List of ''Neighbours'' characters (1994)

Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera created by Reg Watson. It was first broadcast on 18 March 1985. The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the serial in 1994, by order of first appearance. Until 9 May, characters were introduced by the soap's executive producer, Alan Coleman. Thereafter, they were introduced by his successor, Stanley Walsh. The 10th season of Neighbours began airing from 20 January 1994. Frank Bren began appearing as Colin Taylor in same month. Bren also played Colin's twin brother Alf. March saw the arrivals of Len Mangel, Sally Pritchard and Stonefish Rebecchi. Katerina Torelli made her first appearance in April, while Sam Kratz was introduced in June. His grandmother Marlene Kratz began appearing in July. That month also saw the births of Louise Carpenter and Zac Willis. Serendipity Gottlieb made her debut in August. Stonefish's brother Shane Rebecchi arrived in September. He was followed by the first two members of the Kennedy family: doctor Karl Kennedy and his youngest son Billy. Karl's wife Susan and their elder children Malcolm and Libby followed in October. November saw Bianca Zanotti and Ling Mai Chan make their debut appearances.

Colin Taylor

Colin Taylor
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Frank Bren
Duration 1994–1995
First appearance 27 January 1994 (1994-01-27)
Last appearance 3 November 1995 (1995-11-03)
Introduced by Alan Coleman
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Interpreter
Newsagent assistant
Home China

Colin Taylor, played by Frank Bren, made his first appearance on 27 January 1994. The character was described as an "incurable chatterbox" and "irritating as hell" by a writer for Inside Soap.[1] Writers later paired Colin with established character Marlene Kratz (Moya O'Sullivan). O'Sullivan said the pair "seem to hit it off in a big way" and that it was "definitely love".[1] Marlene and Colin share similar interests and O'Sullivan thought it was nice that Marlene had someone of her own that cared for her.[1]

Colin introduces himself to Philip (Ian Rawlings) and Julie Martin (Julie Mullins) when they arrive at their holiday bungalow in Queensland. The Martins find Colin friendly, but his tendency to ramble irritates them. Colin reappears several months later as Doug Willis's (Terence Donovan) roommate at the hospital. Colin takes a job at Philip's newsagency and competes against Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher) at the auction for Number 28 Ramsay Street but ultimately loses out. Colin makes several changes to the newsagency, and he forms a Barbershop Trio with Philip and Vikram Chatterji (Nigel Rodrigues). Colin moves into Number 30 with Mark Gottlieb (Bruce Samazan) and Cody Willis (Peta Brady). Colin's twin brother Alf (also Bren) comes to visit him. When Colin pursues a relationship with Marlene Kratz, he believes Alf is also trying to making advances towards her and they fight. Alf then admits that he is not interested in Marlene, as he is gay. Colin proposes to Marlene. They argue about what type of ceremony to have, as Marlene is Catholic and Colin wants a civil ceremony. Shortly after, Colin is offered a job as a translator by the curator of the Modern Ceramics exhibition, which is going on a world tour. Marlene ends their relationship, as she does not want to leave her family. Colin then leaves for Argentina, after his friends throw him a leaving party.

Colin received a nomination for Most Annoying Character at the 1996 Inside Soap Awards.[2] Dave Lanning of The People was not a fan of the Colin/Marlene pairing, commenting that the writers must have been on magic mushrooms when they came up with the storyline.[3] He stated, "Moonie Marlene, who had an invisible cat and disappearing garden gnomes, is being wooed by the terminally boring Colin Taylor, who always appeared in a straw boater originally; pioneered barber shop quartets, and is back from China – banging a gong and muttering in Mandarin. You honestly wouldn't script it."[3] Matthew Clifton, writing for HecklerSpray, included the character in his feature on the "Best Ever Mid-90s Neighbours Characters". Clifton said, "Colin was pompous and irritating, a pastiche of a middle class bore who looked a lot like a paedophile. Colin actor Frank Bren also played his identical twin Alf, the more go-getting, handsome one, who turned out to be gay."[4]

Len Mangel

Len Mangel
Neighbours character
Portrayed by John Lee
First appearance 16 March 1994 (1994-03-16)
Last appearance 28 April 1994 (1994-04-28)
Introduced by Alan Coleman
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Con-artist

