We look at the amaz­ing ca­reer of one of our most loved and ad­mired actresses.

Soap World - - CONTENTS -

The Box

WHO WAS SHE: Sharon Lewis (1975) THE LOW­DOWN: Billed as “young, blonde and avail­able”, Sharon, UCV Chan­nel 12’s pro­duc­tion as­sis­tant, was ini­tially the tar­get of the of­fice sleaze be­fore go­ing on to re­place Lindy Jones as sec­re­tary to pro­gram­ming man­ager Nick Free­man. Sharon be­came so un­set­tled when she de­vel­oped ro­man­tic feel­ings for Nick that she trans­ferred to be­come Max Knight’s sec­re­tary in­stead, to keep her emo­tions un­der con­trol. Even­tu­ally, she left the sta­tion for greener pas­tures.

The Sul­li­vans

WHO WAS SHE: Lill Dug­gan (1976-78)

THE LOW­DOWN: A na­tive of a coun­try town called Burrabri, the long-suf­fer­ing and ne­glected Lill com­pletely up­rooted her way of life to move to Mel­bourne to sup­port her self-cen­tred and ig­no­rant hus­band Bert. Lodg­ing with Mrs Jes­sup, Lill was reg­u­larly left home alone while de­vi­ous wom­an­iser Bert prowled the streets look­ing for trou­ble. He even­tu­ally found it in il­le­gal book­mak­ing, which mo­ti­vated him to en­list in the Army to fight in World War II to es­cape ar­rest for his crimes. Dev­as­tated by Bert’s de­par­ture, Lill valiantly strug­gled at home af­ter dis­cov­er­ing she was preg­nant. Giv­ing birth to baby boy John Al­bert, Lill faced life

as a sin­gle mother af­ter news reached her that Bert had been killed in a land­mine ex­plo­sion in North Africa in 1942. Crav­ing a fresh start, Lill briefly re­lo­cated to Syd­ney be­fore tak­ing John Al­bert and re­turn­ing home to Burrabri to put her life back to­gether.


Who WAS She: Mag­gie Wood­bury (1984) The loW­doWN: The daugh­ter of Les, a vaude­ville co­me­dian who worked at the Tivoli The­atre, Mag­gie and her part­ner Maxey hit se­ri­ously rough times when the Great De­pres­sion up­ended their lives in the 1930s. Mag­gie strug­gled with Maxey’s de­ci­sion to go on strike as a wharfie and ad­here to the union’s de­mands. The re­la­tion­ship was fur­ther tested as hun­gry Ital­ian im­mi­grants crossed the picket lines to work as scab labour­ers in a bid by the ship own­ers to de­stroy the union. The role won Ha­zle­hurst the 1985 Lo­gie for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress in a Mini-Se­ries or Tele­movie.

nancy Wake

Who WAS She: Nancy Wake (1987) The loW­doWN: In this in­spir­ing true story, Ha­zle­hurst played World War II hero­ine Nancy Wake, who risked her life and of­ten per­formed dare­devil feats to help the French Re­sis­tance de­feat the oc­cu­py­ing Ger­man forces through­out the war. The Aus­tralian hero­ine even­tu­ally be­came the Gestapo’s Most Wanted Per­son with a 5 mil­lion franc price on her head. Af­ter es­cap­ing France, she joined the Bri­tish Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Ex­ec­u­tive as an agent.

City homi­cide

Who WAS She: De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Ber­nice Waver­ley (2007-11) The loW­doWN: A ca­reer cop since the age of 18 with over 30 years’ ser­vice un­der her belt, Ber­nice was a strong ad­vo­cate for the ad­vance­ment of women in the Po­lice Ser­vice. How­ever, her pro­fes­sional and per­sonal lives clashed dread­fully when she was ac­cused and sus­pended from the force for corruption.

Cor­rectly be­liev­ing she’d been framed, Ber­nice sought to prove her innocence and dis­cov­ered that the per­pe­tra­tor was the brother of a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer who Ber­nice had dis­missed from the force. Want­ing re­venge for his dis­graced brother’s even­tual de­pres­sion-fu­elled sui­cide, the man ab­ducted Ber­nice’s son Josh and fa­tally slashed the boy’s wrists, en­sur­ing that the mur­der repli­cated his sib­ling’s sui­cide. Later in the se­ries, Ber­nice was pro­moted to Com­man­der of Crime.

A Place to Call home

Who IS She: El­iz­a­beth Bligh (2013-present) The loW­doWN: Fiercely pro­tec­tive of the Bligh fam­ily dy­nasty, for­mi­da­ble ma­tri­arch El­iz­a­beth will go to any ex­treme to up­hold her fam­ily’s re­spected name. Dogged by a scan­dalous past in which her de­ceased hus­band lived a se­cret gay life­style while she main­tained a public air of pro­pri­ety for

And then there’s Play School

Away from act­ing, Noni de­vel­oped a dis­tin­guished ten­ure on ABC chil­dren’s TV show Play School. As a pre­sen­ter from 1978 to 2002, Noni en­ter­tained thou­sands of Aus­tralian kids with singing, game­play­ing and the ad­ven­tures of beloved stuffed toys like Jemima and Big Ted. It’s a gig that she says “changed my life”. “It was a fan­tas­tic job and taught me more about com­mu­ni­cat­ing than any­thing I’d ever done,” she ex­plains. The role also prompted Noni to be­come na­tional am­bas­sador or pa­tron for many chil­dren’s char­i­ties such as Bar­na­dos. She’s also recorded sev­eral mu­sic and spo­ken-word al­bums for chil­dren. the fam­ily’s sake, El­iz­a­beth re­acts badly to per­ceived in­ter­lop­ers. Her main tar­get has been Nurse Sarah Adams who riled El­iz­a­beth by fall­ing in love with El­iz­a­beth’s son Ge­orge. With the help of Ge­orge’s for­mer sis­ter-in-law Regina, El­iz­a­beth schemed to ban­ish the “Jewess” from her son’s life by dig­ging up her se­crets, which in­cluded Rene Nord­man, the hus­band Sarah had thought killed dur­ing World War II in Europe.

Un­for­tu­nately, El­iz­a­beth’s wicked ef­forts wrecked her re­la­tion­ship with her shocked fam­ily, forc­ing her off the fam­ily’s cher­ished es­tate Ash Park. El­iz­a­beth’s os­tracism from her fam­ily mo­ti­vated her to change her of­ten-neg­a­tive ap­proach to sit­u­a­tions around her. With a worldlier out­look on life, El­iz­a­beth struck up a gen­tle friend­ship/ro­mance with Dou­glas Goddard but at the end of sea­son three she suf­fered a dev­as­tat­ing heart at­tack from which she may not sur­vive.

Noni (cen­tre, seated) in her present role as El­iz­a­beth Bligh in A Place to Call Home. The spir­ited Noni as World War II hero­ine Nancy Wake in the 1987 mini-se­ries Nancy Wake. As ma­tri­arch El­iz­a­beth, Noni shows her tal­ents, in­clud­ing pi­ano play­ing.

Noni as de­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Ber­nice Waver­ley in City Homi­cide.

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