Australian soap Neighbours is coming to an end this week after nearly four decades on our screens.
Back in 1985, we were first introduced to the fictional suburb of Erinsborough and decades later, we still remember the highs and lows of the Ramsay Street residents and the incredible storylines they have been a part of. For us Brits watching on the other side of the globe, Neighbours originally aired twice a day on BBC 1, moving to Channel 5 in later years.
Over the years, we’ve also seen it catapult a number of big names to stardom. From Oscar-winning Russell Crowe and critically-acclaimed Margot Robbie to all three Hemsworth brothers and chart toppers Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, many have Neighbours to thank.
Some cast members have returned through the years, whereas others are set to come back for the first time as part of the Neighbours finale. The soap has also had a few quirky cameos, such as wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista
As the final episode airs this week after 37 years on our screens, we take a brief look back at a number of celebrities who starred in Neighbours what they did next. From soap regulars to cameos, they may not have all started out on the show, but they are all part of its incredible history.
Margot Robbie – Donna Freedman
Before her breakout role in The Wolf of Wall Street alongside Leonardo Di Caprio in 2013, Margot Robbie made her first screen appearance on Neighbours in June 2008. Initially a guest character before becoming a Ramsay Street regular, Robbie played Donna Freedman, later Brown, on the show until 2011.
Originally portrayed as an obsessive fan of musician Ty Harper, Donna went on to marry boyfriend Ringo, but their love story was cut short when Ringo was tragically killed. After his death, Donna decided to follow her dream of working in fashion, heading for a design school in New York.
After flying the Neighbours nest, Margot arrived in America and landed the role of Laura Cameron in the period drama series Pan Am. Hitting the big time in Hollywood, she has since enjoyed a stellar film career.
With starring roles in The Legend of Tarzan, Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and her critically acclaimed role in I, Tonya, Margot has had numerous Golden Globe Award, BAFTA and Academy Award nominations. The 32-year-old is currently starring as the lead in Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated film Barbie, alongside Ryan Gosling.
Kylie Minogue – Charlene Mitchell
Possibly Neighbours’ most famous export, Kylie Minogue shot to fame as tom boy mechanic Charlene Mitchell on the soap in 1986. Charlene was introduced to the show along with several other new characters, as part of a revamp by Network Ten to increase ratings.
Although only appearing on the show for two years before hitting international fame as a pop star, Kylie’s character and on-screen romance with Scott Robinson, played by Jason Donovan, captured many hearts. Charlene and Scott’s wedding episode was watched by 20 million viewers worldwide when it aired.
Whilst on Neighbours, Kylie signed a record deal – and the rest is history. Becoming the highest-selling female Australian artist of all time, Kylie has had hit after hit, from I Should Be So Lucky and Spinning Around to All The Lovers, and Especially For You with Neighbours co-star Jason.
In 2008, she was appointed an OBE in the UK’s New Years Honours list. In 2019, she also played the Glastonbury legends slot.
Jason Donovan – Scott Robinson
The other half of Ramsay Street’s great love story, Jason Donovan took over the role of Scott Robinson, originally played by Darius Perkins, in 1985. Also leaving to launch his music career, Jason went on to have the highest-selling album in the UK in 1989, as well as four UK No. 1 singles, including “Especially for You” – his 1988 duet with Kylie.
Jason Donovan’s appearance at Liverpool club Quadrant Park in 1989 caused mass hysteria among the young women of Merseyside – and the St John Ambulance staff had their hands full dealing with an overdose of adoration. Jason later became a star of musical theatre, becoming well known for playing the role of Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
He also starred in The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, War of the Worlds and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. With a few stints on reality TV, Jason reached the finals of I’m a Celebrity and Strictly Come Dancing.
Jason’s daughter, Jemma, also got her big break in Neighbours as Scott’s great niece, Harlow. Kylie and Jason also appear in the teaser final trailer for Neighbours and can be seen pulling up in a green Mini.
Natalie Imbruglia – Beth Brennan
Before her pop career, Natalie Imbruglia made her debut on Neighbours in 1992. Playing the role of Beth Brennan, Natalie’s character is well remembered for her romance with Brad Willis, played by Scott Michaelson.
