1980  Breaker Morant   (Film)
Director: Bruce Beresford

Cast: Edward Woodward,  John Waters, Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, Charles Tingwell, Vincent Ball, Lewis Fitzgerald.

Three men are courtmartialed as scapegoats for the disastrous Boer War.  Johns character, Capt Alfred Taylor was a small but pivotal part. 
Based on a true story and adapted from the novel by Kit Denton (father of ABC's Andrew).  Winner of 10 Australian Film Industry Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actor.  This memorable film also won the Cannes Festival Award. Academy Award Nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay.

External Sites
Link: Buy the DVD
Link: In Film review
Link: Murdoch Uni synopsis

Updated: 31 July 05
1981  Attack Force Z   (Film)
Director: Tim Burstall

Cast: Mel Gibson, John Phillip Law, John Waters, Sam Neill

Mel Gibson costars with Sam Neill in this action-packed World War II adventure story. An elite Australian military team is dispatched to rescue survivors of a shot-down plane, stranded on a South Pacific island occupied by the Japanese.

One of the castaways may hold the secret to ending the war -- and must be saved at all costs.

Link:  By the DVD

Updated: 6 June 05
1980/81 They're Playing Our Song.  Play/Musical

These were busy years as John starred with Jackie Weaver in the smash musical stage hit They're Playing Our Song.  He won himself a whole new army of followers for his laconic characterisation of composer Vernon Gersch. Starting in 1980 in Sydneys Her Majestys Theatre, it moved to Melbournes Comedy Theatre in 1981.

John, Jackie and the cast of  They're Playing Our Song recorded the musicals soundtrack in 1980.  They included Rhonda Burchmore, Linda Nagle, Leigh Chambers, Ray Coughlan, Michael Harrs, Hartley Johnston, Karyn O'Neill, and Michelle Anne Sullivan.

Link: Cover & page 1 from the program
Link: Jackie bio page from program.
Link: John bio page from program.
Link: Cast pics & bios
Link: mixed photos from the program.
Link: 2003 Reunion Article
Updated: 1 Apr 2006
1983  All The Rivers Run     Channel 7 Mini Series
Directed by George Miller and Pina Amenta
Cast: Sigrid Thornton as Philadelphia, John Waters as Brenton Edwards.
In this colorful blend of adventure and romance, a gutsy orphaned woman opts for the life as a paddlesteam boat owner and artist rather than continuing in the role of the Victorian lady which she had been brought up to be. Filmed almost entirely in the paddle steamer river town of Echuca. Considered one of Australia's greatest mini series, and based on the brilliant novel by Nacy Cato.
John Quote: The character I play is a bit more of an outgoing, up front type compared with the men I have usually played  the dark and broodings I call them. Brenton is a ladies man  extroverted and rather cheeky.  But when you first meet him, he appears to be a surface character  somewhat conceited in fact  and not particularly likeable.
Link: The All The Rivers Run, pics & articles.
Link: Buy the DVD
Link: Stay at the Steampack Inn in Echuca
Link: Visit Echuca

Updated: 3 Feb 2008
1984/85  Children of a Lesser God.  Play
John appeared in Children of a Lesser God - on stage in 1984/85 for an 18 month national run. His co star was deaf actress Elizabeth Quinn. Production by Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. Theatre Royal, Sydney 1 June 1984 to .....
Comedy Theatre, Melbourne ..... to 8 Sep 1984. Opera Theatre, Adelaide 11Sep 1984 to 13 Oct 1984. Regal Theatre, Perth 17 Oct to 17 Dec.
John learned sign language for 6 hours a day for 6 weeks for the role which he says is the hardest preparation he had ever had to do before performing.

JOHN QUOTE: I had to weigh it up against my film and TV career but realised that to play this part puts me in a small & elite group of actors because its such a specialised role. It took enormous powers of concentration in an alien field, but I was dealing with images rather than words."
Link: 1984 Article Calmly Delectable, John talks alot about the preparation for the play.

Link: Pics from the theatre program

Updated: 1 Apr 06
1985 I Can't Get Started.   Telemovie

Directed by:  Rodney Fisher.  Cast: Wendy Hughes as Margaret & John Waters as Robert.  Also starred Andrew McFarlane, Heather Mitchell, Deborah Kennedy.
John played a writer, who after one hit novel, develops writers block, leading to his marriage breakup with Margaret.  Heather Mitchell played the girlfriend in this romantic comedy.
Wendy, John and Andrew reunited years later on stage in Sydney in The Graduate in 2001.

