Saturday, September 6, 2014

Peter Bensley

Today I'm going to learn about Peter Bensley. He played Andrew Foley on Home and Away.

Peter Bensley is involved with one of life's biggest mysteries. Why do some actors get featured in the opening credits of Home and Away, and others don't?  As far as I know, Peter Bensley never did. I don't understand why. He had some pretty significant storylines on the show—I think more so than Greg Benson (Matt). Yet Benson was featured in the opening credits, and Bensley never was.

Why?! I'd really like to know.

Maybe you have to sleep with someone?

Anyway, before I look into the life of Peter Bensley, I shall talk a bit about Andrew Foley. When I last saw him in Summer Bay (before I was expelled from the lovely town), he was teaming up with Celia Stewart to play a trick on Emma and Viv. They tricked Celia into believing her sister Morag's house was haunted. Andrew wanted to give them a little taste of their own medicine. I never found out what happened with all that. I imagine it was entertaining.

Prior to that adventure? Let's see....

First, Andrew was a science teacher and also responsible for the school's theater projects. He provided comfort to Carly who had recently been raped. She had a crush on him. He gave her some comfort over that as well, but maybe a little too much comfort. He got a tiny bit too physical, and misinterpretations of the situation caused him to lose his job.

Andrew left Summer Bay for awhile. Then he returned as Carly's alcoholism counselor. That led to him being Carly's fiancé. Because by then she was of legal age. All was well until it ended up that Andrew was an alcoholic as well. Carly realized the teacher she had a crush on in high school was actually not the man she wanted to spend her life with. They broke up.

Andrew  then got together with Stacey(who also was never featured in the opening credits). They got engaged. Then she left him for Los Angeles.

See? Isn't that a lot of storyline? I definitely think Bensley should have been in the credits.

The one other thing I know about Bensley is he was also on Neighbours.  He was on at the time I was expelled from Ramsey Street. He was what's-her-names boyfriend. I totally forgot her name. She was friends with Daphne and dated Jim Robinson.  I was thinking I should search for her name, but I'll probably run into it when I read about Bensley's time on Neighbours.

I'm going to look at IMDb first. Their biography page says Bensley was born February 6, 1954, in Warialda, New South Wales.  So he was in his mid-thirties when he was on Home and Away.

Warialda is an inland town. It's about 2.5 hours north of Tamworth.  It looks pretty rural. I'm looking at it on Google Street view. It looks very much like a traditional small Australian town. I think there are farms nearby.

IMDb has one piece of trivia about Peter Bensley. They say he appeared almost nude in a magazine called CLEO. He wore scuba equipment only.  I wonder if he did that before or after Home and Away.

Now onto Bensley's filmography.

His first screen thing was a TV show called Class of '74.  Lord Wiki says it was a soap opera that took place at a high school.  He also says Bensley was one of the principle cast members; so I guess he had a fairly substantial part. I'm wondering if he was a student or teacher. He would have been about twenty then. It's possible he looked young enough to play someone 16-20.  I don't think it's rare for teenage characters to be played by adults.

I was just thinking. Twenty would be too young to be a teacher, probably. I mean I don't think he'd be done with his teaching degree yet. Unless Bensley looked older than his age.

Why am I going on and on about this?

Someone has uploaded part of the first episode of Class of 74 onto YouTube. I'll watch that...see if I see Bensley.

I'm not sure if I saw him or not. I heard someone at the end that sort of sounds like him. But it was a teacher, and now I've convinced myself that Bensley should have been playing a student.

Anyway, though, I thought the clip was entertaining and interesting. I enjoyed watching it.

Oh! I just saw there's another video of the show on YouTube. But the show changed it's name to Class of 75. I guess every year they changed it?  Well, it only lasted two years. If it had gone on longer, maybe this year it would be called Class of 2014.

The clip, I watched before, was in black and white. In 1975, the show changed to color. And Class of 2014 would be in HD.  What would Class of 2027 look like?

This clip is long, so I think I'll continue with the filmography and keep the clip on in the background.

Or maybe I won't watch it. I just noticed that Bensley's filmography has him listed as being on the show in 1974. There's no mention of 1975, so he might have left the show after the first year.

In 1976, Bensley was on an episode of Rush. This is funny because I just learned about the show this morning from Andrew. I talked about the 2008 Rush in a recent post, and Andrew thought I was talking about this old Rush.

In 1978, Bensley guest-starred on two TV-shows. I'm too lazy to talk about them.

I'll move onto 1980. Bensley did seven episodes of The Young Doctors. I think I've heard of that before. He played Mike Newman. That name sounds so familar to me. There must be another character with the same name. I hope it's not something really obvious that's going to embarrass me.

Well, I just Googled the name. I'm not finding anything.

There's a website for The Young Doctors. They have a whole page about Mike Newman.

Mike Newman was a fun loving doctor. He ran something called Bunny's Place. It sounds like it could be a stripper thing. Or it could be a happy, helpful place for sick children. It's hard to tell.

