One of Australia’s most versatile performing artists, Todd McKenney is an award winning and critically acclaimed performer on stage and screen. As an actor and the leading man of song and dance in musical theatre productions, he has entertained Australians for over 30 years from the main stage to intimate venues.
Todd has led the cast on some of the 7 Network’s major productions including The Full Monty, The Real Full Monty, Mates on a Mission, Ladies Night and The All New Monty which aired in 2020, a one night show that was dedicated to men and women’s health awareness. Todd also appeared as a host / choreographer in The Real Dirty Dancing, a four episode spin off of the 1987 classic film Dirty Dancing, which saw eight celebrities revisit the most memorable dancing moments from the original movie. There’s no sign of Todd slowing down in 2021, returning to his role as a judge in the revamped season of Dancing With The Stars – All Stars, which saw all the original cast members back for a two week special, for its 16th season on Channel 7.
It’s not surprising that Todd McKenney is a household name. Todd’s stage credit roll and career highlights include his most notable role of Peter Allen in the Australian hit production The Boy From Oz, in which he performed over 1000 shows nationally and became one of the longest running and most successful musical productions in Australian history.
Todd’s first professional musical role was in 1983 in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance. His career followed with lead and headline roles in Cats, 42nd Street, West Side Story, Crazy For You, Born Yesterday, Camelot, Pirates of Penzance, Cabaret, Strictly Ballroom, La Cage aux Folles, Singin’ In the Rain, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Orpheus In the Underworld for Opera Australia, Annie the Musical, Grease and Anything Goes. In 2018 he stepped into the stilettos and successfully took on the role of Frank N’ Furter in The Rocky Horror Show in Melbourne. In 2019 Todd stepped out on stage as Australia’s Greatest Showman in the title role of Barnum, and most recently played Lord Farquaad in the hit musical Shrek.
As a dancer, his journey started at the age of three at his mother’s dancing school in Perth, training in jazz, tap, acrobatics and ballroom dancing. He represented Australia in ballroom and Latin American dancing, winning many international dance titles. Amongst his Australian awards for performance in musical theatre he has two Mo Awards, the Variety Club Heart Award, the Glug Award, the Green Room Award, two Australian Dance Awards and a Helpmann Award.
On the small screen Todd has starred in the hit show Winners and Losers on the 7 Network. He has also appeared as a guest judge on Australia’s Got Talent, hosted on a range of morning Television programs and appeared as an entertaining guest across all networks. On radio Todd co-hosted Sydney’s MIX106.5 breakfast radio program with Sonia Kruger for two years and is a regular guest on the airwaves.
On a personal level, Todd had the delight of becoming a father in 2007 and his daughter Charlotte is the light of his life. He is a student of Auslan sign language and has worked within the deaf community all around Australia. Todd is also a keen supporter of The Grace Centre For Newborn Intensive Care at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
2020 saw Todd launch Todd Creates, an online marketplace exclusively for independent, Australian creatives and small businesses who produce and ship their products in Australia. www.toddcreates.com.au
Another of Todd’s passions is his greyhounds and for the past four years he has been the face of the Greyhounds As Pets National Adoption Day, and more recently a GAP NSW Ambassador.
“People’s perception of a greyhound and the reality of what a greyhound is actually like as a pet are often two different things. They are such a beautiful breed and often misunderstood,” Todd said. “They’re lazy, they’re loving, and they love to run like the wind, it’s amazing to watch. But they are just really relaxed dogs. I love that energy around me, they’re just slow, lazy and gorgeous. “They really are the best dogs. They are playful, cheeky and fiercely loyal but it is their loving nature that I love the most. I just want to spread the word; I want greyhounds in every household I know of.”
Todd adopted his beloved greyhound Joey through GAP NSW 13 years ago, but sadly lost Joey in 2021. He also adopted his beautiful girl Nancye Hayes - who he named after his fellow theatre legend and close friend Nancye Hayes.
Just a few weeks after losing Joey, Todd found a new addition to the family, Bob the Bear, who absolutely adores his new “big sister” Nancye.