After leaving Erinsborough in 1994, Natalie released her record breaking single Torn, which topped the charts in 1998. Her music career boasts many accolades, from a Billboard Music Award to two Brit Awards and three Grammy nominations.
She has also dipped into the world of film. Natalie has starred in several films, from Johnny English to Australian indie film, Closed for Winter.
As the Panda, she also won the third series of The Masked Singer UK. Natalie recently performed at Flackstock Festival in memory of the late Caroline Flack.
Alan Dale – Jim Robinson
One of Neighbours’ 12 original characters, Alan Dale played Jim, the patriarch of the Robinson family. He arrived on the scene in 1985, along with his four kids and mother-in-law Helen Daniels.
But by 1993, Alan’s character was killed off, suffering a heart attack. But in 2018, many will remember Jim Robinson returning from the dead for a Christmas episode dream sequence.
After leaving the show, Alan forged a successful career stateside. Moving to the US in the late nineties, Alan has starred in massive hit shows such as 24, The O.C, The West Wing, Lost and Ugly Betty.
From 2017 to 2021, he also starred in the revamped Dynasty as Joseph Anders. In film, Alan has also appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Russell Crowe – Kenny Larkin
Starting back in 1987, Russell Crowe starred in four episodes of Neighbours as Kenny Larkin. Playing former cellmate of Henry Ramsay, Russell’s character left for good after a bust-up outside hotel bar, Lassiter’s.
After working in the Australian film industry, Russell, like many of his Neighbour alumni, headed to the US. His big breakout role was in 2000 when he won an Oscar for playing Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in Box Office smash Gladiator.
Russell went on to star in major films such as Robin Hood, A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster and more. He also had a major role in musical drama Les Misérables.
Accolades to his name also include winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Russell Crowe also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Holly Valance – Felicity Scully
From 1999 till 2002, Holly Valance played Felicity ‘Flick’ Scully on the Australian soap. But like some of her co-stars, Holly left Neighbours to concentrate on her music career.
After she left Erinsborough, Holly pursued music and released her first single Kiss Kiss. The hit reached number one in the UK and Australia.
She later moved to the US to further her career, bagging roles in Prison Break, CSI: Miami and Entourage. Holly was later cast in hit film Taken, playing a singer and starring alongside Liam Neeson.
She competed in series nine of Strictly in 2011 and now is settled in the UK. In her career, Holly has also won an MTV Music Award.
Liam Hemsworth – Josh Taylor
Before becoming a household name, Liam Hemsworth starred in Neighbours from 2007 till 2008. Playing Josh Taylor, who was left paralysed following a surfing accident, it wasn’t long before Liam left the soap for Hollywood.
Liam auditioned for the role of Marvel’s Thor, but lost out to older brother Chris. But he eventually hit the big time when he was cast opposite ex-partner Miley Cyrus in The Last Song in 2010, his American film debut.
The pair enjoyed an on-and-off romance that included two engagements and tying the knot once, but divorced in August 2019. Liam has starred as Gale in The Hunger Games trilogy alongside Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Independence Day: Resurgence and The Duel.
He has also appeared in The Expendables 2 and Paranoia. Over the years, he has won a People’s Choice Award and also a Primetime Emmy nomination amongst many others.
Chris Hemsworth – Jamie Kane
Best known for his role as Thor, Chris isn’t the only Hemsworth to head to Erinsborough. In 2002, he appeared in one Neighbours episode as Steph’s employee.
When it comes to Australian soap’s, Chris is more remembered for his role as Kim Hyde in rival show Home and Away from 2004. The following year, he placed fifth on Australian celebrity dance competition Dancing with the Stars.
In 2009, he made his first Hollywood appearance in the sci-fi blockbuster Star Trek But Chris is perhaps most recognisable for starring in numerous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the God of Thunder.
Other films under his belt include Snow White and the Huntsman, Red Dawn, Ghostbusters (2016) and Men in Black: International. He has also hosted Saturday Night Live.
