One of the most notable things about The Sullivans was the excellent casting. Here is a list of the main cast from the show, with some information about their careers.
SPOILER ALERT – may contain spoilers if you are watching the Crawfords DVDs!
Paul Cronin (Dave Sullivan)
When he took on the role of the head of the Sullivan family, Paul Cronin was already well known to TV audiences in Australia for playing Gary Hogan in Matlock Police and its spin-off Solo One. He was one of the few actors to stay with The Sullivans throughout its six year run. In the mid-80s he was co-owner of the Aussie Rules Football club the Brisbane Bears, and served as its president from 1987-1989.
Paul can still regularly be seen on television and heard on radio. He has been an occasional presenter on Melbourne talk radio station 3AW and presenter on the TV show Discover Down Under on Channel 9.
Lorraine Bayly (Grace Sullivan)
Lorraine Bayly is one of Australia’s most celebrated actors, with a career spanning five decades. For a generation of TV viewers around the world, Lorraine will always be remembered as the matriarch of the Sullivan clan, despite staying with the show for less than half its run. She is also a familiar face on television thanks to her years presenting Play School and for the role of lawyer Jennifer Carson of Carson’s Law, a serial created by Crawford Productions especially for her. Lorraine is also a prolific and highly respected stage actor and was one of the founders of the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney. When she retired from the stage in 2003 the restaurant at the Ensemble Theatre was renamed “Bayly’s” in her honour. Lorraine made a triumphant return to acting in August 2007 in the play Rabbit Hole.
Andrew McFarlane (John Sullivan)
Andrew McFarlane had guested in a number of Crawford Productions shows such as Homicide and Matlock Police before playing the eldest Sullivan son. At the time, Andrew claimed in an interview that he had not been the first choice for the role, but he was soon established as a firm favourite with the show’s viewers. Not wishing to be typecast and keen to play other roles, Andrew left The Sullivans and went on to star in Patrol Boat. In 1979 he agreed to return to The Sullivans for the storyline that would end in Lorraine Bayly’s departure from the programme. A TV movie, The John Sullivan Story was filmed to fill in viewers on John’s life since the character had last been seen on screen. Shortly afterwards Andrew left The Sullivans for the second and last time. In the mid-1980s Andrew starred as Tom Callaghan in the mini-series The Flying Doctors. Such was its success, a full length series was commissioned and Andrew stayed in the role for a number of years. Andrew has had long running roles in Spellbinder and The Alice for television, and like many of his Sullivans co-stars, he has also been a regular presenter of Play School. He has appeared in numerous theatre roles throughout his career, with great critical and public success.
Steven Tandy (Tom Sullivan)
Steven Tandy had a starring role in the short-lived soap The Unisexers before getting the role of Tom Sullivan. Steven stayed with The Sullivans throughout its run and was poised to become the series’ main lead, as the storyline shifted in time to the mid-1950s, but the show was cancelled shortly before filming on the revamped Sullivans was due to begin. Since then Steven has continued to act on stage and screen. He had a guest part as Bill Sanders in the latter years of Sons & Daughters, as well as roles in All The Rivers Run, Skippy and Time Trax. In 2006 he starred in the first series of the children’s drama Mortified as headmaster Mr McClusky. He is also well known for a host of critically acclaimed theatre roles,and is a past president of the Gold Coast Little Theatre.
Richard Morgan (Terry Sullivan)
Richard had a number of small roles before being picked to play the youngest Sullivan son. In the years following the end of the programme he had a number of guest roles, including Alan Brandon in Sons & Daughters and Reg Masters in Stingers. He also guested in Neighbours, Something in the Air, Blue Heelers and MDA. It is said that Richard didn’t like the attention that came with fame and he left acting to run a computer business. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and tragically died in 2006, at the age of 48.
Susan Hannaford (Kitty Sullivan McGovern)
While playing Kitty, Susan was also a successful dress designer, often designing her own dresses for awards ceremonies and appearances. After finishing on The Sullivans she was wardrobe mistress for Return to Eden, and then went to USA where she it is said that she designed dresses for the daytime soap The Bold and The Beautiful. Producers of a recent Sullivans reunion programme were unable to track her down and her current whereabouts remain unknown.
Jamie Higgins (Geoff Sullivan)
Jamie Higgins he has now left acting and is a successful businessman in Melbourne.
Megan Williams (Alice Watkins Sullivan)
Megan’s acting career began at the tender age of six months, when she appeared as an abandoned baby in an episode of Robin Hood. At the time, her parents, David and Chin Yu Williams, were appearing in a West End production of South Pacific opposite Mary Martin.
When the family moved to Sydney, Australia, Megan continued to act, with her first notable role in the Grundy soap Class of ’74. Her big acting break came a few years later, when she was picked for the role of publican’s daughter Alice in The Sullivans.
Megan stayed with the soap until the end of its run, by which time she was established as one of Australia’s most popular actresses. She followed up her success with the role of Kate Baker in the mini-series Anzacs, which won her a silver Logie award for best actress. Her last big television part was as secretary Cassie Jones in the hit series Return to Eden. When that show finished, Megan was chosen to take over the lead role of Grizabella in the Sydney production of Cats.Megan had a twelve year relationship with the Cold Chisel singer/guitarist Ian Moss, which took her to both LA and London. On one trip to London, Megan appeared in an episode of the popular British soap EastEnders, as Aussie barmaid Nancy Jenkins. Although Moss and Megan discussed marriage, the couple eventually parted. Following a breast cancer operation in 1997, Megan became increasingly interested in health and fitness. She set up a studio in Double Bay, Sydney, and then Surry Hills, specialising in the muscle-toning programme Pilates.It was Christmas 1999 when Megan complained of pains in her neck. At first, whiplash was suspected, as Megan had recently been in a car accident. However, a doctor then diagnosed cancer. Sadly, Megan died only a few months later, at the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst.
Other main cast:
Michael Caton (Harry Sullivan)
Maggie Dence (Rose Sullivan)
Annie Byron (Lou Sullivan)
Andy Anderson (Jim Sullivan)
Toni Vernon, Genevieve Picot (Caroline Sullivan)
Penny Downie (Patty Spencer Sullivan)
Dinah Shearing (Mary Sullivan)
Fiona Paul (Maureen Sullivan)
David Clencie (Steve Sullivan)
Vikki Hammond (Maggie Hayward Baker)
Norman Yemm (Norm Baker)
Vivean Gray (Ida Jessup Pike)
Ilona Rodgers (Kate Meredith)
Lisa Crittenden (Sally Meredith)
Reg Gorman (Jack Fletcher)
Graham Harvey (Robbie McGovern)
John Waters (Christopher Merchant)
Wallas Eaton (Arthur Pike)
Myra de Groot (Laura Watkins)
John Walton (Michael Watkins)
Nic Holland (Peter Robinson)