Leonard G. "Len" Mangel, played by John Lee, made his first appearance on 16 March 1994.[5] Len is Nell Mangel's (Vivean Gray) former husband, who was often mentioned during the early years of the programme, but never seen.[6] He returns to Erinsborough "out of the blue" and romances Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy), as he wants to steal her widow's pension.[6] An Inside Soap columnist branded Len an "evil conman", and commented, "Poor old Helen – it looks as if she's headed for a fall – again!"[6]

Len is the former husband of Nell Mangel and father of Amanda Harris (Briony Behets) and Joe Mangel (Mark Little). After Len's granddaughter Jane (Annie Jones) suspects Nell has killed him, it is eventually revealed that Len has left Nell for another woman. Len files for divorce and wants to sell Number 32 Ramsay Street and split the proceeds between them. Nell refuses and blackmails Len by threatening to follow him wherever he goes if she should lose the house.

Seven years later, Len returns to Erinsborough after Michael Martin (Troy Beckwith) and Doug Willis (Terence Donovan) find some old war medals and a trombone case with the initials L.G.M inscribed on it, while renovating an old house. Len reveals he used to live in the house and the case and medals belong to him. He lets Michael keep all the medals except for the Flying Cross. Len then meets up with his former neighbour Helen Daniels, who he has not seen in many years and they reminisce about old times. Len mentions he had left Nell because of her incessant nagging and moved in with Mary Pengelly who turned out to be just as bad and faked his death to get away from her and planned to reappear to scare her, but Mary had died before Len had the chance. He also mentions he has since reconciled with Joe but Amanda will not forgive him for leaving Nell. Helen is initially appalled at Len's justification for his actions but continues to see him, much to the chagrin of Helen's granddaughter, Julie (Julie Mullins).

Len attempts to con some money out of Helen by suggesting she invest in Outback Tours. Despite warnings from her family, Helen is undeterred. When Michael returns Len's jacket to an address on his driving license he meets Gwen Childs (Robyn Bissett), who warns him that Len is not to be trusted, as he conned her into putting her money into a joint account and emptied it. Gwen thinks Len may do the same to Helen. Michael warns Helen, who continues not to listen, so he and his sister, Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore), set a trap for Len. When Len is caught, he tries to explain himself to Helen, and she sends him packing.

A writer for BBC Online, which hosted an official Neighbours website, said Len's most notable moment was "Trying to scam money out of Helen by trying to get her to invest in a dodgy business called Outback Tours."[5] Len was also included in the BBC's list of twenty favourite obscure Neighbours characters to help celebrate the show's 20th anniversary.[7] Len's off-screen presence and the reason why viewers did not get to see him were noted.[7] In her book The Neighbours Programme Guide, Josephine Monroe commented "Poor old Len Mangel was so henpecked by his witch of a wife Nell that he never dared show his face in Ramsay Street!"[8]

Sally Pritchard

Sally Pritchard
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Brenda Webb
First appearance 23 March 1994 (1994-03-23)
Last appearance 12 May 1994 (1994-05-12)
Introduced by Alan Coleman
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Language teacher

Sally Pritchard, played by singer Brenda Webb, made her first appearance on 23 March 1994. Pritchard's casting was announced in January 1994. Brett Thomas of The Sun-Herald reported that she was initially contracted for six weeks.[9] Webb liked the short duration, as she wanted to concentrate on her music career. She stated, "I don't think I'd like to work any longer than six months on a soapie because I feel I'd get stale doing the one character; plus I want to move on to bigger and better things."[9] Sally was introduced as Erinsborough High's new Japanese language teacher, and a friend of Gaby Willis (Rachel Blakely). Sally's student Rick Alessi (Dan Falzon) develops a crush on her, and they soon begin a romantic relationship.[10]

Sally's friend Gaby Willis helps her get a job teaching Japanese at Erinsborough High. Gaby also introduces Sally to Rick Alessi, a student at the school. He develops a crush on Sally and decides to take Japanese as an extra subject. Sally develops feelings for Rick, but assures him that nothing can happen as she is his teacher. Rick makes the decision to leave school and becomes a bar man at The Waterhole. He uses his salary to buy an engagement ring and proposes to Sally. She tells him it is too soon, but agrees to think about it. Sally talks to Gaby and her flatmate John Muir (Benjamin Grant) about Rick's proposal, and John advises her to break up with Rick. Sally later tells Gaby that she is scared at what Rick might do next, as he is not behaving very rationally. Sally asks Gaby to let Rick down gently on her behalf. John suggests that they pretend to be a couple to put Rick off. Sally accepts a job in Japan and before she leaves, she tells Rick that she cannot marry him, as she does not feel the same way as he does.

