Vale: Brian Wenzel

Actor Brian Wenzel, best known for A Country Practice, has died.

Actor Brian Wenzel, best known for A Country Practice has died aged 94.

Now to Love reports he went into nursing care in September 2022, suffering from dementia, and died peacfully just shy of his 95th birthday.

He played Sgt. Frank Gilroy on the long-running soap from 1981 – 1993, alongside Shane Porteous as the only two actors across the show’s full original run. He won a Silver Logie for his role and was once even presented with a leather police jacket from former NSW commissioner John Avery.

After an unsettled upbringing, as a teen Wenzel ran away to join the circus, later landing his first acting role at age 17, which would foreshadow an entertainment career spanning seven decades.

Early TV credits inclded Hunter, Boney, Division 4, Matlock Police, Homicide, Certain Women Number 96, Ryan, then The Young Doctors, Cop Shop, Glenview High, Skyways, Young Ramsay, Chopper Squad, Neighbours, Home Sweet Home, Marshall Law, plus films The Odd Angry Shot, Deadline, Caddie.

He worked on stage in Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, The Imaginary Invalid and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, including with the South Australian Theatre Company.

In 2021, Wenzel opened up about his recent health problems, suffering two mini strokes in 2018 that robbed him of his ability to walk unaided.

“I got old all of a sudden. I can’t work anymore, which I find really frustrating. I have to use a walking frame to get around, so I sold the car,” he told New Idea in 2021.

“It’s terrible to not be able to walk and I can’t sing anymore, which is terrible. I’m hoping against all hope that I can get it all back again.”

11 Responses

  1. Spooky! Only a matter of days ago it popped into my head that “I wonder if he’s still alive?” Did not Google and check. Presumed he was and thought no more of it. I do not accept any responsibility for this apparent “kiss of death”.

    But I do have fond memories of my Mum (when she was alive) pouring herself a coffee after dinner on Monday and Tuesday nights while my dad was out playing squash and not wanting to be interrupted because ACP was on. Further, being home sick from school/holidays I’d be able to treat myself and watch Ivan Hutchinson and the repeat of ACP.

    Rest in Peace ‘Frank Gilroy’, you were a favourite.

  2. Farwell my old mate Wenz. Still sharp as a tack when it came to TV Trivia even though everything else might have left him. He always had The Mighty Blues “Carlton” to get him through. RIP Brian

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