John Howard (born 22 October 1952 in Corowa, New South Wales) is an Australian stage and screen actor. He is best known for his appearances in the film The Club, the Australian comedy film, The Crop and the television series SeaChange and Always Greener. He currently plays the regular role of Dr. Frank Campion in the Australian medical TV drama, All Saints. Overseas, he is best known as the villain Silverthorn from the The Girl From Tomorrow tv series, and as the villain Preston Preston in the film Young Einstein. He has also appeared in David Williamson's play, Dead White Males in the lead role of Dr Grant Swain.
Early in his career, he decided (partly in response to a recognised tendency for successful Australian actors to end up in England or the US) that he would only appear in Australian productions.
He is married to actress Kim Lewis and is the father of two children.
After a different John Howard was elected Prime Minister of Australia in 1996, jokes about the coincidence entered Australian comedy - notably in an episode of the satirical television series The Games in which the organisers of the Sydney Olympics hired the actor (played by himself) to stand in for the Prime Minister, figuring that the foreign dignitaries wouldn't know the difference.
John Howard the actor, playing himself but identifying himself only as "John Howard", said "Sorry" to Indigenous Australians for their treatment at the hands of the English settlers and their descendants, through to the present day. This was a direct comment on the repeated refusal by Prime Minister John Howard to make such an apology on behalf of the Government of Australia.
Since this joke he has appeared at many rallies opposing Prime Minister John Howard's involvement in the Iraq War.
He also ended up on the Australian "news channel" CNNNN (a mock 24 hour news channel comedy series) as a guest to also discuss the Iraq war, being criticised by the presenter, who apparently can't tell that he's not John Howard the Prime Minister.
He is also the subject of the song John Howard The Actor (an opening in protest) by Ross McLennan, ex-frontman of the band Snout, featuring the lyrics: My sympathies go out/Go out to John Howard the actor/His nomenclature/Messed up under history's tractor.