FILMS and TV… Now Hollywood Headliners, Were Neighbours Soap Stars

#1980s #1990s  #2000s #2010s #2020s


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 (1985-2022) was an Aussie soap that started way back in the 1980s and the cast has just filmed its final scene in June 2022. This was Australia’s longest-running show and it was set in Erinsborough, a fictitious Australian suburb of Melbourne. The show told 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.


Alan Dale

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 lives a mainly happy existence in the same house as his mother-in-law (but not as lovers). Jim and Dale’s defining moments are as an older man dating a younger woman (with 20 years between them) and keeping up with who was playing with 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).


Chris Hemsworth

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).


Margot Robbie

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 lasted 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 Harley Quinn.


Guy Pearce

Pearce starred in the first episode of the show as Scott Robinson’s best friend, Mike Young. He continued 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.  Plain Jane superbrain turned out to be actually super hot.

Now Pearce is the star of many movies including The King’s Speech (2010) and The Time Machine (2002).


Kylie Minogue

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 one of the show’s 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 a one-time protege of Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

And finally, to quote the show’s theme tune, “Neighbours, Everybody needs good neighbours. That’s when good neighbours become” Hollywood stars.


The Blizzard of Oz Blogathon 2019, No 35

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 Vacation5 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.




10 thoughts on “FILMS and TV… Now Hollywood Headliners, Were Neighbours Soap Stars

  1. Fascinating. I love my soaps for the mix of veteran actors and up-and-comers. There is an almost theatrical sense to seeing the work performed. I particularly like seeing the untested take the opportunity presented and really learn their craft.

    – Caftan Woman

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, adore the original soaps so much more now when you recognise both the veterans and younger cast in other films – usually in an all star cast of a Agatha Christie, Airport or disaster movie


  2. I’d never heard of this show. Thirty-three years and still running!! That must be some kind of record.

    “Neighbours” must be a good training ground indeed, with the stars you mentioned making it big in Hollywood. I had no idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my teens, Britain seemed to have a phase of showing Aussie shows, this one was still going when I left for over here but was a wee bit hooked on it. Vivian Gray (who starred in the version of Picnic at Hanging Rock you reviewed) played Mrs Mangel was a bit of the neighbourhood busybody, there are probably loads of tributes to her and her character online.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a star-making show indeed! Had no idea that this is where Guy Pearce got his start…I just wrote about him in Priscilla Queen of the Desert!
    I love soaps of all kinds, could really get into a binge watch of this one!
    – Chris

    Liked by 1 person

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