John Gaden

John Stuart Gaden AO (born 13 November 1941) is an Australian actor and director known particularly for his stage career, although he has also made some film and television appearances.

John Gaden

John Gaden at 1st AACTA Awards (2).jpg
Gaden at the 2012 AACTA Awards
Born (1941-11-13) 13 November 1941 (age 78)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
OccupationActor, director


John Gaden was born in Sydney where his father owned a successful legal practice, Gadens. He attended Cranbrook School, Sydney, where he performed in various school plays. After school he studied arts and law at the University of Sydney. After appearing with the Sydney University Dramatic Society, he decided to pursue a theatrical career in lieu of a legal one.[1]

His professional career started in the early 1960s.[1] In 1970 he appeared in a production of Hadrian the Seventh in Perth, directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, and with fellow actors Arthur Dignam and Judy Nunn.[1][2] Guthrie was impressed enough with Gaden to recommend him to Robin Lovejoy, who cast him in a production of The Crucible, which resulted in a positive review from The Sydney Morning Herald's theatre critic Harry Kippax, which in turn led to a three-year contract with the Old Tote Theatre Company (the precursor of the Sydney Theatre Company).[1] He has also recorded audiobooks of British children's series Fireman Sam and Australian children's series Magic Mountain.

For three years he was associate director of the Sydney Theatre Company with Richard Wherrett, during which time he directed and co-directed the notable production of The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby.[1]

He performed many roles with Sydney's Nimrod Theatre Company in the 1970s. From 1986 to 1989 he was artistic director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, based in Adelaide.[1][3] In Adelaide he co-directed various productions with Gale Edwards. He has also appeared with the Belvoir St Theatre and the Queensland Theatre Company.


John Gaden was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1986 Australia Day Honours for his services to the performing arts.[4] He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) at the 2018 Australia Day Honours.[5]

He was won two Helpmann Awards for Best Male Actor in a Play: in 2001, for Yasmina Reza's The Unexpected Man, and in 2007, for The Lost Echo. In 2005 he won a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for Michael Frayn's Democracy.


He is divorced, and has a son and three grandchildren. He lives alone.[1]

Notable stage appearancesEdit

Selected film and television appearancesEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Jo Litson (9 July 2011). "Taking risks keeps Gaden the centre of attention". The Australian. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  2. ^ Archived 27 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2 April 2015
  3. ^ Daniel Meyer-Dinkgrafe, ed., Who's Who in Contemporary World Theatre. Retrieved 2 April 2015
  4. ^ It's an Honour. Retrieved 2 April 2015
  5. ^ "GADEN, John Stuart". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  6. ^ National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 2 April 2015
  7. ^ Biography for John Gaden on IMDb