TV Week
19th September 1992

Tammy MacIntosh believes she had some help from on high when it came to rescuing her career…

Tammy MacIntosh, who plays Constable Kathy Orland in Police Rescue says she feels blessed.

The young actress has survived a series of potentially devastating setbacks since quitting The Flying Doctors in 1990.

She broke a collarbone in a motorcycling accident and two major movie roles slipped from her grasp. But Tammy’s career has been boosted by roles in the still-to-be screen sitcom Bingles and Police Rescue.

“God looks after me so well,” Tammy Says.

“I haven’t studied, there’s hardly any work around in this industry, and I’ve got a great job!

“The role in Police Rescue is the hardest thing I’ve done, but it’s also the most challenging.”

Tammy admits her commitment to the show has come at a cost. She was forced to move from Melbourne to Sydney (the production base of the series) when she accepted the job.

She is back in Melbourne – with boyfriend, nightclub owner Glen Coburn – until Police Rescue goes back into production in November.

The separations from Glen have been difficult, resulting in severe bouts of loneliness while in the Harbour city.

“Everyone will think I cry for a living,’ Tammy says with a laugh. “But it was really tough for the couple of months.

“I would come home each day and call Glen or a girlfriend on the phone. I would get off the phone and literally throw a tantrum from the sadness and depression … it was it was pretty horrible.

“I managed to come home about every second weekend, but at times it was hard to arrange. In one way, I’m not looking forward to going back to Sydney again. But Glen has been amazing. He has given me an incredible amount of support.”

Tammy took time out to seek a knowledge of police procedure before tackling the role.

After some difficult negotiation, she gained permission to train with and observe the routines of a Melbourne police rescue squad.

“We have done an episode of Police Rescue where a kid is on a bridge and thinking about committing suicide,” Tammy says.

“I don’t think you could tackle a scene like that without understanding a bit about the way police actually work. After working with the rescue squad in Melbourne, I felt I was going into the show with a solid base.”

Her training with the squad was rigorous. Tammy joined the officers on a daily, six kilometre run and learnt to abseil.

There were psychological aspects of the team’s approach, however, that took time to understand.

How the squad deals with death Tammy explains, is at first intimidating. She came to realise that the officers — as a means of preserving sanity — cannot take each tragedy to heart.

“The most difficult part of their job is dealing with (the deaths of) young kids,” she says.

“The whole experience has been so different to working on The Flying Doctors and Bingles. It’s a serious step for me and my character has been perfectly written.”

Story: Darren Devlyn
Main picture: Dave Mason

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