Extraordinary: William McInnes speaks about the loss of his wife and son.


William McInnes was big on our television screens in the 90s, appearing on shows like Blue Heelers, Country Practice and Sea Change. He’s taken a hiatus in the past few years, it seems that he is more interested in spending time with his children, 20-year-old Clem and 15-year-old Stella.

The man behind the the characters has lived a life as fulfilling and rich – and full of heartbreak – as any he has portrayed on screen. McInnes and his wife, actor and director Sarah Watt, lost their first son – Cosmo – at birth.

Soon after, McInnes’ father passed away. And in 2011, William lost the love of his life, Sarah to cancer.

In this moving interview with Jane Hutcheon for ABC’s One on One program, McInnes reveals what an amazing life perspective these tragic events have given him.


Some of the best moment include…

At 2.03 he talks about the acting profession, and says that ‘there’s no justice to it’.

At 3.45 he talks about actors being ‘like a carton of milk’ – and says every actor’s worst nightmare is a director deciding they’ve gone off.

At 4.00 he calls himself a smelly cheese.

At 5.30 – talks about sacrifices that an actor have to make to be successful, and discusses how he’s rather spend time with the kids.

At 6.40 the interviewer asks about losing their first child Cosmo, at birth – and the fact that the doctors never said they were sorry.

At 7.00 he says that he doesn’t feel bitterness for the card he has been dealt in life, but sadness and acute loss.

At 7.20 he ruminates on how his life could have been different. “I could’ve been born Indigenous, I could’ve been born not given opportunities, I could not have been given an access to a great education just because of the colour of my skin, I could’ve been born somewhere else.”

At 8.00 McInnes shares his perspective: “Shit happens to people sometimes for no reason other than that’s… life.”

At 9.00 he talks about his wife’s approach to death – with a lot of grace and courage. “Sometimes I think I will never understand just how courageous she was.”

At 9.30 McInnes talks about the people society idolizes – actors, musicians, artists – and why they have nothing on his deceased wife.

At 10.30 he talks about how his father died not long after Cosmo, and reveals his father’s advice: “A good life is one which you share with someone – and you do your best to leave the world a better place than when you entered it.”