Here’s What Your Favourite 1980s Neighbours Stars Look Like Today!
If you grew up during the 1980s, then even if you weren’t a massive fan, you’ll have no doubt been aware of the legendary Aussie soap that is Neighbours. We remember having daily discussions in our school playground about the cliffhanger that ended the previous night’s episode, and we definitely remember falling in love with Scott and Charlene and their whirlwind romance.
Neighbours ran for 8 months on Australia’s Channel 7 before it was cancelled. Luckily for us it was resurrected by Channel 10 who are the channel that have screened the soap ever since. It was especially popular in the UK at the tail end of the 1980s, with Scott and Charlene’s wedding, broadcast in November 1988, being watched by an unbelievable 19.6 million people in the UK alone!
But time has moved on, and believe it or not Kylie Minogue is now older than Anne Charleston was when she first began playing her mother Madge! Below we’ve listed some of our very favourite Neighbours stars from the 1980s, because we were desperate to know what they’re up to now, and perhaps more importantly, what they look like these days! Be sure to post a comment telling us your memories of this classic soap, who your very favourite character was, and whether you still watch it now!
17. Kylie Minogue (Charlene Mitchell)
From 1986 to 1988, Kylie played Charlene Mitchell, love interest to Jason Donovan’s Scott.
By the time her time on Neighbours came to an end, Kylie had already begun a successful music career, which has continued on to the present day.
Beginning with cheesy pop classics like I Should Be So Lucky and The Loco-Motion, some of Kylie’s biggest hits include Spinning Around and All the Lovers.
Now 50-years-old, Kylie continues to tour and occasionally still acts, appearing in 2017’s Swinging Safari along with former Neighbours stars Guy Pearce, Radha Mitchell and Julian McMahon.
16. Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson)
Like Kylie, Jason Donovan’s Neighbours stint was short-lived. He played Scott Robinson from 1986 to 1989.
After Neighbours, Donovan like Kylie embarked on a solo career in music, beginning with Especially For You, his 1988 collaboration with Kylie.
Since then, Donovan has become a fixture on the British stage, most notably in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Now 50, Donovan has made his home in the UK, where he continues to tour and make regular TV and radio appearances.
15. Annie Jones (Jane Harris)
From 1986 to 1989, Annie Jones played Neighbours’ ‘Plain Jane Superbrain’ Jane Harris, object of affection for Guy Pearce’s Mike.
After Neighbours, Jones had high profile roles in Australian shows including Snowy and Newlyweds.
However, nothing would compare to the dizzy heights of Ramsay Street – which might explain why Jones recently made the decision to the soap as Jane in 2018.
Plain Jane’s Neighbours return marks Jones’ return to acting, after years of putting her career on the backburner to care full-time for her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the mid-90s. Jones is married to TV director Paul Moloney.
14. Craig McLachlan (Henry Ramsay)
Having played Henry Ramsay, brother to Kylie’s Charlene, from 1987 to 1989, Craig McLachlan went and did something highly controversial.
No, we’re not talking about his 1990 cover of Bo Diddley’s Mona: in 1990, McLachlin hopped on over to Summer Bay, to play a new role in Neighbours rival Home and Away.
Working solidly in TV ever since, McLachlan recently found himself back in the spotlight, although unfortunately not just for his starring role in The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
In 2018, McLachlan was fired from The Doctor Blake Mysteries after it emerged he had been accused of sexual assault by several female co-stars. He will appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in February.
13. Russell Crowe (Kenny Larkin)
In 1987, Russell Crowe appeared in four episodes of Neighbours as Kenny Larkin, ex-convict friend to Henry Ramsay.
After Neighbours, Crowe’s career took off with the 1992 Australian film Romper Stomper, which took him to Hollywood.
Roles in LA Confidential (alongside Guy Pearce), Master and Commander and Gladiator – for which Crowe won an Oscar – followed.
Now 54, Crowe is recently divorced and about to star in The True History of the Kelly Gang, an Australian biopic of Ned Kelly.
12. Alan Dale (Jim Robinson)
As Jim Robinson, Alan Dale appeared in the very first episode of Neighbours and shot 931 more before he departed in 1993.
After Neighbours, Dale became a fixture in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies and TV shows.
Since 1993, Dale has appeared on hit series including Lost, The Killing, Homeland, Entourage and 24, while also showing up in films including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Dale has even managed to fit another episode of Neighbours in, appearing in a cameo in the show (as Jim Robinson) last year. Now 71, Dale has been married to Tracey Pearson, a former Miss Australia, since 1990.
11. Guy Pearce (Mike Young)
From 1986 to 1989, Guy Pearce played Mike Young, and his career hasn’t lost momentum since.
After 1994’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert launched him internationally, Pearce soon became a Hollywood leading man.
Acclaimed roles followed in LA Confidential, Memento, The Proposition, The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech.
Now 51, Pearce has since 2015 been in a relationship with Game of Thrones star Carice van Houten, with whom he has a son.
10. Paul Keane (Des Clarke)
Paul Keane may have been one of the stars of one of the biggest soaps of the 1980s, but things didn’t turn out as rosy for him as they did for Kylie and Jason.
