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She has a splendid part

in a drama being shot for television - but it cost

her another coveted role

Tantrums up to Force Nine on the

Hollywood scale might be forgiven an actress in Kate Fitzpatrick's situation, but she does not throw them.

Her commitment to one television drama now being made for viewing next year has prevented her taking a role in


And the second is the TV version of "Big Toys" - specially written for her by Nobel Prize winner Patrick White, a part she played on stage to resounding

applause in 1977.

A world-class part in a television play likely to have a world audience because it is by Patrick White is a rare opportun- ity. Kate has been waiting for such a chance since she left her Adelaide convent school to graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Sydney, and astound audiences in 1971 .n "The Legend of King O'Malley."

The part of the wife in "Big Toys" - caught between loyalty to her lawyer husband and the magnetism of a trade unionist - represented a possibility of the kind of exposure she must have if her career is to fulfil its potential.

Instead, the part she created has gone to another talented Australian actress, Diane Cilento.

lt says something for Kate

Fitzpatrick's professionalism that she does not dwell on this unlucky break.

"lt's one of those things," she said "Of course, I would have loved to have done the television version of Big Toys' but I had this prior commitment.''

The prior commitment was Roger Simpson's "Players to the Gallery" a three-part work about an actress strug- gling for custody of her child. In this the actress's stage role in a Restoration comedy is inter-cut with her court room battles with her separated husband.

The role gives Kate the opportunity to

TOP and BELOW: Kate Fitzpatrick plays an actress in "Players to the Gallery "

Pictures: David Wallace.

wear splendid period costumes - and for the first time a moustache, when she impersonates a man.

Miss Fitzpatrick did once play Hamlet, but her impersonation of a man seems as unlikely as Marilyn Monroe playing the

Grand Old Duke of York

"How do I look7" she asked, giving

the moustache a twirl in her dress

ing-room at the Sydney ABC studios.

How did she look? Like a pink-and-white rose with a caterpillar on it - or Chesty Bond's sister pretending to be Chesty Bond's brother. While she sipped canned apricot juice through a straw, she went on to talk for the first time about her current boyfriend, a lawyer called Charles Watersmeet.

"There is no tradf unionist in the offing, she added "Charles is very funny, very witty and nice to be with


"No plans But there again I don t plan "

She summed up her work in movies Not often enough."

She talked finally - and a little wistfully - of a big break-through to international stardom Perhaps it will

never come."

Yet to watch her in the studios working through the long jig-saw puzzle of matching acting disciplines and emotions to the stops and starts of video-tape technology is to be con- vinced that at 31 she has star quality

The question is whether Australia is firmament enough for her.