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Made in Australia: Home (and Away)-grown stars who hit the big time

Plus, a tentative reason to watch Shane’s death again.

SOAPS AREN’T ALWAYS conducive to launching massive acting careers but Australian favourite Home and Away has kind of a knack for it.

We were having a discussion about Melissa George at HQ during the week and how Angel has grown up well. She’s starred in the BBC’s Hunted series, as well as scoring a recurring role in Grey’s Anatomy. She’s even getting papped by the Daily Mail while out wedding dress shopping.

But, realistically, how could she not have made it big after being a central part to THE SADDEST SCENE ever filmed?

And speaking of Shane, although Dieter Brummer didn’t hit the big time, he did re-emerge years later in rival soap Neighbours. There’s hope for him yet – that crowd have form too.

Here are eight others who made the move to Hollywood – and are no longer waiting tables.

1. Julian McMahon

Now known for his roles in Nip/Tuck and Charmed, Julian was once an awol army officer hiding out in Summer Bay.

2. Isla Fisher

Isla had some pretty dramatic storylines in her time playing Shannon on Home and Away. She went out with her adopted brother, Angel saved her from drowning, she had anorexia, a number of crushing heartaches and a violent boyfriend before eventually leaving for Paris.

But our favourite memory of the flame-haired beauty was her lesbian crush.

Who’d have thought she would go on to marry Borat?

3. Ryan Kwanten

Vinnie Patterson actually did go into a witness protection programme so he could leave the show. Producers brought him back once – and dressed him up in a giant kids costume for his son’s birthday party- so he could say a second goodbye to Leah. This was his first (with bonus Alf talking about ‘Nam footage):


But Kwanten got over it and has launched a successful career in the States, starring in teen vampire hit (what else?) True Blood.

4. Nicholas Bishop

Vinnie is one of few characters that the writers have never forgotten existed. In fact, that is how Bishop’s character Peter Baker was introduced. He was the new copper in town but he had a secret – he knew that Vinnie didn’t really die in that fire.

He later went on to fall for token baddie-turned-goodie Amanda.

Although often confused with The Mentalist’s Simon Baker (co-incidental name doesn’t help!), Bishop himself landed a role in ABC’s Body of Proof.

5. Isabel Lucas

As Tasha, she was the whacky and adorable hippy with the geeky boyfriend on the Bay but Isabel Lucas became the sex goddess of Transformers just a few years later.

6. Chris Hemsworth

He had a steamy affair with an older doctor before being lost in the middle of nowhere with Kit, impregnating her and eventually falling for her. Obviously.

That voice! No wonder he was cast in this:

7. Tammin Sursock

Tammin’s character Dani Sutherland was really, very, extremely irritating. Like, this irritating:

So, she’s probably glad to be playing blind bitch Jenna on popular US show Pretty Little Liars now.

8. Sharni Vinson

Cassie Turner was probably the most tragic resident of Summer Bay. When she left to “go travelling” with Sally she was single, pregnant and had been diagnosed with HIV. But it all started off so promisingly:

There were much happier times awaiting for her in New York City though.

Special mentions should also go to Danni Minogue and Guy Pearce but they had already had breakout moments before joining the Bay. Naomi Watts apparently made a brief appearance as Julie Gibson for a bit as well but there was no available footage to prove this.

Bonus content: We have used this before but if weren’t aware that Heath Ledger took Sally Fletcher’s virginity, you should probably watch this:

And this.

9 reasons why Home and Away has one million Facebook fans

UPDATE: Home and Away’s Brax on nationwide tour (Scream!)