Luke Hemsworth – Nathan Tyson
Alongside younger brothers Liam and Chris, Luke Hemsworth has also had a stint on Ramsay Street. with Luke having played Nathan Tyson for ten episodes from 2001 till 2002.
Luke reappeared on Neighbours in 2008, playing the role of John Carter for three episodes. Like his famous family members, Luke has also enjoyed success in Hollywood.
He is best known for his role as Ashley Stubbs in HBO series, Westworld. Throughout his career, he has also had cameos in the Thor franchise and starred in films like Crypto and Death of Me.
The latest Memory Lane special is available in many local newsagents and major retailers now. This instalment of the bumper picture special looks at fun in the sun – with pages of stunning photographs and treasured memories of family holidays from years gone by. You can also buy Memory Lane online here.
Guy Pearce – Mike Young
Many know Guy Pearce as the household name he is today. But before he was a Hollywood heavyweight he played Mike Young on Neighbours.
Best friends with Charlene Mitchell and Scott Robinson, Guy’s character left Erinsborough in 1989 after nearly three years on the show. He also played David Croft on rival soap Home and Away from 1991 to 1992 and since then has become an international star.
His first major motion picture role was in the Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. He has also appeared in big movies like LA Confidential, Memento, The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech to name a few.
More recently, he has starred in Iron Man 3 and Mary Queen of Scots. As for TV, Guy also played Scrooge in BBC1’s modern take on A Christmas Carol, as well as appearing in a Radiohead music video.
Delta Goodrem – Nina Tucker
Arriving on the show in 2002, Delta Goodrem played Nina Tucker until 2005. But Delta has always been known for her musical talent.
As a teen, she was signed to Sony Records and after leaving the show she launched her international music career. But in 2015, she did return to Ramsay Street for three episodes to celebrate Neighbours’ 30th anniversary.
Over the years, Delta has released hits such as Born to Try and Lost Without You. She also became a regular judge on The Voice Australia.
Jesse Spencer – Billy Kennedy
Playing Bill Kennedy from 1994 till 2000, Jesse Spencer’s character took off with the love of his life Anne to start a family elsewhere, departing the show over two decades ago. But like many others, Jesse did return to Neighbours for a cameo for the show’s 20th anniversary episode in 2005.
After leaving the Aussie soap, Jesse went on to star alongside Hugh Laurie for all eight seasons of US TV medical drama House. He is also well-known for playing Captain Matthew Casey in Chicago Fire from 2012 to 2021.
Natalie Bassingthwaighte – Izzy Hoyland
From 2003 to 2006, Natalie Bassingthwaighte played Izzy Hoyland, the character viewers loved to hate and who stole Karl Kennedy from Susan. Post Neighbours, Natalie launched her music career as lead singer for the band Rogue Traders.
The band had an international hit with Voodoo Child. Natalie later became an X Factor judge in Australia and New Zealand.
Eliza Taylor – Janae Timmins
In 2005, Eliza Taylor arrived in Erinsborough as Janae, part of the Timmins’ family. Remaining on the show until 2008, Eliza’s character had many dramatic story lines, from facing an underage marriage to a HIV scare and the sudden death of her brother, Stingray.
Eliza left the Australian soap and later became known for her role as Clarke Griffin in post-apocalyptic drama, The 100. The show aired multiple series from 2014 to 2020, seeing Eliza nominated for a Teen Choice award in 2015.
Bob Morley – Aidan Foster
Eliza’s other half and fellow The 100 co-star Bob Morley also starred in Neighbours. In 2011, he played Aidan Foster, a nurse who worked at the local hospital.
Earlier in his career, Bob played Drew Curtis in Home and Away, before landing the role in Neighbours and later playing Bellamy Blake in The 100. The breakout role also earned him a Teen Choice Award nomination in 2015.
Ben Mendelsohn – Warren Murphy
For 19 episodes, Ben Mendelsohn played Warren Murphy on Neighbours” from 1986 to 1987. In his career spanning over 30 years, Ben has appeared in major films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Dark Knight Rises and Ready Player One.
