A native New Zealander, Roger Oakley was born in Auckland in 1943 where he had an "ordinary suburban upbringing". While studying languages at a New Zealand University, he became interested in acting. In 1968, he went to Britain and studied a part-time drama course, and over the next five years performed in several British theatres. In 1978, Roger moved to Australia, where he first made an impact as a professional actor as Major Barrington in The Sullivans. Over the next decade he appeared in many Australian movies and television series, and became a household name in both Britain and Australia in 1989 when he played Tom Fletcher, the patriarchal role in in the Seven Network's Home and Away. He played the role for over two years, and his departure had an impact on the fans, even though his stay was relatively short compared to the length of the series. Since then, Roger has continued to work in television..