion for the craft.

Wenzel’s television career blossomed from the late 1960s, with notable appearances in iconic Australian dramas such as Division 4, Matlock Police, and Homicide. However, it was his portrayal of the affable Sergeant Frank Gilroy in A Country Practice that cemented his place in the hearts of audiences nationwide. His performance earned him a Silver Logie and was beloved by viewers.

Beyond television, Wenzel graced the silver screen with memorable roles in Australian films like Caddie, The Odd Angry Shot, and Alison’s Birthday.

In addition to his screen work, Wenzel’s comedic prowess shone through in live performances and stage productions, including collaborations with esteemed theatre companies such as the Adelaide Festival of the Arts and the South Australian Theatre Company.

As news of his passing broke, an outpouring of tributes flooded in from adoring fans. Many reminisced about the impact of A Country Practice and Wenzel’s portrayal of Sergeant Gilroy, fondly recalling the simpler times of Australian television drama.

Wenzel is survived by his wife Linda.

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