He also starred in the Netflix original series Bloodline for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award. In 2020, he also starred in the HBO crime miniseries The Outsider.
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Luke Mitchell – Chris Knight
In 2008, Luke Mitchell starred in Neighbours playing Chris Knight for 11 episodes. But this wasn’t his only stint on a popular Australian TV show. He starred in H2o: Just Add Water before joining the cast of Home and Away, playing Romeo Smith.
Since then, Luke has been in many TV series’ such as The Tomorrow People, Agents of SHIELD, and Blindspot. He also had a recurring role in Vampire Diaries spin off Legacies, playing the role of Ken.
Adelaide Kane – Lolly Allen
After winning a magazine competition, Adelaide Kane was cast as Lolly Allen on Neighbours in 2007. She played Lolly for 45 episodes before departing the show.
Since her time on the soap, she has appeared in The Purge and also starred as Cora Hale in MTV series Teen Wolf as well as Drizella in the ABC series Once Upon a Time.
Brett Tucker – Daniel Fitzgerald
From a decade, Brett Tucker played Daniel Fitzgerald on Neighbours between 1999 and 2009. He is known for his roles in The Saddle Club, McLeod’s Daughters, and Mistresses, as well as Dynasty.
Bella Heathcote – Amanda Fowler
Bella Heathcote played Amanda Fowler on the show in 2009. Starring in eight episodes, she later went on to star in a number of Hollywood films, from Dark Shadows and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to Fifty Shades Darker and series’ such as Man in the High Castle.
Caitlin Stasey – Rachel Kinski
From 2005 to 2009, Caitlin Stasey played Rachel Kinski on Neighbours. Previously playing Francesca Thomas in The Sleepover Club, she is perhaps best known for starring in American series Reign, as well as All Cheerleaders Die.
Sianoa Smit-McPhee – Bree Timmins
From 2005 to 2007, Sianoa Smit-McPhee starred in Neighbours as Bree Timmins. She later had roles in Disney Channel’s As the Bell Rings, as well as All Cheerleaders Die alongside fellow Neighbours alumni Caitlin Stasey.
Peter O’Brien – Shane Ramsey
An original Neighbours cast member, Peter O’Brien starred as Shane Ramsey from 1985 to 1987. Known for notable roles on British telly, from Queer As Folk to Doctor Who and Casualty, he also played Wolverine’s dad in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Ben Lawson – Frazer Yeats
From 2006 to 2008, Ben Lawson played Frazer Yeats on the popular Australian soap. he has since starred in various sitcoms such as Modern Family and 2 Broke Girls, as well as starring opposite Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in the film No Strings Attached.
Nicky Whelan – Pepper Steiger
Neighbours fans will remember Nicky Whelan as Pepper Steiger on the show in the early noughties. But Nicky also made it to Hollywood, known for her recurring role in the final series of Scrubs and comedy House Of Lies to name a few.
Jay Bunyan – The 2nd Jack Scully
Jay Bunyan, later known as Jay Ryan took on the role of Jack Scully from 2002 to 2005. Like many of his Neighbours colleagues, he moved to Hollywood and has since starred in American series Beauty & the Beast, as well as Terra Nova and Mary Kills People.
Dichen Lachman – Katya Kinski
Earning recognition as Katya Kinski, Dichen Lachman was a Neighbours regular from 2005 till 2007. She has since had roles in TV shows such as The 100, Dollhouse and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, as well as films like Aquamarine and Jurassic World: Dominion.
Mark Little – Joe Mangel
Australian actor, television presenter and comedian Mark Little is still best known by some for playing as Joe Mangel for three years. In 2019, he took part in Dancing on Ice and has also performed regularly at the Edinburgh Festival.
Dave Bautista – Himself
Does anyone remember when Dave Bautista popped up in Erinsborough as himself? It’s not a fever dream – that did in fact happen.
The wrestler turned actor, now known for roles in Guardians Of The Galaxy and Spectre did make a cameo on Neighbours in 2009. In the episode, wrestling fans Toadie and Callum spotted him out and about.
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