05 March 2007

Some Info on a TV Celebrity

You have all heard of, even if you may not have watched, the new TV sitcom "Ugly Betty", ok? (By the way, I really, really do not like that title but, there you go...). Anyway, I knew one of the main players in this show many, many years ago when I was in my early teens. Recognise the picture?
Mum, me and my brothers used to live on a half acre block in Auckland, New Zealand when I was about 14 years of age, in an undeveloped suburb an hour's drive from the city before they constructed the Southern Motorway. There were mainly large paddocks of vegetable gardens, which were owned by Chinese people who grew produce for the markets, and houses on half acre blocks. We had an orchard in one half of our block and also had about a dozen chooks. Mum used to swap eggs and fruit for veges with the Chinese people down the road and it was my job on a Saturday morning to take the eggs and fruit down to Mr Low with a list of the veges that we wanted. Lovely fresh veges...wonderful!

I digress. On the way to Mr Low's vege gardens, I would pass our immediate neighbours, the French's (and I have a story about them that I will relate soon...remind me), and their next door neighbours, before I reached the vege gardens. There were four kids next door at French's place whom we hung around with, plus the two from next door to them. Us older ones...me, Kevin and Chrissie from next door...used to go up to the local Youth Club on a Friday night. Their neighbours' older two who were in our age group, although the boy was actually a year older than us, used to tag along.

Because we felt they were a supercilious pair, they were reluctantly tolerated by us. However, these two decided that they were honouring us with their presence and we would all go to Youth Club together, and so be it...who were we to argue?

Eventually my family moved away and we lost touch with them all...until about 18 years later. A new soap opera from Australia started up on TV at 5.00 pm. It was called "The Young Doctors" and I was hooked. After the series had been going a little while, a new doctor was introduced into the show and...it was the guy I had known as the supercilious youth from my teens. Funnily enough, the character he played in the show was very close to real life. Even funnier, according to his bio, before he made into the world of showbiz, he was the milkman in the marine suburb where I was living at the time.

Well, this guy caused quite a furore in Auckland...you know local boy makes good in Australia. Well, he did do well in Oz as later on he was in another longrunning soap, called "Neighbours" where he played a character who became very popular...a far cry from the obnoxious doctor he originally played. After a few years in this particular soap, he was eventually killed off and disappeared from view, to later turn up in the States where he has done really well, too
Well, the next thing "Ugly Betty" starts...and guess who's got quite a major part in that show...yes, it's my old friend (the word is used advisedly) from my teenage years. If you haven't guessed by now, I've been talking about Alan Dale, who plays the part of publisher, Bradford Mead, in the show.

I have to say, he has done very well and good for him, too. But he did have the ego to succeed and make a go of it in the world of showbiz. Another thing, I was amused to hear him referred to as the "59-year-old actor". Remember I said he was a year older than us...and I think you know how old I am. Ah well...that's showbiz!

Hope you enjoyed that little bit of gratuitous gossip! Anyway try this link for more info. http://www.wchstv.com/abc/uglybetty/alandale.shtml


Liz said...

Who was he in Neighbours? I don't remember him but I didn't watch in the early days.

wazza said...

Gidday Robyn,
The 1st time I remember seeing Alan Dale was in the TV show "State Coroner" with Wendy Hughes. I really liked that show and was disappointed when it was cancelled. The next time I saw Alan was when he played the Vice President in the TV show "24".
In answer to liz, Alan played the part of Jim Robinson in "Neighbours"
Great story on Mr Dale (gee I got all formal all of a sudden).

Tammy said...

I love the show "Ugly Betty"!!
I miss it a lot because of it's time slot...but I love it...did I say I love it???
What a small world!!

Mountain Mama said...

I have heard the show mentioned, but apparently it isn't available here.
It must be fun to have shared the neighborhood with a future actor. I imagine you can remember a lot of interesting things about him too.

Lee said...

Damn! You missed your chance, Robyn! You should have become his agent/manager! He has done well for himself in the acting trade. He played the vice-president in the first "24", too, which would have been a good kick along for his career. Whoops...I just read Wazza's comment.

Remiman said...

What a neat story! The small world thingy rings again. ;-).
Meyl Streep used to be my age and she,s getting younger by the year.

DellaB said...

I remember Alan Dale, from my own time in New Zealand. Didn't realise he'd come over here and done so well..

Haven't seen Ugly Betty yet - just the promos..

PEA said...

I so enjoyed this post!! I don't watch "Ugly Betty" so don't know who he is but how very interesting that you knew him as a youth! Don't you just love it though when you read about his age and know that it's a lie? hehe xoxo