A talented writer and director, Michael Pate had a screen career that stretched across six decades of Australian and Hollywood productions, with his most recognizable role being that of Sgt. Vic Maddern on the Aussie crime drama "Matlock Police." Beginning his career as a writer at the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Pate soon segued into radio drama, and also wrote literary criticism. After serving in World War II, Pate headed to Hollywood, where he began to act in television and features. In 1953 he portrayed his first of many Native American roles, opposite John Wayne in the Western "Hondo." Over his roughly two decades in the States, Pate appeared in dozens of prime-time shows, while writing teleplays and teaching acting. Upon his return to Australia in the late '60s, he began to work as a television producer, and soon landed the key role of Detective Maddern on the hit procedural drama "Matlock Police," playing the part for four seasons. After this he refocused on his writing, penning the coming-of-age drama "Mango Tree" and writing, producing, and directing 1979's romance "Tim," which starred a young Mel Gibson as a mentally challenged man. Pate continued with occasional screen work while contributing to Sydney's theater scene, and dabbled in voiceovers after his retirement from onscreen roles in 2001.