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

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 which 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.

 

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 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 come back 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 Home and Away 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 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.

 

Guy Pearce

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 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 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.

 

The Blizzard of Oz Blogathon 2019, No 35

This post was added to Midnite Drive In‘s Blizzard of Oz Blogathon. Other reviews with this cast include Alan Dale in the rebooted Dynasty. Chris Hemsworth in 5 Flaming Hotties and Thor 3. Kylie Minogue in Hollywood Hitmakers. Margot Robbie in About Time, the trailer HERE and the full review HERE. Tune in soon for a full review of this show! Robbie and Hemsworth both star in my post on Dundee Son of a Legend Returns Home.

Advertisements

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

  1. 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

  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. 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

Love your (spoiler -free) thoughts...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.