1985 The Perfectionist (US Title Three's Trouble)  Network Ten telemovie

Directed by Chris Thompson.  Starred John Waters, Jackie Weaver, Stephen Vidler.
John plays Stuart Gunn - a boring middle aged academic who takes his wife Barbara, played by Jackie for granted.

This comedy, written first as a play by David Williamson of "Gallipoli" fame, is about a family who recruits a male babysitter to look after their three boys. The scheme goes awry when mother Barbara begins to fall for the handsome sitter.

John Quote: "I am not remotely like Stuart Gunn in The Pefectionist. For example I am not an obsessed person and I am not a perfectionist except about my work. But Stuart is a disappointed man and I drew on feelings of disappointment I have had in the past - in my personal life or in not getting certain parts."

1984  High Country. Channel 9 Telemovie

John stars as Ben Lomax, a cattleman with a family tradition dating back 100 years of living and working around the Merrijig area of the Snowy Mountains. Ben returns to the High Country after years away, to be re-united with his daughter Debbie. Friendships begin and old tensions grow.

Filmed in the same glorious landscape as movies such as The Man From Snowy River.  Also starred Terry Serio and Simone Buchanan.

John describes the story as "strong and without pretensions, its quite a moving story, set in this romantic place, with a certain breed of people - the Victorian cattlemen."

Link: Article - TV Week 19 Nov1983 John's Back In The Saddle.

Link: TV Week 29 Sep 1984 John Backs The Bushies' Cause.

Updated: 1 Apr 2006
John wrote and illustrated a childrens book called The Fairly Unabridged and Quite Possibly True Story of Pilliga Pete and Clarrie the Cocky. based on tales he made up for his keds bedtime stories.
The book was released in late 1984.  He later released a CD of songs to accompany the book.
Link: Article Nov 1984 and sketch
Link: Hear a snippet of the song
Updated: 31 July 05
In 1986, in a July interview in New Idea magazine - John first touts the idea  of writing a show about the life, times and music of John Lennon as a way to work from home as a house husband while wife Sally worked.

This idea grew over the years and came to fruition in the 90's where it went on to become one of Australia's most popular touring acts.

The Glass Onion Pages contain over a decades worth of photos, reviews, articles and gig lists.

Link: The Glass Onion Pages.

Updated: 22 Aug 05
1986  Alice to Nowhere.  Network Ten Mini-series.

Director: John Power
Cast: John Waters, Rosie Jones, Ebsen Storm, Steven Jacobs, Ruth Cracknell

Set in 1954 during the Queen's visit, John stars as Johnny Parsons, intent on securing an opal necklace due to be gifted to the Queen.  Parsons' will stop at nothing and his search for the gem takes him onto a path of mass killing in the outback.  Based on the novel by Evan Green.

John Quote: "I think I will shock many of my fans. I hope I do. He really is the most anti-social person I've ever played. I think its sometimes easier to play some thing thats fairly removed from your own character and, after all, acting is acting."
Link: Article 21Jun86
In For The Kill plus random pics.

Updated: 1 Apr 2006
1986  Going Sane.   Movie

Director: Michael Robertson.
Starring: John Waters, Kate Raison, Judy Morris, Linda Cropper and Frank Wilson.

Story of a successful engineer Martin Brown, who, realising his life is a sham, walks out on it all - to find himself.  Every one around him wants him committed.  He decides to just lie down and die. In hospital, a fellow patient (played by Kate Raison) takes an interest in his behaviour and takes him home to her farm - to go sane.

John Quote: "In Going Sane, I have to create a man who has looked at his life and finds nothing worth living for, so he locks himself up behind an impenetrable wall."
Link: Article, Movie Magazine 1987.

Updated: 1 Apr 2006
1986   Passion Flower.  Film

Director: Joseph Sargent

Cast: Bruce Boxleitner, Barbara Hershey, Nicol Williamson, John Waters, Dick O'Neill, Carolyn Nelson, Moshe Kedem

A young playboy banker seduces the daughter of one of Singapore's richest men in a scheme to gain more money and power.  John plays a scheming husband.


1987  Nancy Wake  Channel 7 Mini Series (US Title True Colors)

Directed by: Pina Amenta
Starring: Noni Hazelhurst, John Waters, Patrick Ryecart

A World War II thriller of a beautiful woman's battle against the German occupation forces in France. This is the true story of Nancy Wake, who received the Croix De Guerre and the American Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm for her fantastic exploits during the war.

