Karl Kennedy is married to Susan, for the third time, and father to their three children, Malcolm, Billy and Libby. Karl is also father to 8 year old Holly, the result of an affair with Izzy Hoyland back in 2006. Karl works hard to be a good father: he’s fair but firm, approachable and wise. Karl is known for his wandering eye, and firm hand when it comes to money (we reckon Karl still has his first dollar). Karl’s weakness is his vanity. He needs to be respected by men and admired by women. He has a very healthy ego and can be quite stubborn and hold grudges.
Karl fancies himself an older statesmen type: the man people go to in a time of need. He likes to seem approachable, and is proud of the fact he’s progressive, though sometimes there’s the sense he is trying too hard.
Sentimental for his youth, he pines for the glory days when he was an ambitious up-and-comer with the world at his feet. He likes to keep the spirit of his youth alive by keeping up with young people; their trends, their passions, their whims…
The Kennedy family arrived in 1994 after the departure of the Willis clan. Settling into the cul-de-sac, Karl began work at the local medical clinic, but rumours of his past medical practices soon crept up on him. His relationship with eldest son Malcolm was beginning to fray when Mal started dating neighbour Danni Stark. The first test for the Kennedy marriage began not long after their arrival, with Karl treating a dying patient named Kate. He developed feelings for terminally ill Kate, and she eventually passed away. The marriage was tested, but the bond between Karl and Susan proved they could overcome the hiccup, but Susan still had her reservations.
With their marriage back on track, Karl was once again focused on his family and career, until the tragic death of Cheryl Stark. With Karl witness to her death and prescribing medication that she may have been allergic to, Karl announced he was quitting medicine (the first of many career breaks for Karl). By the 1996 season finale, Karl was put in a life and death situation when his eldest son Mal was hurt during the renovations of the Chez Chez. Saving his son's life, Karl returned to medicine and took over the medical clinic in the Lassiters complex. With the arrival of Sarah Beaumont, Karl hired her as his receptionist, and from there it was the beginning of the end. Karl and Sarah grew an attraction, and in the 1997 finale, Karl and Sarah kissed.
When Susan discovered their affair, the Kennedy family were rocked to the core. Susan slapped Karl and sent him packing (we don’t blame her). With Karl alienated from Ramsay Street, he considered moving back to the county, but Sarah convinced him to stick around and work on fixing his marriage (even though she wanted to be with Karl). In time, Karl was forgiven and moved back home. Sarah married and left town, but not before the pair had another stolen kiss.
With their children growing up and leaving home, Susan and Karl were soon left to themselves. The arrival of the Scully family caused some discomfort to Karl as he and Joe butted heads on everything, while Susan and Lyn formed a close friendship. Fast forward some years, Susan slipped on some milk, and lost 30 years of her life, and had no recollection of her family at all. Having to rebuild their marriage, Karl and Susan re married in 2002, but by 2003, Karl was to make the most heart breaking decision of his life.
With the arrival of beautiful seductress Izzy Hoyland, Karl became infatuated. Breaking up his family, Karl pursued Izzy and the pair became a couple - much to the dislike of the street. After an almost wedding and baby, Karl found his relationship with Izzy was too stressful, and suffered a heart attack, but was able to tell Susan he still loved her. After the demise of his relationship with Izzy, Karl and Susan eventually got back together in 2006. Marrying for a third time on the river Thames in London, Karl was surprised by the return of Izzy, but was left gobsmacked when Susan revealed he was the father to her newborn (a one night stand that took place 9 months prior to Izzy’s departure from Erinsborough).
Karl had to adjust to life with new step-children Rachel and Zeke, and newborn Holly. Rising to the occasion, Karl was there for his children in their time of need, and in Susan’s when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. After another marriage crisis, this time with Susan falling for dying man Jim Dolan, the pair separated. Karl briefly reunited with his old flame Sarah, who returned unexpectedly in 2013.
Happily reunited (for now…), Karl hopes for a second lease on life now his children have all left home. He has a passion for music and finds an avenue for this with his band ‘The Right Prescription’. He also fancies himself a bit of a culinary sensation and enjoys whipping up a feast. Karl’s currently investing a lot of time and energy into reaffirming his relationship with Susan after their recent reconciliation.
Most memorable moment:
It was episode 4772 when Karl found out the truth about the baby Izzy had lied about. After an almost two year storyline, we were happy to see Karl throw Izzy out on the curb. When it comes to saving lives, Karl's most heroic moment came when Joel was trapped underneath a car, while a raging river flooded its banks - it was a tense scene!
Most memorable quote:
“You don’t get it do you? If Gus wasn't dead I would have killed him last night, that’s how much… that’s how much I loved you!” - Neighbours 20th Anniversary Episode 4772.