Home and Away to Hollywood
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Julian McMahon began his acting career in Summer Bay as AWOL army corporal Benito Lucini from 1990- 1991. McMahon went on to become a fan-favourite in the supernatural drama Charmed, and is now best known for his role as Dr Christian Troy in TV2’s Nip/Tuck.
Naomi Watts joined the cast of Home and Away in April 1991 with a brief stint as Julie Gibson, who was paralysed following a serious car crash when she was younger. Naomi Watts is now cemented in Hollywood with a string of blockbuster movies under her belt including- The Ring, King Kong, 21 Grams, and in the title role of Diana. She has also been nominated for two Academy Awards as best actress.
Also in 1991, Guy Pearce spent a short time in Summer Bay as Donald Fisher’s son, David Croft. While his time on the show may have been brief, Pearce had one of the show’s most memorable moments when his character was killed off in a head-on collision, and his girlfriend, Sophie Simpson, then discovered she was carrying his child. Pearce’s biggest films to date include- The Count of Monte Cristo, L.A Confidential, The Time Machine, The King’s Speech, and The Hurtlocker.
Simon Baker joined Home and Away for a short time in 1993 as James Healey, but was reportedly written out after arguing with the show’s producers. Baker has since starred in The Guardian, The Devil Wears Prada, and of course plays Patrick Jane in TV2’s The Mentalist .
Melissa George began her acting career as Home and Away regular, Angel Parrish, from 1993 to 1996. Angel was a teenage runaway who came to The Bay and was taken in by Donald Fisher. After a rocky start, Angel finds love with Shane Parrish who she later marries, and the two become one of Home and Away’s most beloved couples. After leaving the show for Hollywood, George had a recurring role in TV2’s Grey’s Anatomy, as well as roles in movies such as The Amityville Horror, Derailed, and 30 Days of Night.
Isla Fisher joined the cast of Home and Away in 1994 as Shannon Reed, who had some of the show’s most controversial storylines including Shannon’s bisexuality, anorexia, and history of sexual abuse. After leaving the show in 1997, Fisher’s star rose with roles in hit movies such as Wedding Crashers, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Great Gatsby, and Now You See Me. Fisher is also married to Hollywood star Sasha Baron Cohen.
Oscar winner Heath Ledger became The Bay’s resident bad boy for a brief time in 1997 as Scott Irwin, who made Sally Fletcher’s life hell, and who was eventually expelled by Mr Fisher. After moving to Hollywood, Ledger quickly rose to fame with stand-out roles in 10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight’s Tale, Ned Kelly, Brokeback Mountain, and his Oscar-winning role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Ledger tragically died in 2008.
Ryan Kwanten had a long run on Home and Away as fan-favourite and ladies-man, Vinnie Patterson, from 1997-2002. Vinnie had a string of different jobs in Summer Bay, from part-time stripper to Vin-Vin the clown. He went on to marry Leah whom he had a child with- VJ. Vinnie later went to jail where it was thought he was killed in a fire, however, he was actually in witness protection, and briefly returned to The Bay in 2010 disguised as a bear. Kwanten’s most notable role to date is as Jason Stackhouse in TV series True Blood.
The most recent Hollywood star to come out of Home and Away was Chris Hemsworth who played personal trainer and life guard, Kim Hyde, from 2004 to 2007. Hemsworth has since starred in Hollywood blockbusters such as Thor, The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Star Trek into the Darkness.
Other notable faces-
Isabel Lucas as Tasha Andrews (Transformers, and The Pacific) Tammin Sursok as Dani Sutherland (The Young and the Restless, and Pretty Little Liars) Phoebe Tonkin as Adrian Hall (TV2’s The Vampire Diaries , and The Originals )
Watch this space-
Steve Peacocke (Darryl Braxton) left the show for a short hiatus to film an upcoming movie, but don’t worry, he’ll be back! Meanwhile, Samara Weaving (Indi Walker) and Rhiannon Fish (April Scott) have left the show permanently in the hopes that they too will be able to follow in the footsteps of their famous predecessors.