Stonefish Rebecchi

Kevin "Stonefish" Rebecchi, played by Anthony Engelman, made his first appearance on 31 March 1994. The character was introduced after a TV Week reporter revealed the show would be getting "a younger, livelier look" with some new characters under the age of eighteen.[11] Engelman told an Inside Soap columnist that his first script said his character got his nickname because he looked like a stonefish.[12] Another writer for the publication observed that Stonefish was happy when he was causing a stir in the classroom, and that he was likely to be involved wherever there was trouble.[13] Stonefish arrives on Ramsay Street after hearing that Brett Stark (Brett Blewitt) is dating his girlfriend Sassy Patterson-Smythe (Defah Dattner).[12] Engelman said he had a lot in common with his character, as he had a tough time at school too and did not have much luck with girls.[12]

Katerina Torelli

Katerina Torelli
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Josephine Mitchell
First appearance 18 April 1994 (1994-04-18)
Last appearance 24 May 1994 (1994-05-24)
Introduced by Alan Coleman
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Charity fundraiser

Katerina "Katy" Torelli, played by Josephine Mitchell, made her first appearance on 18 April 1994.[14] Mitchell was initially contracted for an eight-week guest stint.[15] Mitchell was pleased to join another soap opera, having previously made appearances in A Country Practice and E Street. She also liked that Katerina was "such a positive character".[14] Katerina has been disabled since birth and uses a wheelchair. Mitchell admitted that she found it hard acting in a wheelchair, and had to make it look as if she really was paralysed. During her research for the role, Mitchell turned to the Australian Paraquad Society for help.[14] The actress thought the introduction of a disabled character was "just what the soap needs" and hoped it would get people talking about the issues raised.[14] Katerina was introduced as a potential love interest for Mark Gottlieb (Bruce Samazan) and rival for Annalise Hartman (Kimberley Davies). Mitchell said Katerina thinks Mark is "very cute" and goes out of her way to make Annalise jealous.[14]

When Katerina sees Mark Gottlieb out driving with Annalise Hartman, she immediately develops a crush on him. She starts phoning him using the alias "KT", causing Annalise to become jealous. Mark learns KT is actually Katerina, who explains that she is impressed with his fundraising for the Paralympics and wants to work with him. Katerina develops a crush on Mark, and starts dedicating songs to him on the radio. Mark warns her that he will not cheat on Annalise. After a night out with Mark's friends, Katerina makes a suggestive comment to Mark, who tells her again that he loves Annalise. But when Annalise goes away, Mark kisses Katerina. She tells Annalise that she and Mark are in love. Mark confronts Katerina, who insists that she is destined to be with him. Annalise and Mark realise they need to get away from Katerina's obsessive behaviour, so they leave for his parents' farm.

Sam Kratz

Sam Kratz, played by Richard Grieve, made his first appearance on 13 June 1994. Neighbours was Grieve's first major television role and he relocated from his native Sydney to Melbourne, where the studio is located.[16] Of being cast in a soap, he said "I'm thrilled with the way things have gone. I was very nervous when I first started because it was a long-running job but it's turned out well."[17] Sam is sent to Ramsay Street by his grandmother, Marlene (Moya O'Sullivan), to check out the house she has purchased. While he initially gets off to a rough start, Sam soon becomes a popular Ramsay Street resident.[18] Grieve wanted to be more like his character. He said that he was more of a worrier than Sam, who he described as "friendly and laid-back".[19] For his portrayal of Sam, Grieve earned a nomination for Most Popular Newcomer at the 1st National Television Awards in 1995.[20]

