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Kevin Golsby tells "the secret of
a long life in this business"
IN his work, Australian
actor Kevin Golsby wishes to remain anonymous.
His reasons couldn't be sounder.
In a precarious profession he has all the fripperies of
success - a house on
Sydney's Middle Harbor, shiny white car, 35ft. by 16ft. swimming-pool, wine-cellar.
(He sold his yacht last year because television and film commitments didn't
leave much time for sailing.)
And anonymity, the 37-year-old actor claims, has a lot to do with it all.
"it's the secret of a long life in this business," he said, catching breath after a morning's "voice over" work
on a cigarette ad.
"People don't get tired of you if you're not over- exposed visually. You don't get type-cast, either."
Which is sound thinking, judging from his "repertoire" of TV commercial parts.
He's played everything from a British major on the Front to a long-haired yog sitting in a fridge.
But, then, over-exposur
is the last thing Kevin suffei
Nightly (except Satur- days) he can be heard on TCN9 News and Sunday News and Sunday News Magazine.
But his name doesn't get a
And it'd take a sharp eye to penetrate the actor's makeup for Dracula, the vampire count who gnashes his fangs over a popular brand of dog biscuit.
(Those fangs, according to Kevin, impeded his Bela Lugosi accent.)
Or for Captain Mueller of the 3rd Tank Regiment who urges viewers to "schnell" to
a car dealer.
"There are, of course,
exceptions to the rule," said Kevin. "People sometimes stop me in the street and ask, 'Where is your tank, mate?' or 'How are things in the
"I usually reply in my
A party of nuns also has reason to remember the invincible captain.
His manoeuvres in an American tank resurrected
from the junkyard disturbed their quiet day at the beach.
"It was for the first 60-second commercial in the series," Kevin said, smiling. "The nuns' reaction as a tank full of German soldiers came
bearing down on them defies description."
In real life, too, Kevin's dress is conservative, his
personality anything but flamboyant.
Only the mellow baritone
voice demands attention.
In ten sips of bitter lemon (his chosen drink for interviews), he flipped from pukka Terry-Thomas, with
undertones of Professor
Higgins, to Wild West monosyllables.
He switched back to
"straight" Kevin Golsby to talk about a part he'd gladly take a bow for - the Nasty Evil Red Dragon.
He's played everything from
British major to long-haired yogi
He's the unpleasant magician who. assisted by his pet condor, plots to destroy the goodies in "Marco Polo Junior vs. the Red Dragon,"
Australia's first feature
length cartoon, made by the Eric Porter organisation.
The film opened at 11 Sydney cinemas last month.
Said Kevin: "I was the
only Australian voice on the
soundtrack. The rest of the
cast, including pop singer Bobby Rydell, were Ameri-
"In terms of time, 'Marco
Polo' took me only four sessions over a period of two
weeks to record. The Australian ' animators took almost two years.
"In terms of enjoyment.
however, it's the high point of my career.
"My Red Dragon accent
had to be evil with comic overtones.
"One minute he's trying to convince everyone he's really very nice to know - the next he's calling on all his powers to destroy Marco Polo Junior so he can marry Princess Shining Moon and become emperor.
"I couldn't talk for a
couple of days afterwards."
Kevin Golsby started talking profitably as a
breakfast announcer on
2MG, Mudgee. He was 16.
That was in 1950, six years before television, when radio announcers were king.
Kevin had wanted to join their ranks since schooldays.
"Blokes like Bob Rogers
and Bob Pollard were the
forerunners of today's disc jockey. In those days, though, the approach to music was more intelligent.
"I used to select my program with a big band to kick off, a Sinatra possibly, a vocal group, then instrumen-
"Today in some respects anything goes so long as it's
Practically anything went at 2MG. Mudgee - from a grass paddock tire to floods.
ABOVE: Kevin Golsby. Left: The Nasty Evil Red Dragon with Princess Shining Moon in a scene from "Marco Polo Junior vs. the Red Dragon. " Kevin is the Dragon's voice.
In less than nine months
Kevin found himself playing
leads in both.
"The station was little
more than a cottage in the middle of a paddock." he explained.
"One afternoon I smelt
smoke and, glancing out the back window, I saw a wall of fire heading my way.
"After alerting the fire brigade on the air, I closed
down the station and
proceeded to fight the fire
with a bucket of water."
His rugged face crinkled good-humoredly. "I suppose you could have called me a one-man chain. Anyway, the fire was put out in due
When the Mudgee River
flooded its banks that winter, the show went on as usual -
with water lapping at the
Kevin had to hire a
row-bpat to get to work.
"The water was about an
inch away from the transmitter, so we could still broadcast. It didn't subside
for ten days."
Then, wistfully: "They
were dramatic times at
Nothing, in fact, quite equalled them until Kevin
went on a round-the-world "voice" hunt, in 1959.
Armed with a tape recorder, he captured
five-minute interviews with
some of today's most unanonvmous people.
Petula Clark, Ray Coniff. Oscar Petersen, Shirley
Bassey, Victor Borge,
Catarina Valente - in 18 months he recorded 150 interviews.
Another sound Kevin
won't forget was the tape he made in Egypt.
He crawled into the heart
of the Great Pyramid,
civilisation's oldest monu-
ment, to record the guide's commentafy.
"lt was eerie. Dank, too." But, then, a car horn at four in the morning can sound pretty eerie.
Especially, Kevin discov-
ered, if your wife is honking . it in the final pangs of labor.
That real-life drama
happened earlier this year in
the front seat of his car.
"The baby began arriving
four miles from the
hospital," he said. "I was driving through the suburbs at 80 m.p.h.. at the same time trying to reassure my two young daughters that 'Mummy's having a baby,
isn't it beautiful?'
"We eventually arrived at the hospital but the baby was born before we could get my
"It was a frightening experience."
Which his work isn't. Kevin is the first to admit he
only plays straight parts (in
TV series like "Division 4" and "Spyforce") for kicks.
"I call myself an actor." he said, grinning, "because it's only five letters long. TV
and film commentator is such a mouthful."