From episode until his departure in 1990, Keane played Des Clarke, but the pressure of the role never sat right with the actor.
After Keane left, he resumed normal life and worked in a pub, where he also regrettably developed a drug habit.
After years spent battling addition and depression, Keane is happily now clean. He returned to the show for a one-off special as Des in 2015.
9. Ben Mendelsohn (Warren Murphy)
Ever the bad boy, Ben Mendelsohn played young alcoholic – and destroyer of Charlene and Scott’s relationship – Warren Murphy, for 19 episodes in 1987.
After Neighbours, Mendelsohn briefly became a sensation in Australia with films such as The Year My Voice Broke and The Big Steal.
Mendelsohn’s career really took off after playing psychopathic bank robber Pope Cody in 2010’s Animal Kingdom, which saw the actor become Hollywood’s go-to villain-for-hire in films such as The Dark Knight Roses, Rogue One and Ready Player One.
In 2016, Mendelsohn won an Emmy for his turn in the Netflix series Bloodline. He has two children and is recently divorced, from writer Emma Forrest.
8. Elaine Smith (Daphne Clarke)
In an episode that traumatises us to this very day, Daphne Clarke became the very first of the regular characters to die.
Finishing her Neighbours tenure in 1988, Elaine Smith went on to star in The Flying Doctors and Home and Away.
Since 2006, however, Smith has been retired from acting altogether. Having left the fame game behind, Smith is now a teacher at a public school in Sydney.
Smith is married to Australian writer and theatre director Jonathan Biggins; they share twin daughters, Charlotte and Imogen, born in 2000.
7. Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson)
Since beginning his acting career in 1978, Stefan Dennis has become a master of the TV soap.
Besides playing Paul Robinson in Neighbours, Dennis has also appeared in Dream Team, Casualty, River City and The Bill.
Neighbours, though, is Dennis’ home: having appeared on the show’s very first episode, he starred as Paul from 1985 to 1993, then again from 2005 to the present day.
In total, Dennis has appeared in 3,636 Neighbours episodes to date. He has been married to Gail Easdale since 2000.
6. Anne Charleston (Madge Bishop)
Between 1986 and 2015, Anne Charleston, as Madge Bishop, became the matriarch of Neighbours.
Having left the show in 1992, Madge returned in 1996 and stayed for a further five years.
Apart from returning to Ramsay Street for a few episodes in 2015, Charleston has since otherwise chosen to live and work in the UK.
Having appeared on stage productions in the UK and Ireland of shows including Calendar Girls and Steel Magnolias, Charleston has also become a bit of a regular player in British soaps, appearing on Emmerdale, Doctors and Crossroads.
5. Ian Smith (Harold Bishop)
Like Anne Charleston, Ian Smith – who played Charleston’s on-screen husband, Harold Bishop – became a soap legend by the time he was done with Neighbours.
Joining Neighbours in 1987 before getting swept out to sea in 1991, Smith returned again as Harold in 1996.
Staying with the show until 2009, then making further appearances in 2011 and 2015, Smith has a whopping 1,690 episodes of Neighbours under his belt.
Now 80, Smith has opened up about suffering from depression later in life, but says wife Gail has helped him through.
4. Fiona Corke
Of all the actors from Neighbours’ early days, Fiona Corke has had one of the more interesting career trajectories.
Having played Gail Robinson from 1987 to 1989, followed by guest stints on the show in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Corke subsequently largely turned her back on acting.
With only four acting roles following her last Neighbours appearance in 2007, Corke has instead focused on her work as a wildlife activist and campaigner.
Now 57 and married to former Neighbours guest actor Nick Carrafa, Corke is vice president of the Australian Society for Kangaroos. Her work now involves raising awareness about the treatment of Australia’s kangaroos and conditions for wildlife in Australia’s Macedon Ranges.
3. Kym Valentine (Libby Kennedy)
Libby Kennedy, daughter of Karl and Susan Kennedy, was introduced as a Neighbours lead back in 1994.
At the time of casting, Kym Valentine was only 17. From then until 2014, Valentine played the part on and off.
Illness including pneumonia and a blood clot on the lung would temporarily force Valentine out of the part, before she left for good in 2014.
To ex-husband Fabio Tolli and ex-partner Trent Croad, Valentine respectively has a daughter and a son.
2. Rebecca Ritters (Hannah Martin)
First joining the show in 1992 at just eight-years-old, Rebecca Ritters left Hannah Martin behind in 1999.
Reprising her role for a brief cameo in the show’s 20th anniversary episode, Ritters said goodbye to Neighbours for good in 2005.
Since leaving the show, Ritters acted only sporadically, and hasn’t acted at all since 2010 – but only because it’s taken a backseat to her career as a broadcast journalist.
Ritters’ day job now is reporting the news for German news network Deutsche Welle.
1. Ryan Moloney (Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi)
When Jarrod Vincenzo ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi was introduced in 1995, the character was only scheduled to appear in one scene.
However, after Toadie proved a hit with viewers, he became a recurring character, before he and actor Ryan Moloney joined the soap for good.
Moloney has at this point been on Neighbours for the last 24 years, making him one of the show’s longest-standing residents.
Since 2003, Moloney has been married to Alison Hayward. They have two children together.