Marlene Kratz

Marlene Kratz, played by Moya O'Sullivan, made her first appearance on 5 July 1994. She was introduced as the grandmother of Sam Kratz (Richard Grieve) and the estranged mother of Cheryl Stark (Caroline Gillmer).[21] Josephine Monroe, author of Neighbours: the first 10 years, said Cheryl had "demonized her mother in her mind" and wanted nothing to do with her.[21] Monroe described her as a bit scatty and always ready for a scam or a bet.[21] Marlene also became a love interest for Colin Taylor (Frank Bren).[1] A columnist for Inside Soap branded Marlene "the grooviest granny in Erinsborough, who throws herself into any worthy cause, and opens her house to every passing waif and stray."[1] Alex Fletcher from Digital Spy made Marlene their "DS Icon" in January 2011.[22] Fletcher stated that Marlene was "a crucial cog in the Golden Age of Neighbours in the '90s."[22]

Louise Carpenter

Shannon Louise "Lolly" Allen (also Carpenter) made her first appearance on 25 July 1994. Louise was originally played by Tessa Taylor from her on-screen birth, with Jiordan Tolli taking over the role a few months later.[23] Cheryl Stark (Caroline Gillmer) gives birth to Louise on the same day as Gaby Willis (Rachel Blakely) gives birth to her son Zac (Jay Callahan).[24] Louise came to be more commonly known as "Lolly". She was presumed to be Lou Carpenter's (Tom Oliver) daughter, until her biological father John Allen (Adrian Mulraney) got in contact, after Cheryl's death.[23] Tolli departed the cast in 2001.[25] The character was reintroduced in 2006, with Adelaide Kane taking over the role, after winning the Dolly "Neighbours Next Big Stars" competition.[26] For her portrayal of Lolly, Kane was nominated for the Logie Award for Most Popular New Female Talent in 2008.[27]

Zac Willis

Zac Willis
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Jay Callahan
First appearance 25 July 1994 (1994-07-25)
Last appearance 17 October 1994 (1994-10-17)
Introduced by Stanley Walsh
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Home Darwin

Shannon Zachary "Zac" Willis, played by Jay Callahan, was born on screen during the episode broadcast on 25 July 1994.[28] Zac is the son of Gaby Willis (Rachel Blakely) and Jack Flynn (Mark Pennell). Blakely thought motherhood would be an eye opener for Gaby, saying "She thinks she can juggle work and home life and the baby will look after himself. She's going to get a real shock when she realises how difficult it's going to be to bring up a child."[29]

Gaby becomes pregnant after a brief relationship with her flying instructor, Jack Flynn. Shortly after she announces her pregnancy, Cheryl Stark (Caroline Gillmer) also announces she is pregnant. Gaby gives birth to a healthy baby boy, while Cheryl gives birth to a daughter who is premature. Gaby names her son Shannon, but Cheryl also uses the name for her daughter. While registering the birth, Gaby's father Doug Willis (Terence Donovan) names his grandson Zachary, after his grandfather. Gaby is not happy, but realises she likes the shortened version of the name, Zac. Jack returns and says he wants to be a part of his son's life. When Gaby gets a job in Darwin, Jack decides to move there with her and Zac. Shortly before they leave, the Willis family hold a naming ceremony at Number 28 and Gaby plants a tree for Zac.

Josephine Monroe, author of Neighbours: The First 10 Years, commented that it was "in true Neighbours style" that both Gaby and Cheryl went into labour at the same time.[28]

Serendipity Gottlieb

Serendipity "Ren" Gottlieb, played by Raelee Hill, made her first appearance on 25 August 1994. She was among several new characters under the age of eighteen to be introduced after a TV Week reporter revealed the show would be getting "a younger, livelier look".[11] The show's casting director Jan Russ noticed Hill in a cafe, while she was on a break from filming Blue Heelers, and asked her to audition for the role.[30] Serendipity is the younger sister of Stephen (Lochie Daddo) and Mark Gottlieb (Bruce Samazan). Unlike her brothers, she enjoyed living in the hippy communes with her parents when she was a child and retained her beliefs.[31] She is described as "one of life's free spirits" and is ruled by her heart rather than her head.[31] Serendipity was less conservative than the other Ramsay Street residents and she "brought a breath of fresh air" into Mark's life.[31][32]

