One in a long line of Australian soap stars with aspirations to pop stardom (see also Kylie Minogue, Dannii Minogue, Jason Donovan, Holly Valance, Craig McLachlan, Gayle and Gillian, etc), Stefan made his name in Aussie soap opera Neighbours, where he played businessman Paul Robinson from 1985 to 1993.
Paul was the career-driven, smooth-dressing, hard-working brother of Jason Donovan's character Scott. At times he was something of a villain, but he showed a heart of gold when the show's often-wayward plotting called for it. In his nearly eight year run Paul managed three weddings and five children. The lucky spouses were Amy, Gail Lewis and Christina Alessi (played by Gayle Blakeney, who went on to attempt her own pop career with her twin sister Gillian. Should you ever meet Gillian, you might like to know her name is pronounced with a hard G like what you find on the side of a fish's head). Stefan also dated Gayle Blakeney in real life.
Stefan was born on October 30, 1958 in Melbourne, Australia, and before becoming a thespian he was a chef, which doubtless served him well for Paul Robinson's ventures into restauranting and hoteliering.
Before Neighbours, in 1979 he appeared for a few episodes in Australian drama series Prisoner (known as Prisoner: Cell Block H overseas.) TV Tome lists another early role as Boy #2 in Five Mile Creek in 1985, and claims he also appeared in Prisoner in two other parts before. It is well known that every Australian actor of a certain age appeared in Prisoner, but having three roles seems excessive.
In 1986 he also made a guest appearance in interminable British hospital drama Casualty, suffering from some kind of illness or accident.
After Neighbours, he moved the UK to further his career. There he made the TV movie The Office, directed by comedy veteran Paul Jackson and co-starring Isla Blair, Rebecca Front and Belinda Lang. This should not be confused with any show with the same title starring Ricky Gervais. He also appeared in series 5 of Sky TV's association football-related soap Dream Team (the 2001-2002 season).
However, in the new millennium he is concentrating his energies on writing and directing, and hopes to get Kylie Minogue to star in a "Notting Hill-type [movie] based in glamorous Bristol"1.
His musical highpoint was the single "Don't It Make You Feel Good" (b/w "Solo Dancing", which was allegedly ripped off by Ash in their song "Candy"2). This reached number 16 in the British charts in 1989. Paul, who has performed in musical theater in the past, had been taking singing lessons since the age of eight. As he said on the b-side, "everyone knows that it's alright to be alone", and sure enough the follow-up failed to trouble the scorers: "This Love Affair" reached the un-giddy heights of number 67 the same year.
On December 2, 2002, Stefan made a personal appearance at the David Lloyd leisure centre in Kingston, Surrey, England. He commented upon his visit:
The new facilities are really impressive. I enjoy keeping fit and going to the gym is the perfect way to wind down after a hard day's filming. It was great to receive a preview of the club and myself and my family are looking forward to using the facilities over the next year or so!3
His effect on the health of female patrons is not recorded.
In 2003, Stefan began appearing in the BBC Scotland television soap opera River City, a story of everyday Glaswegians, sunbeds and murderers. He plays Dr Mark Mckenzie.
1"News and Gossip", She Said, www.shesaid.com.au/article/2002/11/12/819_go.htm
2For more details, see TMM, "Mean Gene's Karaoke classics", Hogan's Briefs, http://www.hogansbriefs.com/columns.asp?name=109
3Press Release, "Stefan Dennis gets a taste for fitness at David Lloyd Leisure Kingston", David Lloyd Leisure website, http://www.davidlloydleisure.co.uk/press/investornews.asp?id=13&varid=53
BBCi. "Ask the River City Cast: Stefan Dennis". BBC website. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/tv/rivercity/communities/ask_archive/index.shtml?archive=dennis> (13 August 2003).
The Stefan Dennis Appreciation Site. <http://mch3w.ch.man.ac.uk/org/JDS/personalfiles/dan/stefan/stefpage.html> (15 January 2002).
TV Tome. <http://www.tvtome.com> (15 January 2002).
Internet Movie Database. <http://www.imdb.com> (15 January 2002).
EveryHit. <http://www.everyhit.com> (15 January 2002).
Press Release: "Stefan Dennis gets a taste for fitness at David Lloyd Leisure Kingston". David Lloyd Leisure. <http://www.davidlloydleisure.co.uk/press/investornews.asp?id=13&varid=53> (15 January 2002).
TMM, "Mean Gene's Karaoke classics", Hogan's Briefs. <http://www.hogansbriefs.com/columns.asp?name=109> (15 January 2002).