John Wood grew up in working-class Melbourne; when he failed out of high school, an employment officer told him, “You have the mind of an artist and the body of a labourer.”
And so John continued to pursue his acting dreams in amateur theatre, sustaining himself by working jobs as a bricklayer, a railway clerk and even in the same abattoir as his father.
When he won a scholarship to NIDA, in Sydney, it moved John into a new and at times baffling world, full of extraordinary characters. It was the start of a decades-long acting career, most famously on shows such as Rafferty’s Rules and Blue Heelers, where his charm made him beloved in households across the country.
His popularity was such that he was nominated for a Gold Logie nine times in a row, finally culminating in a win in 2006.
Full of humility, warmth and humour, it tells of the ephemeral nature of theatre, the luminous personalities John encountered along the way, and the perilous reality of life as a professional actor in Australia. Like the man himself, How I Clawed My Way to the Middle is unpretentious, funny and charming.
John Wood has been a part of the Australian entertainment industry for over 40 years earning himself a long list of credits for varied roles on stage and screen. As a regular face on Australian television, John has become a national favourite among all age groups.
He is well-known for his roles at Tom Croydon on Blue Heelers and Michael Rafferty in Rafferty’s Rules. His stage career has included everything from Shakespeare to Williamson and a few musicals in between, again winning a number of Best Actor awards along the way.
Image: How I Clawed My Way to the Middle – courtesy of Penguin Books Australia