Shane Rebecchi

Shane Rebecchi
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Greg O'Meara (1994–1995)
Nicholas Coghlan (2017–)
Duration 1994–1995, 2017–
First appearance 8 September 1994 (1994-09-08)
Introduced by Stanley Walsh (1994)
Jason Herbison (2017)
Classification Current; regular
Profile
Other names Pufferfish
Occupation
  • Salesman
  • Inventor
  • Waiter
  • Bartender
Home 32 Ramsay Street

Shane Rebecchi made his first screen appearance on 8 September 1994. The character was originally played by Greg O'Meara until his departure on 25 July 1995.[33] Shane is the elder brother of Stonefish (Anthony Engelman) and Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney).[33] In March 2017, it was announced the character was being reintroduced as a regular cast member with Nicholas Coghlan taking over the role.[33] Producers created a family for Shane and he returns to Erinsborough along with his wife Dipi (Sharon Johal), daughters Yashvi (Olivia Junkeer) and Kirsha (Vani Dhir), and sister-in-law Mishti Sharma (Scarlet Vas).[33] Executive producer Jason Herbison commented, "Shane Rebecchi is one of the great untapped characters from Neighbours history. I'm delighted to welcome him back to Ramsay Street along with his beautiful wife, two children and sister-in-law. It's a great new chapter of the Rebecchi family."[33] The character returned on 17 April.[33]

Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy wrote that during his time away from Erinsborough, Shane moved to Bourke and sold farming machinery. He met and married local waitress Dipi, and they had three children together.[33] Coghlan said that Shane comes to support Toadie during his "time of need", following his marriage breakdown.[34] Of how Shane has changed in twenty years, the actor explained "He's no longer the loose cannon he once was – Shane believes in family above all else, and would do anything for his loved ones."[34] Coghlan added that Shane is also trying to avoid some financial problems back home.[34]

Shane enters a pool competition at The Waterhole, along with Rick Alessi (Dan Falzon) and Sam Kratz (Richard Grieve). During the contest, Shane's friend bumps the table causing him to sink his shot, giving him the win. Sam's grandmother, Marlene Kratz (Moya O'Sullivan) refuses to pay out due to the cheating and a brawl ensues. When Shane's family buy 32 Ramsay Street and move in, Shane begins stealing from the neighbours. When Shane gives a stranded Marlene and Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy) a ride to an art market, Helen notices a few stolen goods in the back of his van. Shane then panics and drives off, leaving the women stranded once more. He is eventually arrested and the family move out of Number 32. Several months later, Shane escapes from prison and asks for Stonie to hide him at Number 32, where he is lodging with Malcolm Kennedy (Benjamin McNair) and Danni Stark (Eliza Szonert). Stonie reluctantly agrees, but is annoyed when Shane spends the money he gives him on cigarettes. After being convinced to give himself up, Shane is eventually arrested and sent back to prison.

Over twenty years later, Shane returns to Erinsborough to see Toadie, after being sent to check up on him by their mother Angie (Lesley Baker). He and Toadie are reunited on Ramsay Street, and Shane meets his niece Nell (Scarlett Anderson) for the first time. After catching up, Toadie invites Shane to an Easter picnic for Nell. Shane soon realises that he saw Toadie's estranged wife Sonya (Eve Morey) kissing Mark Brennan (Scott McGregor) earlier that day, and he tells Toadie. Shane meets with his sister-in-law, Mishti, who asks if he has told Toadie everything. Shane tells her he is planning to. Shane buys the lease for Harold's Café and announces that he and his family are moving to Erinsborough. He also rents Number 32 from Paige Smith (Olympia Valance). Shane's wife Dipi and their two daughters Kirsha and Yashvi arrive in Erinsborough and they are pleased with the house and the business. Shane and Mishti share several conversations that they keep from Dipi. Shane invites Toadie to move in with him, following the break down of his marriage. Shane eventually admits to Dipi that he lost a lot of their money working on his solar-powered lawnmower invention, and he accepted a loan from Mishti. Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson) agrees to help market the lawnmower for Shane, which they name Rolli, and they find an investor, who agrees to manufacturer them. Dipi overhears Shane and Mishti discussing an incident that occurred in Sydney. Shane tells Dipi that while he was staying at Mishti's home, she began threatening to get justice for her deceased fiancé, and Shane had to stop her from leaving with her police service weapon. Dipi works out that Mishti gave Shane the loan on the condition that he kept the incident from her. Shane reassures Dipi that he loves her by writing and performing a bush ballad for her. Shane bonds with Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher) when they join the Liveability Committee and brainstorm ideas for a community compost bin. After Karl is removed as head of the committee, Shane is chosen in his place.

