An Australian actor with a cult following in England and America, Nick Tate has enjoyed a successful career on three continents since the 1970s. Nicholas John Tate was born in Sydney, Australia, into a family of British and Russian extraction, with actors (and singers) on both sides going back two generations -- his father, John Tate (1914-1979), was a busy character actor whose movie appearances later included roles in On the Beach (1959) and The Day of the Triffids (1962). A performing career might have seemed a natural choice for Nick, but his parents initially tried to discourage this, hoping that he would choose a more conventional career. By age 14, however, Tate was playing the title role in the Sydney Opera Company's production of Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. That led to an entrée to Australian radio and, later, the fledgling television industry, for which he intended to work behind the camera, as a technician and director, learning the technical side of the visual medium over the next few years. By the mid-'60s, however, Tate was once again pursuing aspirations as an actor, encouraged by those around him who felt his talent and his rugged good looks would translate well in any medium.
After a two-year interruption for the army, Tate returned to civilian life and immediately began getting stage and television work. In 1965, he emigrated to England, in part to restore some kind of contact with his father, who had moved to England in the wake of the breakup of his marriage to Tate's mother. What work the younger Tate got was mostly in action and crime series, such as Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars -- which, ironically enough, were also the kinds of series in which John Tate appeared -- along with small roles in major movies, including A Man For All Seasons and Battle of Britain. Tate subsequently returned to Australia to work in a musical version of The Canterbury Tales and out of that got a leading role in an Australian television series called Dynasty (1970), in a role that teamed him onscreen with his father, who retired following the run of the series.