Like many others who signed up at the beginning of World War II, Tom Beale was looking for excitement, travel and the glamour of the uniform. Where he ended up was Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. A Leading Aircraftman (a junior rank in the air force), Beale served alongside Americans and Australians as they fought to push the last remaining Japanese soldiers off the island. Daily Japanese bombing raids added to the discomfort of fighting in the tropics. Returning home, Beale found it difficult to settle and re-enlisted, ending up in Japan as part of the occupation force.
Bruce Phillips’ long stage career encompasses six acting awards, directing, and a “brilliantly funny” starring role as Uncle Vanya. On-screen, his CV runs to more than 30 roles, including playing fighter pilot Richard Dalgleish on TV series Country GP, a womanising dentist on Roger Hall comedy Neighbourhood Watch, and Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer in 1994 miniseries Fallout.
Bruce Hopkins did time as a crayfisherman and eight years as a professional dancer, before switching to acting in the mid 1980s. Despite having appeared in literally dozens of movies and TV shows since, he is probably best known for a single role: that of Gamling, loyal fighter for King Theoden in the second and third Lord of the Rings films. In 2011 Hopkins set up agency Action Actors with Anthony Hurst, a temping company for actors between acting gigs.