Shane falls out with Karl when he accuses him and his grandson Ben Kirk (Felix Mallard) of writing graffiti around the town. Yashvi soon owns up to doing it. While promoting the Most Liveable Suburb campaign and Rolli, Shane loses control of the lawnmower and it goes into the daycare centre. The manufacturer pulls the plug on the Rolli deal, while the mayor asks him to step down as head of the Liveability Committee. Shane fights with Karl after accusing him of sabotaging the lawnmower. Kirsha suffers hearing loss after she accidentally drops a sparkler into a box of Yashvi's fireworks. Shane struggles with Kirsha's condition, and admits that he feels like he has failed as a parent. Shane and Dipi learn that Kirsha's hearing is not improving. Shane and Yashvi help Kirsha to learn Auslan, and Shane invents a device that allows her to feel the vibrations from the music at the local Variety Show. Shane suffers a dislocated thumb and a torn tendon in his hand, after he pushes Kirsha out of the path of Jimmy's bike, which hits him instead. Amy Williams (Zoe Cramond) recommends Shane speaks with entrepreneur Levi Jansen (Sam Allen) about his urine-powered generator. Levi cancels their meeting and leaves town. Shane gets drunk, and when he learns that it was Gary's fault that Levi left, he confronts him in the street. Shane kicks over the bins and snaps Gary's fishing rod, forcing Mishti to arrest him. He apologises to Gary and decides to focus on inventing.

Shane acts on some poor business advice from Leo Tanaka (Tim Kano), and he loses a potential customer for his generator. Shane takes adult education classes in a bid to finish Year 12. Sheila Canning (Colette Mann) accuses Shane of cheating when he come top in a biology test, but he insists that while he considered it, he did not cheat. Sheila later offers Shane a job at The Waterhole as a barman. Shane decides to promote his new urine-to-water generator at Dipi's investor lunch, without telling anyone. When he admits the water they have been drinking was previously urine, Paul pulls his investment from Dipi's musical venture.

Karl Kennedy

Karl Raymond Marx Kennedy,[35] played by Alan Fletcher, made his first appearance on 20 September 1994. The character and his family were created by the storyliners, who wanted to bring the show back to its roots, as most of the houses on Ramsay Street were filled with misfits and distant relatives. Karl was introduced as a General Practitioner, which gave him immediate links with the other characters.[36] Alan Fletcher previously appeared in the show as mechanic Greg Cooper for three weeks in 1987.[37] When the role of Karl became available, Fletcher auditioned in the same way as he had for Greg.[37] Fletcher admitted that when he joined the show again he thought he would only be there for a year.[38] Karl initially ran his own surgery in the Lassiter's Complex.[35] He and his wife Susan (Jackie Woodburne) were childhood sweethearts.[39] Fletcher won Best Daytime Star at the 2016 Inside Soap Awards.[40]

Billy Kennedy

William "Billy" Kennedy, played by Jesse Spencer, made his first appearance on 27 September 1994. The character was introduced along with his mother, father and two older siblings by the show's storyliners, who wanted to take the show back to its roots, as it seemed that all the houses on Ramsay Street were populated with misfits and distant relatives.[36] Spencer originally auditioned for the role of Brett Stark, but he was told that he was too young. The following year, he successfully auditioned for the role of Billy.[41] Billy was described as being "sensitive" and "not as academically gifted as sister Libby" by Tony Johnston author of Neighbours: 20 years of Ramsay Street. Billy often gets into trouble with his best friend Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney).[42] For his portrayal of Billy, Spencer received nominations for the Logie Award for Most Popular Actor in 1998 and 1999.[43][44]

Susan Kennedy

Susan Wendy Kennedy, played by Jackie Woodburne, made her first appearance on 3 October 1994. The character was introduced along with her husband and three teenage children by storyliners in an effort to bring the show back to its roots, as it seemed that all the houses on Ramsay Street were populated with misfits and distant relatives.[36] Actress Ailsa Piper was initially considered for the role of Susan, before she was cast as Ruth Wilkinson.[45] Woodburne received the role, and later revealed that she only intended to play the part for twelve months, but she soon fell in love with the show.[46] Susan was given a teaching job at the local high school, giving her close links with the other characters. On her arrival, Susan was described as being good natured and more open-minded than her husband Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher).[36]

