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  • Published: 4 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780143794974
  • Imprint: Viking Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $40.00

How I Clawed My Way to the Middle




The long awaited autobiography of one of Australia's best loved actors.

‘Your job is to go out there, grab the audience by the balls, and drag them up on stage with you!’ I was flabbergasted. This I understood. A language that I spoke – had spoken most of my life. It was the best acting note I ever got.

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.

How I Clawed My Way to the Middle is a beguiling memoir from one of Australia’s most cherished actors on both stage and screen. 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.

  • Published: 4 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780143794974
  • Imprint: Viking Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $40.00

About the author

John Wood

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.His TV career was launched in 1976, playing “Sugar Renfrey” in the ABCTV Production of POWER WITHOUT GLORY, for which he won his first Logie as Best Supporting Actor. In the 1980’s he went on to star in the hit drama, RAFFERTY’S RULES as Magistrate Michael Rafferty which saw him become a well know and much admired television actor, taking out the Most Outstanding Actor Logie two years running.From 1994 and for the next 12 years, he played the role of Tom Croydon in BLUE HEELERS, one of our highest ever rating TV dramas. It culminated in John winning the prestigious Gold Logie in 2006, after 10 consecutive nominations as most popular person on Australian Television.Away from acting, John showed his personality as one of the very first contestants on the popular DANCING WITH THE STARS and shared his passion for food and wine as host of WINE ME – DINE ME. We travelled with him as he researched his family history on the SBS Series WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? and laughed with him on Peter Hellier’s comedy program, IT’S A DATE alongside Denise Scott. As a regular face on Australian television, John has become a national favourite among all age groups.His recent television roles include Patrick Tyneman, the baddie everybody loves to hate, in ABC’s THE DOCTOR BLAKE MYSTERIES and appearances in TRUE STORIES, HOW TO STAY MARRIED and THE YEARLY WITH CHARLIE PICKERINGHis 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. In 2019 he is touring nationally with SENIOR MOMENTS after recently appearing in SUMMER AND SMOKE, CARPE DIEM and BAKERSFIELD MIST.

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