About 100 lucky Ipswich residents listened recently as Johnson laughed and cried his way around the intimate stage - audience in tow - at the Ipswich Libraries Cocktail Hour.
About 100 lucky Ipswich residents listened recently as Johnson laughed and cried his way around the intimate stage - audience in tow - at the Ipswich Libraries Cocktail Hour. Sarah Harvey

Charity Love Your Sister 'a rollercoaster of emotions'

WHILE the audience sat in tears listening to Samuel Johnson's story, the humble ex-actor stood up and shattered the sadness with another anecdote of his life.

The saying; 'a rollercoaster of emotions', could have been invented to describe the feeling one gets sitting in a room listening to Johnson.

It has been seven months since Connie passed but her brother's unwavering journey to find a cure for cancer is as strong as ever.

About 100 lucky Ipswich residents listened recently as Johnson laughed and cried his way around the intimate stage - audience in tow - at the Ipswich Libraries Cocktail Hour.

After the talk, Johnson revealed he took as much from the event as those who attended.

"I've done over 700 talks in the seven months since my sister died and I'm not just saying it, this was the most fun," he said.

"Cancer is a serious topic and thank god Ipswich didn't require me to do that (be serious)."

The hour-long talk provided an insight into Samuel's journey and how his stoic and resilient sister lived.

The pain of Connie's death remains raw for Johnson, his emotion evident when a video of their Love Your Sister journey played on the big screen.

"I'm nearly at the point where I can watch her and not cry," he said.

"It's been seven months and I'm yet to watch a video of my sister alive and not cry, but I'm getting there."

Johnson has come a long way since 2001 when he starred as the scruffy writer, Evan Wylde in The Secret Life of Us.

In 2016, Johnson starred as Molly Meldrum in the miniseries Molly, for which he won the Gold Logie.

He remains a household name, first for acting and then for his charge in the battle against cancer.

After playing Molly, Johnson promised not to act again until Love Your Sister had raised $10 million.

With the charity passing $7 million earlier this year, Johnson admits a return to acting is on the cards.

"I can start to think about soon, I'm still a few million away though so I've got time to ponder it," he said.

"We'll see what's around when the dust settles."

Like Robin Williams, Johnson bounces across the stage with an energy synonymous with those on a high.

"For my whole life people have accused me of being on drugs, I'm just naturally so supercharged," he laughed.

"I get in the doldrums as much as anybody else but I love what I do so I don't have to fake my enthusiasm.

"I can't not be enthusiastic about healthy families."

The man who once advertised for Vodafone and Hungry Jacks feels at peace finally selling something he believes in.

"I'm not really trying to educate people because I'm just a retired actor," he said.

"I more just share my story in the hope it might get people to think about the value of family and the evil of cancer."

While Johnson is known for the relationship with his sister, he has known by millions of Australians as their own brother.

His friendly nature and oozing love saw hundreds of men and women embraced Johnson after his talk and left him feeling "over-appreciated".

"I get thanked way too often but I never get sick of it," he said.

Visit Johnson's village at loveyoursister.org.
 



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