Malcolm Kennedy

Malcolm George "Mal" Kennedy, played by Benjamin McNair, made his first appearance on 3 October 1994. The character was introduced along with his parents and two younger siblings by storyliners, who wanted a "solid" family, as they felt that the houses on Ramsay Street were populated with misfits and distant relatives.[36] After being cast as Malcolm, McNair relocated from his home in Sydney to Melbourne, where the show is filmed.[47] He admitted that he had never watched Neighbours before joining the cast.[47] Malcolm is the eldest of the Kennedy siblings. He is an athlete, and enjoys being in charge.[48] He quickly gets involved in Ramsay Street "shenanigans".[36] Shortly after his arrival, producers plotted a Romeo and Juliet style romance between Malcolm and Danni Stark (Eliza Szonert).[49] Caroline Milburn of The Age branded him a "larrikin."[50]

Libby Kennedy

Elizabeth Grace "Libby" Kennedy, played by Kym Valentine, made her first appearance on 3 October 1994. The character was introduced along with her parents and two brothers by storyliners, who wanted to bring the show back to its roots when it seemed that all the houses on Ramsay Street were populated with misfits and distant relatives.[36] After being cast as Libby, Valentine relocated from Sydney to Melbourne, where the studios are located, when she was 17 years old.[51] Josephine Monroe, author of Neighbours; The First 10 Years, described Libby as an opinionated girl, who is willing to make a stand on "any and every issue." She is a communist and her political views often frustrate her father, Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher).[36] Valentine enjoyed playing Libby's humorous and quirky personality traits.[52] Libby was voted viewer's third favourite character in a 2002 poll run by Newsround.[53]

Bianca Zanotti

Bianca Zanotti
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Annie Gagliardi
Duration 1994–1995
First appearance 11 November 1994 (1994-11-11)
Last appearance 2 June 1995 (1995-06-02)
Introduced by Stanley Walsh
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Occupation Bric-a-brac shop assistant

Bianca Zanotti, played by Annie Gagliardi, made her first appearance on 11 November 1994. Bianca was introduced as a teen runaway, who was found sleeping rough in Marlene Kratz's (Moya O'Sullivan) bric-a-brac shop.[54] She tells Sam Kratz (Richard Grieve) that she is "an ex-offender who is trying to go straight".[54] Bianca adds that she cannot find anywhere to live or work, so Sam allows her to stay at the shop.[54]

After she is discovered sleeping in the bric-a-brac shop by Sam Kratz and Serendipity Gottlieb (Raelee Hill), Bianca tells them that she was thrown out of her house by her stepfather. She also tells them that she served time in a detention centre after she stole a car with some friends. Bianca is initially wary of Sam, and she reveals that she has been harassed by guys in the past. Sam asks Bianca to help him out with his handyman business. Sam's grandmother Marlene takes pity on Bianca, and invites her to move in with her. Bianca befriends Malcolm Kennedy (Benjamin McNair). When he tries to make advances towards her during a date, she punches him and he invents a story that he fended off muggers that attacked them. An incensed Bianca tells the truth, which humiliates Malcolm. Bianca becomes close with Brett Stark (Brett Blewitt) who helps her fill out an application for college. When Bianca's mother Claudia (Helen Trenos) reappears in her life, things are initially frosty between them, but Bianca decides to give her mother another chance and move back home with her. Before she leaves, Bianca gives Brett a kiss and a passionflower, asking him to keep it alive for her.

