Gus Cleary 2004
Gus Cleary Ben Barrack
Lived: 32 Ramsay Street
Occupation: Oil Rig Worker, Barman
Coming from a privileged background, Gus constantly found it very difficult to live up to his fatherís expectations. Having blown most of his chances, Gus was forced to accept a job from his dad on one of his oil rigs in the Timor Gap. However, his inability to do the job became a serious problem when it almost caused a major oil spill and his supervisor, Max Hoyland, was forced to fire him.
Several years later, Max was settled in Erinsborough with his girlfriend, Steph, sister, Izzy and children, Boyd and Summer. When their home was put up for sale by its owner, Mal Kennedy, Gus turned up at the pre-auction inspection and stole a family photo from the sideboard. He then turned up at the house to meet everybody and let Max know that there were no hard feelings. His true emotions were revealed, however, when the day of the auction came. Having found out the maximum amount Max could comfortably bid, Gus hid in the house and placed his own bids by phone, forcing Max to bid way over his limit.
Happy that his old friend wasnít holding a grudge, Max helped Gus find some work and somewhere to stay at Louís Place. Gus also managed to win over Izzy and the pair started dating, although Izzy was continually unsettled by Gusí possessiveness and attempts to get closer to the rest of the family. However, his manipulation continued as he spoke to Boyd like a man about his problems with Sky and bought Steph a model Harley Davidson motorbike. When Summer got stranded in an unfamiliar part of town, Gus deleted her answerphone message. He then helped with the search and played the hero when he found her. Things took a more sinister turn when Gus slipped a sedative into Maxís beer just as he was about to drive Steph to the hospital for a cancer check-up. When Max fell asleep at the wheel, an accident was narrowly avoided and everyone was concerned, though they quickly put it down to a few too many beers over lunch. Soon after, Max fell over at home, then again at work, and injured his back, leaving him bedridden. Gus was only too happy to spend all of his time at the Hoyland house helping to look after Max and the family.
In order for Max to remain indisposed, Gus continued to slip him sedatives from time to time. However, it backfired when Max tried to get up and collapsed in the hallway. After some tests at the hospital, it was revealed that heíd ingested an abnormally high dose of sedative, and Gus realised that heíd have to cover his tracks. He then planted a bottle of pills in the pub kitchen, and some in the soup which he had been serving to Max, and claimed that they must have belonged to one of the kitchen hands, and accidentally fallen into the soup. Max accepted this story, but Karl, who was already jealous of Gusí relationship with Izzy, decided to do a little digging into Gusí past. He found an article on the internet about Gusí father, which mentioned that Gus had spent time in a mental hospital. Armed with this information, he confronted Izzy, who then showed Max. Gus attempted to explain that when he couldnít hold down a job or a relationship, his father had had him committed, but Max and Izzy still felt very uncomfortable and asked him to leave. Later on, Gus returned to try and say goodbye to Summer, but Boyd caught him and tried to fight him. When Max caught them, he told Gus to leave, more forcefully this time.
Of course, this little hiccup didnít stop Gus from spending time in the Hoyland house, as he broke in and hid in the roof. He then waited until everyone was out each day, and tidied up and did all the housework. His odd behaviour continued as he pretended to be Max when a cable tv salesman called by. Gus signed the Hoylands up for cable tv, and when the salesman returned and was confronted with the real Max Hoyland, everyone was confused, until Max realised who was responsible. He had all the locks changed, and sent Summer away to Rosie in New Guinea. However, Gus got his hands on the spare set of keys and had a copy cut, before resuming his stalking. When Steph returned from a trip to the country with a filthy bike, everyone was confused when it was mysteriously cleaned overnight, but Max realised who had done it. He phoned Gus to try and talk to him, but Boyd was confused when Gusí phone started ringing out in the car port and he picked it up. Max then came outside and told Gus to stop hiding. Gus made a run for it, and Max chased him to a building site, where the two men ended up arguing in the rafters of a house. During a tussle, they both fell, and Gus vanished again, while Max was released from hospital with only minor injuries.
Gus had also made a surprising discovery whilst watching the family Ė that Izzy was pregnant. So, when he saw her at Lassiterís, he couldnít resist trying to speak to her about their baby. She took him to the Coffee Shop, where Karl spotted the pair of them and alerted the police. Gus was taken away to a mental hospital where he asked to see Max. Max reluctantly visited him and was alarmed to find that he was desperate to speak to Izzy. When Izzy finally agreed to this, she lied to Gus that the baby didnít belong to him and that they shouldnít see each other again. Max then went to see Gus one last time, before he was transferred to Perth, where he could get more care and be closer to his real family.
At the end of the year, Gus made a sudden reappearance, just as Izzy was getting ready to marry Karl. He watched her from afar for a few hours, before turning up at Lassiterís, where the wedding was being held. He snuck into Izzyís dressing room and told her that she should be with him and that she wasnít good enough for Karl. Izzy broke the news to Gus that she lost the baby, and he continued to try and win her over, until she called for security. Gus kissed her and quickly left. He then turned up in Ramsay Street, where Boyd spotted him and told him to get lost. Gus seemed confused at Boydís treatment of him, but Max then arrived and tried to win Gusí trust by being nice. Just as they were making headway, resident cop Stuart appeared. Gus panicked and ran off, with Stuart giving chase, but not managing to catch him. That evening, a huge fire devastated Louís pub and the Coffee Shop. A badly burnt body was brought out of the wreckage and was identified as Gus. After more tests had been carried out, it was revealed that Gus hadnít perished in the fire, but had been killed by a blow to the head. Gus had been murdered.
read our interview with Ben Barrack, click here
Biography by Steve