Home and Away’s original cast: Where are they now?

    Since the 1988 debut of the first episodes of Home and Away, more than 30 years have passed.

    The drama serial has developed a passionate fan following of viewers who have followed along with the frequently turbulent lives of the residents of Summer Bay over the years, becoming one of Australia’s most popular programmes.

    The TV Week team decided to travel back in time to revisit the lives of the original cast members and find out what they have been up to since their main roles on the program ended because episode 5,000 is not too far away.

    Therefore, without further ado….

    Ray Meagher (Alf Stewart) 1988 – present

    Ray appeared in the inaugural episode of Home and Away in 1988, making him the longest-running actor in an Australian serial to this day (he really holds the Guinness World Record for that distinction).

    He has participated in about 5,000 episodes over the course of the previous 30 years, won a Gold Logie Award for playing Alf, and is currently the only surviving original cast member on the show.

    In addition to playing the lead character on Home and Away, Ray has performed on stage in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and other Christmas pantomimes in Australia and the UK.

    Norman Coburn (Donald Fisher) 1988 -2007

    Norman is most known for playing high school headmaster Donald Fisher. He served in that capacity continuously until 2003 and intermittently from 2004 to 2007.

    After that? Apart from a brief appearance in a 2019 episode of Home and Away with his old co-star Debra Lawrence, Norman is content with life as a retiree.

    Judy Nunn (Ailsa Stewart) 1988 – 2002

    Judy dedicated her focus to a writing career after her character was killed off in 2000 (although she did make an appearance in the form of hallucinations seen by her on-screen husband Alf in 2002). She published 16 adult fiction novels, with Show Time in 2021 being the most recent.

    She currently resides on the NSW Central Coast with her husband Bruce Vernables.

    Kate Richie (Sally Fletcher) 1988 – 2013

    Kate left the role of Sally after 20 years in 2008, however she came back for the 2013 25th anniversary festivities.

    Since then, she has hosted Kate, Tim & Joel on NOVA FM’s national drive show and had a number of other acting appearances, most recently serving as a judge on the Channel 7 drama series The Claremont Murders. She also served as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent in 2022.

    Kate now resides in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with her nine-year-old daughter Mae, whom she shared with her ex-husband Stuart Webb.

    Nicolle Dickson (Bobby Simpson) 1988 – 2006

    Some people might be surprised to learn that Nicolle resigned from acting after leaving Home and Away (after her character was fatally injured in a boating accident) and now works as an accountant and bookkeeper.

    She and her husband James are currently residing in the Southern Highlands.

    Lyn Collingwood (Colleen Smart) 1988 – 2013

    It was expected that Lyn would join the cast of Home and Away in 1988 after appearing in A Country Practice and Neighbours.

    Over a 25-year period, Lynn left the show, came back, left again, and is currently leading a non-public existence.

    It’s interesting to note that Lyn has recently worked as an editor and researcher for The Australian Encyclopaedia as well as many other encyclopedias.

    Adam Willits (Steven Matheson) 1988 – 2008

    Who could forget how Adam portrayed Steven, a foster child?

    Adam went on to star in Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, Hampton Court, All Saints, and serial Rake after its original run from 1988 to 1991 (and several subsequent returns over the years). He subsequently left the spotlight to work in the insurance industry.

    Sharyn Hodgson (Carly Morris) 1988 – 2008

    Sharyn continued to appear in episodes of well-known shows including Blue Heelers, Police Rescue, and Big Sky after her original on-screen departure.

    She has her own foster children and is now a full-time mother in addition to working as a natural therapist and daycare provider.

    Vanessa Downing (Pippa Fletcher) 1988 – 2006

    Longtime fans know Vanessa as the original Pippa Fletcher (Debra Lawrence took over the role in 1990).

    She has played a lot of cameo appearances in telemovies and Australian television programs throughout the years. She has also built a successful legal career while working with the firm Craddock Murray Neumann.

    Greg Benson (Matt Wilson) 1988 – 2002

    Greg permanently stopped acting after the finale of Home and Away. But in a charming twist of destiny, he met his real-life sweetheart Amanda on the set when she was chosen to play Narelle Smart.

    They are now happily married and have two grown children; Dylan, one of them, even made a special appearance on the 2019 season of Home and Away.

    Roger Oakley (Tom Fletcher) 1988 – 2008

    Roger was a seasoned professional in the field before to signing on with Home and Away.

    Following his departure from the program in 1990 (and brief comeback in 2008), he has continued to act, appearing in theater performances of My Fair Lady, The Golden Dragon, and other works, as well as in the television series Underbelly and Winners and Loosers.

    In the television series Superwog in 2021, he made his final on-screen appearance.

    Peter Vroom (Lance Smart) 1988 – 2006

    Since playing the last part in the 2007 short film Philip, Peter has taken a break from acting and is now a certified meditation instructor. He helps his students develop their spirituality and learn how to meditate.

    Fiona Spence (Celia Stewart) 1988 – 2013

    Even though she made her final appearance as the unlucky in love spinster Celia in 1990, Fiona has returned to Home and Away multiple times over the years, most recently in 2013.

    Fiona played Eleanor in Packed to the Rafters from 2008 to 2013, but in the ten years since the show’s conclusion, she has kept silent and is likely leading a private life.

    Alex Papps (Frank Morgan) 1988 – 2006

    Even though she made her final appearance as the unlucky in love spinster Celia in 1990, Fiona has returned to Home and Away multiple times over the years, most recently in 2013.

    Fiona played Eleanor in Packed to the Rafters from 2008 to 2013, but in the ten years since the show’s conclusion, she has kept silent and is likely leading a private life.

    Alex Papps (Frank Morgan) 1988 – 2006

    Did you know that the first time Frank ever appeared on TV was in the 1988 season opener of Home and Away?

    Along with his former Home and Away co-star Justine Clarke, who portrayed his on-screen girlfriend Roo Stewart, Alex served as a cohost on Play School from 2005 until 2021.

    Speaking of Justine, the two of them shared a screen time on the ABC miniseries The Time of our Lives.

    In 2014, Alex also published “Let’s Put The Beat In Our Feet,” an album of kid-friendly music that was nominated for an ARIA award.

    Approximately 12 years after his previous appearance, Alex made his way back to Summer Bay in 2018 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Home and Away.

    Justine Clarke (Roo Stewart) 1988 – 2005

    Since her character Roo’s final performance, Justine has been keeping herself occupied.

    Following her 18-month run on the program, Justine went on to appear in a variety of TV shows and motion pictures, notably Blackrock in 1997, which marked Heath Ledger’s debut in a creditable cinematic role.

    She then started working as a Play School presenter in 1999, a position she has had ever since.

    Additionally, she co-wrote and acted in the well-known children’s TV show The Justine Clarke Show, recorded a number of original children’s songs, and twice won the Aria Award for Best Children’s Album in 2013 and 2018.

    Justine also performs as a jazz vocalist and cabaret performer, in case you’re still unimpressed.


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