Everybody needs good actors, with Hollywood superstars spotted in that Aussie long running soap…
Next door was only a footstep away, and so was Hollywood.
Neighbours Intro – 1987, TV-Movie-Bits
Neighbours (1985- ) is an Aussie soap that started way back in the 1980s which is still going 33 years later. This Australia’s longest running show and set in Erinsborough, a fictitious Australian suburb of Melbourne. The show tells of the lives and loves of the neighbours of the Ramsay Street cul-de-sac where the occupants change as regularly as you change your socks.
Neighbours was also famous as the show that kickstarted a few careers in American and British film and TV after certain cast members left the show. Along with those hitting British TV, such as Stefan Dennis (aka Paul Robinson) in the Scottish soap River City (2002-) and Jonathon Dutton in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (2001-11). Other big names that hit Hollywood via Erinsborough include Gladiator (2000)’s Russell Crowe and Jesse Spencer from House (2004-12).
This post however will tell of 5 (but there are many more) stars who made it big in Hollywood. As the show was one I watched until I met my Darlin Husband in 2008, the cast members from up until this time.
Dale played Jim Robinson, a widower and patriarch of the omnipresent Robinson clan (who have had a family member featured in the show more or less since episode one). Jim was the father of Paul, Julie, Scott and Lucy. Widower Jim living a mainly happy existence in the same house as his mother-in-law (but not as lovers). Jim and Dale’s defining moments being an older man dating a younger woman (with 20 years between them) and keeping up with
who was playing his kids. Then Jim was mercilessly killed off.
However I’ve read Dale recently made a comeback in this show, 25 years later in a dream of one of his on screen kids. But not in the shower. Dale ended up in Hollywood and you’ll have spotted him in the rebooted Dynasty (2017-) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
All of those darn Hemsworth boys have appeared in this soap. However, my favourite brother, Chris Hemsworth appeared as Jamie Kane in 2002. He played a mechanic, who worked with a then show regular character, Steph Scully (Carla Bonner). Kane called the police after a robbery at their garage. But it appears Steph knew the culprit when he asked her about the crime. Hemsworth, however, went onto bigger roles including one in Neighbours Aussie soap rival, Home and Away (1988).
I did watch Home and Away but had stopped watching it by the time Hemsworth made his debut. After leaving this show in 2007, Hemsworth went on almost immediately to star in Star Trek (2009) and later as Thor (2011).
Academy Award nominee, Robbie played Donna Freedman in the show from 2008 til 2011. Her initial small extra role was turned into a likeable regular character. Donna’s greatest moment was when she married Ringo Brown (as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for the show). This marriage lasting until Ringo was killed off by (the same) Steph Scully. Steph mowed him down with her motorbike in an accident. This an episode I sobbed at being the sappy writer you know and love.
After Robbie left she headed straight for the bright lights of LA and won later international fame in About Time (2013), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and as Harley Quinn.
In right at the start of the show as Scott Robinson’s best friend, Mike Young from 1986 to 1989. Mike dated Plain Jane (superbrain) Harris. This romance started in a kind of John Hughes inspired moment, as she dolls up for the school dance. Of course, it was pretty obvious where her storyline was going. As plain Jane superbrain turned out to be actually superhot.
Now Pearce is the star of many movies including The King’s Speech (2010) and The Time Machine (2002).
Minogue played Charlene Ramsay, one of the most famous characters in the show in the late 80s. With the initial rivalry between the Ramsay family and those aforementioned Robinsons. She played a tomboy with her love interest, Scott Robinson. This was in a Romeo and Juliet kind of romance. Charlene married Scott with this one of the shows most prolific soap storylines of this era.
Minogue later starred in a more adult role in The Delinquents (1989) and with Jean Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia in Street Fighter (1994). But now Kylie has a much more successful musical career, after being one time protege of Stock, Aitken and Waterman.
And finally, to quote the shows theme tune, “Neighbours, Everybody needs good neighbours. That’s when good neighbours become” Hollywood stars.
This post was added to Midnite Drive In‘s Blizzard of Oz Blogathon. The Neighbours soap is revieẃed HERE. Other reviews with this cast include Alan Dale in the rebooted Dynasty. Chris Hemsworth in Vacation, 5 Flaming Hotties and Thor 3. Kylie Minogue stars in Hollywood Hitmakers. Margot Robbie stars in About Time, the trailer HERE and the full review HERE. Margot Robbie and Hemsworth both star in my post on Dundee Son of a Legend Returns Home.