Mike Newman's love life makes Andrew Foley's look like a walk in the park.  Mike had a girlfriend with an alternate personality. She was responsible for mysterious attacks at the hospital. And...she attacked Mike.  Yikes.

That's not all. Mike also fell off a cliff and ended up with amnesia. He thought his name was Mark, and he fell in love with Linda. But then he got his memory back and stopped loving Linda. This was really hard on poor Linda.

From all they're saying on the site, it seems to me that Bensley was on more than seven episodes. I think maybe IMDb has made a mistake about that.

In 1984, Bensley played the title character in a comedy movie called Stanley: Every Home Should Have One.

Here's the trailer.

I don't really get it. It doesn't really appeal to me, but it could be one of those things where the movie is better than the trailer.

Peter Bensley's next screen project was Prisoner: Cell Block H. That's the show I watched recently because of Randall Berger. Berger was on only one episode, though. Bensley was on 34 episodes between 1984 and 1985.

Bensley's character was named Matt Delaney.

Here's a message board where people say bad things about Matt Delaney. Apparently he got over some girl named Pixie way too fast.

But not all people are anti-Matt. Screwbaiter says, I liked him. Handsome, sweet, with morals too. He's the kind of guy I with there were more of.

I wonder if I'd like him.

There's also question of whether Matt was homophobic. There was a storyline where people thought he was gay. I guess he denied it in a way that has led some people to use the term homophobia. It kind of reminds me of what happened with Jason Donovan.

I'm going to see if I can find Bensley in one of the episodes.

He appears at 3:07. He's eating lunch in the prison cafeteria. I think he's one of the guards. Or maybe he's a prisoner?

Yeah...I think he's a prisoner.

Though I saw Bensley on Home and Away before I saw him on Neighbours, Neighbours actually happened first. According to IMDb he was on five episodes in 1986. I was a bit lost about what year I was watching with Neighbours.

On Neighbours, Bensley played Tony Chapman. Then in 2009 he returned as a guy named Dean Naughton.

The Perfect Blend site helped refresh my memory about Tony Chapman's girlfriend. Her name was Zoe.

Bensley's Home and Away days were from 1988-1990. That's the time period I watched. I wonder how many of his episodes I missed.

Well, actually...I still have the next episode I was supposed to watch in my bookmarks.  I was on 478.  Including that one, Bensley had five more episodes before he was out of there. I wonder what happened to Andrew Foley.

I think I'm going to find out. I'm in the mood for spoilers.

According to the Back to the Bay website, Andrew Foley was replaced by another teacher. I think I forgot to mention this before. Foley begged for his teaching job back, and he became a temporary replacement. But then it seems a more permanent solution came along.

Poor Andrew.

In 1992, Bensley was in the miniseries The New Adventures of Black Beauty.

There's a video of the show on YouTube. I'll see if I can find Bensley.

There he is...starting at :37.

Or maybe that's not him.

I'm not sure.

He's not in the opening credits, so his role might be small. Then again, despite being on 108 episodes of Home and Away, he's not in the opening credits there either.

I'm trying to figure out whether Bensley had a small or significant role in The Time Game. IMDb lists hi as one of the stars of the show, but then his character doesn't have a name. He plays Electricity Serviceman. Often if a character doesn't have a name, it's a small part. But not always.

Between 1992-1994, Bensley did one-time guest appearances on various shows. I'm going to skip over those.

In 1995, he played another Andrew. Instead of being Andrew Foley, he was Andrew Tiegan. This was on the show Mirror, Mirror.  The main character of the show is Jo Tiegan. I'm guessing Andrew Tiegan was her father.

Lord Wiki's telling me about the plot of the show. It reminds me a lot of a book I read recently called The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. In the book, a mental patient named Greta from 1985 is able to visit alternate Greta lives, one being during World War I times and the other during World War II. In Mirror Mirror, a child from 1919 and a child from 1995 are able to meet via a mirror.

Okay, it's not that similar. But they both involve time travel. And since The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells is the most recent time travel story I've read, it came to mind.

I'm trying to find clips of Mirror Mirror on YouTube, and am seeing only the Julia Roberts movie with the same title.

Ah! Now I've found it. Here's part of the first episode.

Bensley can be heard off camera pretty early in the video.

One of the producers is Posie Graeme-Evans.  I think she's one of the producers of McLeod's Daughters.

Bensley appears at 5:07.

I'm looking at the filmography of the girl who stars on Mirror Mirror. Her name is Petra Yared, and she was on episode 11 and 12 of the most recent season of Offspring. She played Mia Buchdahl. Who was that? I'm wondering if it's Thomas' wife.

Okay. Yes. She is. IMDb confirmed that.

From 1996-2001, Bensley was on Water Rats.  It looks like he was one of the main stars.

Lord Wiki says the show is about police who work around Sydney Harbour.  He also says Bensley wasn't one of the main stars. He was part of the supporting cast. He played Chief Inspector Jeff Hawker. His character is somewhat significant, though, because it's one of the few that was there from the beginning until the end. Maybe it was one of those shows that had a lot of cast changes.

YouTube has an episode of the show. Bensley is shown in the very beginning when they show clips from earlier episodes.  Then he appears again at 8:31.

