Full name: Harold Charles Sydney Heylen

Born: 25 May 1922 in Renmark, South Australia
Died: 4 December 1996, Gold Coast, Queensland

Syd was born in Renmark, South Australia, the only son of a carpenter. He joined the Army at the age of 16 and served on the Kokoda Trail in the 39th Infantry. He later joined the Army entertainment troupe.

Patti and Syd in 1986After the war, he went into vaudeville. In 1956, he starred in the variety show "The Show of Stars" with Hal Lashwood and John Ewart. After that show, he appeared on "Sunnyside Up" in Melbourne for 10 years. In 1961, he married Patti Brillain (his second wife) and together they had two children, Syd Jr. and Julie (both in the entertainment industry).

Syd was cast as Cookie on ACP after James Davern saw him in the TV series "Arcade". The chemistry between Syd and Gordon Piper was readily apparent and two minor guest characters ended up as beloved regulars. After Syd left " A Country Practice" in 1992, he and Patti retired to their Gold Coast home, where Syd had an impressive rose garden. He would occassionally do public appearances and performances. He died in Allamanda Hospital (on the Gold Coast) after complications from a stroke he had in November 1996.

Syd Heylen (r) and John Gilbert (l) in Sunnyside UpTELEVISION:

  • 1982 to 1991: Vernon "Cookie" Locke on "A Country Practice"
  • 1981: handyman in "A Town Like Alice" (TV mini series)
    very small part
  • 1980: Walter Blair (alcoholic comic) on "Arcade"
  • 1950's/60's: "Sunnyside Up"
  • 1956: "The Show of Stars"
  • Other appearances: The Sullivans, Homicide, Matlock Police, The Box


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Listed Since 1999 - Fansites.com Link Directory
Sources: 10th birthday magazine, IMDB, personal observation, newspaper/magazine tributes, and other private sources. Starbuzz.com graphic 1999 K. L. MacAlpine