John stars as Nancy's dashing husband, frenchman Henri Fiocca.

Made with the assistance and advice of Nancy herself.
Link: Articles & pics
coming soon

1987 Bush Fire Moon. 1987 Movie US Titles Miracle Down Under, The Christmas Visitor

Director: George Miller  (of Snowy River fame - not the Mad Max George Miller)
Cast: Dee Wallace Stone, John Waters, Charles Bud Tingwell, Bill Kerr, Linda Lavin, Nadine Garner.

Severe heat and drought threaten the land and the happiness of a family in 1891 Australia. As the holidays approach, the family has no water for their land and struggles to hold on for a miracle.  A young boy finds hope in the arrival of a grizzled stranger who just might be Santa Claus. 
Link: 2 Page article from Movie Magazine 1987

Updated: 1 Apr 2006
1988  Boulevard of Broken Dreams.   Film

Director: Pina Amenta,
Cast: Nicki Paull, Kim Gyngell, Penelope Stewart, John Waters

A successful Hollywood screenwriter faces the fact that he has somewhere along the line lost his soul. He tries to recapture the dreams that once gave his life meaning.

John won Australia's highest accolade as the Australian Film Institute's Best Actor Award in 1988 for his role as Tom Garfield.

From the review: John Waters, as Garfield, gets right into sobbing in the first reel, standing on the roof of his Melbourne hotel at sunset, before we have any idea of why he is so unhappy.

Link: Review & Pics incl
Review - Not Just Wet, But Dripping Oct98,
Nov88 Cinema Papers review, 1987 article on Penelope getting role.

Updated: 1 Apr 2006
1988  Grievous Bodily Harm.  Film

Director: Mark Joffe
Cast: Colin Friels, John Waters, Bruno Lawrence, Shane Briant

When Claudine is discovered missing and her friend's say she's dead, her husband starts killing people trying to get to her underworld of sex, crooked cops and shadowy secrets. There he meets an honest reporter, a police detective and a bizarre series of events.  Johns character was Morris Martin.

Link: Review
Link: Buy the DVD

Updated: 6 June 05
1988   Captain Johnno.  Telemovie
Executive Producer: Patricia Edgar. Directed by:  Mario Andreacchio. 
Writer: Robert George, Music: Stephen Matters / Design: Vicki Niehus
Starring: DAMIEN WALTERS as Captain Johnno, JOE PETRUZZI as Tony, JOHN WATERS as Frank, REBECCA SYKES as Julie, ELSPETH BALLANTYNE as Mrs Greenwood, VIVIENNE GRAVE as Mrs Fielding, SAM SOWTON as Anthony, PETER GREEN as Sergeant Thomas, GRANT PIRO as Kevin

10 year old Johnno living in a small fishing village called Streeton makes friends with Italian fisherman Tony.  The story of a deaf boy and his parents problems of acceptance. Part of a series of 6 feature length children's dramas made to mark Australia's bicentennial year financed by the Childrens Television Foundation.  Each state contributed.  This was the South Aust contribution.

JOHN QUOTE: "Captain Johnno is not a film about deafness, its a film about communication. Its about the alienation of those near to you and how you have to work hard at any relationship".
Link: Article, 22 Aug 1987 Loud and Clear.

Updated: 1 Apr 2006
1989  TV

On August 27 1989 the Seven Network presented a program: Nostradamus: The Final Chapter?. 
John was the narrator and presenter.  A followup to the 1979 program that John also presented.

1988  My Fair Lady.  Play/Musical

1988 saw John treading the boards once again - this time as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady at the State Theatre in Melbourne from 2 January 1988 and Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney from May 21 1988
Starring opposite Helen Buday as Eliza, Noel Ferrier and June Bronhill, the show received excellent reviews. 
Link: Reviews

Wanted: pics or theatre program

Updated: 27 Aug 05
Publicity. Australia Day 1984
The links to each article are on the right - a description of the article is below.

In the 1984 Cleo article Calmly Delectable John Waters, John talks to the rather besotted journo about privacy, the skills he learned for Children of a Lesser God, growing as an actor, his marriage to Sally, radicalism, comfortable homes, & Paris.

In the 1986 New Idea article Letting The Flaws Show, John talks about life with Sally and his kids from his first marriage. he mentions becoming a house husband so he has time to write his own show about the life, times and music of John Lennon.


Link: Calmly Delectable John Waters

Link: Letting the Flaws Show.

Updated: 1 Apr 06