Some keys were found. And a body!

In 2001, Bensley was in a comedy series called Corridors of Power. Lord Wiki says it was a mockumentary about backbenchers in Parliament. It had cameos from some real life Parliamentary characters —Natasha Stott Despoja, Bob Brown, Cheryl Kernot, Mark Lathan, and Bruce Baird. I'm proud of myself for having heard of all those guys...except for Baird.

I don't think Bensley had a big role in this. His character didn't have a name. And Lord Wiki doesn't even mention him.

After Corridors of Power, it looks like Bensley's acting career was quiet for awhile. Although he could have been doing theater.

There's a gap in his filmography from 2001-2009. Then he appeared in a few episodes of Neighbours and played Derek on four episodes of Packed to the Rafters.  He was in episode 20 of season 1, so I would have seen him. I watched the first season.

According to the episode summaries on the Australian Television website, Derek was Ben's boss. I'm not sure I remember which one was Ben. But I see here that he and Derek worked at a boat club.

I'm wondering. Is Ben the one who worked in real estate? Or is he the one who lived with his Greek best friend next door to his parents?

Thanks to Lord Wiki, I now have my answer. Ben is the one who lives with the Greek guy (Cabo).

The last thing on Bensley's filmography is a short film from 2010. Tangerine. It can be watched here on the Australian Film, Television and Radio School's website.  It's a student film.

It's about a young teen during her school holidays. I guess she goes with her dad to work? Her Dad is Bensley.

The girl reminds me a little bit of Alex from Modern Family.

I think the basic storyline is the girl hears her father and someone (maybe mother?) having sex and that makes her interested in pursuing her own sex life. So she flirts with a guy who works at the same place her father works.

The movie involves someone very young in a sexual encounter with an adult, so I'd definitely call it controversial. But it's not done in an exploitive way. It's more awkward and sad.

Compared to what happens between this girl and her father's coworker, Andrew Foley's interactions with Carly, on Home and Away, seem incredibly innocent.

Towards the end of the movie, there's a woman at the party. I think she's from Packed to the Rafters—
Cabos' older-woman girlfriend.

I'm trying to understand the point of the movie. Maybe it's that sometimes ,with child molestation situations, it's the child who starts things. In Tangerine, the young teen offers to give a hand job to the man. The thing is, he says yes. He could have said no.  So I would say he definitely committed a crime. It's not like he was sleeping and woke up with her hands on him.

I wonder about the man. Was this a one-time huge mistake that will haunt him for life? Or is he a pedophile on the verge of taking action, and the young teen pushed him onto his destructive path. Or he could have been someone who molested children before, was trying to stop, and then the girl helped bring him back into the whole thing?

 Now I'm going to read Lord Wiki's entry on Peter Bensley.

He says that Bensley was a pin-up actor in the 1980's. I think I know what that means, but I'm not sure. Well, I was thinking it's an actor who's in teen celebrity magazines. But maybe it means he's an actor who does modeling for magazines like CLEO.

Bensley has a partner and three kids. According to Lord Wiki, they live in The Gold Coast.

And he wrote a book! It's called On a Wing and Prayer.  It's a novel about war stuff. The Age gives it very high praises. Dianne Dempsey, the reviewer, says An actor by trade, on the strength of this, his first novel, he could definitely swap one precarious career for another.

That book was in 2006. Has he written anything else since then?  I was thinking maybe he has and Lord Wiki just doesn't know about it. But I can't find anything.

He's not acting...at least not in films and television. He's not writing. What IS he doing then?

Here we go. In 2011, he was working to lower a speed limit on The Gold Coast.  I thought it was a street speed limit, but I was wrong. It's a water one, on some canals.

It's in a place on the Gold Coast called Isle of Capri.  I'm looking at it on Google Maps. It's looks like a peninsula on a river.

I like knowing that Bensley is concerned about safety. I wonder if they ever did lower the speed limit.

Here's Peter Bensley's resume. He's a client of Sophie Jermyn Management. You can download an audio file with Bensley saying various things. It starts with some brief autobiographical information, and then it goes into advertisement type things.

His resume says he can play people from the ages of 40-60.  He can do American and British accents. I guess they don't need to tell you that he can also do an Aussie one as well.

Here's another page on the management site about him.  They say he's based in Sydney. So maybe he's left The Gold Coast.  Or the resume could be old?

Here's a Peter Bensley YouTube page. It might be the right Peter Bensley, because he has recently subscribed to a channel about speaking Australian.  But when I was looking on Google, I did see other Peter Bensley's in Australia. Or it could be a Peter Bensley not from Australia who is just interested in Australia.

This Peter Bensley hasn't uploaded any videos. He just watches and likes them.

Well....I can't find anything else about Bensley.

I'm not sure what has happened to him.

Hopefully he's living a happy quiet life with his family, and he's just not easy to find on the internet.

I wonder how he's doing and what he's doing. I'm curious. Or some might call it nosy.

There's a really big storm outside right now. And Tim went out to take photos with his new camera lens. I hope he found shelter before the rain started.