A traditional patriarch, Karl was very strict with his kids. However, finding out that the man he had grown up calling ‘dad’ was not his biological father changed his attitude somewhat. Karl and Susan became surrogate parents for many local kids including Toadie Rebecchi, Joel Samuels, Lori Lee and Taj Coppin. And although he hated most of his kids’ early partners, he was delighted when Libby married Drew Kirk. He came to think of Drew as a third son and remains a very proud grandfather to baby Ben.
Unfortunately the move to Ramsay Street did not end Karl’s professional difficulties. He blamed himself for the death of neighbour Cheryl Stark and quit medicine for a while although he was officially cleared of any wrongdoing. He also faced a grilling from the school board when questions arose over the exact nature of his counselling sessions with Janae Timmins.
However, the ongoing drama of Karl’s life has been his relationship Susan. Although Karl admitted he had been tempted to stray earlier in their marriage, his kiss with receptionist Sarah Beaumont was a definite act of infidelity. Susan found out months later via their son Billy. She gave Karl a stinging slap and threw him out.
They slowly managed to reconcile but were continually haunted by the ghost of his betrayal. When Susan had an accident that resulted in amnesia, the process of recovering her memories brought it all up again and this time she demanded a divorce. Their private battle was interrupted by the tragic death of son-in-law Drew. Karl’s sensitive handling of the situation persuaded Susan to give him another chance and they got remarried.
Their relationship began to deteriorate again when Karl developed a drinking problem. Dissatisfied with his life, he moved out and tried to recapture his youth. Sadly, this coincided with his flirtatious new pal Izzy Hoyland discovering she was pregnant and convincing him that the baby was his. Susan filed for divorce and his children took her side. However, when Izzy later miscarried the baby, both Susan and Libby helped him cope and he made amends with his family.
He only found out about Izzy’s deception when Darcy revealed all to Susan and Susan demanded that Izzy tell Karl the truth. He dumped her publicly, the humiliation no less than she deserved. They had a brief resumption of their relationship when, high on sleeping medication, Karl mistook Izzy for Susan. The brief encounter left Izzy pregnant but, determined to turn over a new leaf, she lied to both Karl and Susan and left town, planning to take her secret with her.
Meanwhile Karl had rebuilt his friendship with Susan, even acting as a witness at her marriage to terminally ill Alex Kinski. After his death, Karl and Susan grew closer and eventually rekindled their relationship. They kept it a secret for a while, concerned about the impact on Alex’s children: Katya, Rachel and Zeke.
Eventually all three children came to embrace Karl as their new stepfather, even weathering the storm of his decision to quit medicine and turn the house into a farm. On a trip to London, Karl finally asked Susan to remarry him. Their surprise wedding on the river Thames was interrupted by pregnant Izzy who managed to upstage Susan on her own wedding day by going into labour and delivering baby Holly. It was Susan who discovered that Karl was Holly’s father but didn’t manage to tell him until they got back to Australia. Determined to rise to his responsibilities, Karl immediately flew back to London to sort things out.
While he was away, Susan reconnected with former fling Tom Scully but true love won out and Karl and Susan managed to stay together. With another child to support, Karl decided to ditch the farm and get a proper job. He took on a role as a drug representative and in his short time working for Vivex he managed to expose a major scandal as well as help to bring down dodgy doctor and all-round charlatan Charlotte Stone.
Karl was also the first person to suspect that Susan’s ailing physical condition might be due to Multiple Sclerosis. When his wife was finally diagnosed and they realised she’d be unable to work for a while, Karl sacrificed his pride and returned to work as a doctor for the good of his family.
As Susan learns to manage her illness, life is looking up for the Kinski-Kennedys. Karl is thrilled to have his beloved daughter Libby back in his life as well as being able to spend time with grandson Ben.