Born: Established: 1946 Queensland ; Died: Ceased: 29 Aug 2001
Writer, director, and actor.
Born in far north Queensland, Ian Coughlan began working as a radio announcer at 4CA Cairns in 1964. In 1970, he was working at FNQ10, where he was discovered by Anthony Buckley, with whom he worked as a sound recordist, recording Leo McKern's voiceover for Buckley's documentary on the life of Frank Hurley, Snow, Sand and Savages.
Coughlan made the shift into television script-writing when his scripts for The Godfathers were drawn to the attention of producer David Hannay, who described them in Coughlan's obituary as 'strong, well constructed, plot-driven stories that hummed along'.
Coughlan made the move from Cairns to Sydney, where he became post-production supervisor for Gemini Productions, working on The Godfathers and The Spoiler. By 1973, he was working as a director on The People Next Door.
Coughlan also wrote extensively for Reg Grundy Enterprises, including writing and directing episodes of The Young Doctors, The Restless Years, Glenview High, Neighbours, Richmond Hill, Sons and Daughters, Chopper Squad, and Waterloo Station.
For producer Roger Mirams, Coughlan wrote and directed the television programs Secret Valley, Silent Number, and The Lost Islands, as well as the telemovies The Scalp Merchant, The Haunting of Hewie Dowker, and The Spiral Bureau.
Hannay emphasises in Coughlan's obituary that 'his body of work is enormous (more than a thousand scripts for Grundy alone) and [...] his contribution to Australian film and television over the past thirty years is considerably more than significant'.
Source: David Hannay, 'Ian Coughlan: Obituary'. Urban Cinefile (http://www.cinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?a=5313&s=News_files). (Sighted: 23/8/2012)