Syd Heylen was an Australian actor, comedian, and variety performer whose career role was that of Vernon "Cookie" Locke, the chef on the long-running, multiple award-winning drama "A Country Practice. " After serving in the Army as a youth, Heylen eventually made his way into the Army's entertainment troupe. He made his television debut at the age of 35 on the variety show "Sunnyside Up" in 1957, but his career didn't take off in earnest until the mid-1970s, when he had recurring appearances on the TV dramas "Homicide" and "Matlock Police." In 1980 he played the owner of a dry cleaning business on the short-lived soap "Arcade," and joined the ensemble of the prison riot thriller "Stir," a feature film which fared far better. Heylen only made five films over his nearly 20-year industry run, but his next role as the succinctly-dubbed Curmudgeon in the runaway hit cult film "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" gave him a tremendous boost in visibility. He capitalized on the attention--at least in Australia--the following year, when he landed the part of Cookie on "A Country Practice," a role that provided a little comic relief to the otherwise serious series about a fictional, small town hospital where numerous relevant issues were explored. Heylen appeared on more than 700 episodes in a little over a decade. He only had two other brief TV parts after his role as Cookie ended in 1991.