Penny McNamee’s life away from Sum­mer Bay


THE Aus­tralian ac­tor and stage per­former plays Dr Tori Mor­gan on Chan­nel 7’s Home and Away. She is per­haps best known for her por­trayal of Nes­sarose Thropp (who be­comes the Wicked Witch of the East) in the orig­i­nal Aus­tralian cast of stage mu­si­cal Wicked, for which she won the 2009 Green Room Award for Best Fe­male Artist in a Fea­tured Role in Mu­sic The­atre.

Other mu­si­cal-the­atre cred­its in­clude the roles of Mary Pop­pins at Syd­ney’s River­side The­atre, and Jen­nifer Gabriel in the Mel­bourne pro­duc­tion of The Witches of East­wick.

McNamee lived in New York from 2011 to 2014, where she was cast in the TV shows Po­lit­i­cal An­i­mals, El­e­men­tary and Blue Bloods. In 2010, she played the role of Hope in Tom Hanks’ and Steven Spiel­berg’s HBO minis­eries The Pa­cific, and has made guest ap­pear­ances in many Aus­tralian shows, in­clud­ing All Saints and White Col­lar Blue.

She re­cently ren­o­vated the home she shares in the Syd­ney sub­urb of Rozelle with hus­band Matt Tooker, a cre­ative-agency di­rec­tor, and their tod­dler son, Jack.

Typ­i­cal Satur­day morn­ing

We trea­sure our Satur­days be­cause it’s the one day we make sure that we all spend to­gether and we’re not rush­ing off to work. The three of us will usu­ally head to our lo­cal mar­kets at Rozelle, which have lots of knick­knacks, and then we will grab a cof­fee. The mar­kets are right next door to an oval so we will often take a soc­cer ball and have a kick af­ter­wards.

Se­cret do­mes­tic skill

I ac­tu­ally quite en­joy laun­dry be­cause you put the clothes into a ma­chine and they come out clean, whereas with wash­ing dishes you have to stand there for ages do­ing the ac­tual wash­ing your­self. I am also a re­ally big fan of writ­ing lists. I have re­alised that in or­der to get ev­ery­thing done with a small child, you need lists!

On my bed­side ta­ble

Books, nail pol­ish and my iPad, which I use to learn my lines for Home and Away. I learn my lines dur­ing the day but I will often read them right be­fore I go to bed and that way it sticks more the fol­low­ing day. The nail pol­ish is there be­cause when you work on a TV show you con­stantly have to make sure your nails are not bro­ken or your pol­ish isn’t chipped.

Emer­gency snack

I tend to eat a lot of crack­ers with beet­root dip and I feel that I can eat that with­out feel­ing guilty. I also can­not eat enough ba­nanas.

Ideal night in

It would be Jack in bed by 7pm, and stay­ing in bed, while Matt and I en­joy a glass of wine on our back deck and Matt cooks some­thing on the bar­be­cue. Then maybe we will watch Net­flix.

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