Of Bianca's time in the show, David Banks of The People observed, "Call her the tiddler who got away if you like, but Bianca's departure set some kind of record for a woman from Neighbours. No sex, no seductions, no real romance – just a solitary kiss from Brett Stark makes her the first nubile maid to escape from Ramsay Street without so much as a grope to remember the boys by."[55]

Ling Mai Chan

Ling Mai Chan
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Khym Lam
Duration 1994–1995
First appearance 23 November 1994 (1994-11-23)
Last appearance 27 January 1995 (1995-01-27)
Introduced by Stanley Walsh
Classification Former; recurring
Profile
Other names Mai Ling Chan
Occupation University lecturer
Charity worker
Home Cambodia

Ling Mai Chan, played by Khym Lam, made her first appearance on 23 November 1994. Ling Mai is Lou Carpenter's (Tom Oliver) daughter.[56] Oliver told the show's producers that he believed Lou was old enough to have been conscripted for the Vietnam War and could have fathered a child over there. However, a similar storyline had already been done with Jim Robinson (Alan Dale), so the producers suggested something else instead. Lou learns he fathered a daughter after a brief relationship when he was twenty-one.[56] An Inside Soap columnist observed, "the fruit of Lou's affair was a beautiful daughter Mai Ling who has now grown up to be a sophisticated university tutor."[56] Lou is surprised when Ling Mai gets in contact and he arranges to meet her in secret, which leads his partner Cheryl Stark (Caroline Gillmer) to think he is having an affair.[56] The character was referenced in 2013, when Lou is persuaded to get back in contact with her.[57] After Lou sends Ling Mai an email, she asks him to visit her in Cambodia. The storyline was inspired by Oliver's real life trip to the country.[57]

Lou Carpenter receives a letter from Ling Mai informing him that she is his daughter, and wants to meet him. Lou initially keeps Ling Mai a secret from his partner Cheryl, who follows him one day and sees him meeting with Ling Mai. Cheryl assumes Lou is having an affair with Ling Mai, until Lou tells her that Ling Mai is his daughter. Cheryl invites Ling Mai to dinner, and she befriends Cheryl's son Brett Stark (Brett Blewitt). Lou shows her his used car business and offers a car to make up for the birthdays he has missed. Lou and Cheryl's relationship becomes strained and Lou moves in with his daughter. Ling Mai tries to talk to Cheryl, before she and Cheryl's mother Marlene Kratz (Moya O'Sullivan) get the couple to reconcile.

Lou pays for Ling Mai's university funding, and tries to get her a show at the local radio station. He also takes her to the beach, so he can teach her how to swim. Ling Mai later tells Lou that she is leaving Australia, as her boyfriend, Bin, has come over from Hong Kong and has proposed to her. Lou thanks her for getting in touch and meeting him. On Boxing Day 2003, Lou receives a congratulatory telegram from Ling Mai for his wedding to Trixie Tucker (Wendy Stapleton). He visits her the following year, while he is in Hong Kong. Nine years later, Lou decides to get back in contact with Ling Mai and learns she is living and working for a charity in Cambodia. He flies out to spend a few months with her.

Others

Date(s) Character Actor Circumstances
25 January Claudia Helen Hopkins[58] Claudia becomes Mark Gottlieb's new housemate. A jealous Annalise Hartman tells Claudia that Mark is very house proud and does not like her dog. Annalise also suggests that Mark helped kill a cat belonging to the previous housemate. Claudia tells Mark that she is moving out and that he should be reported to the RSPCA.
17 February–19 July 1995 Sassy Patterson-Smythe Defah Dattner[59] Sassy is a girl from West Waratah Tech who pursues Brett Stark, much to his dismay. Sassy leads Brett into trouble when she lies about breaking up with her boyfriend, Stonefish Rebecchi. She later auditions for a band with some of her classmates but many people dislike her singing voice and vote her out of the band. Sassy later gets into a fight at the Debutante Ball with Cody Willis and rips her dress.
17–24 February Martin Brenden Carter[60] Martin meets Danni Stark at Erinsborough Hospital's diabetic clinic and they go on a date. However, Danni's feelings are hurt when Martin admits he cares for her, but not in a romantic way.
23 February–3 March Alan Briggs Eric Donnison[61] Alan is the father of Gary Briggs, who dies in a drag-racing accident. Alan blames Rick Alessi, Gary's opponent, for his son's death. When a memorial service is held at the school, Alan has the wrecked car towed into the car park and says that it will be more of a reminder than a tree ever would be.
25 February 1994–11 June 1997 Rupert Sprod Tobi Webster[62] Rupert is a student at Erinsborough High. After Gary Briggs is killed in a drag race with Rick Alessi, Rupert asks for all the details of the accident, but is pushed away by Rick's friend Michael Martin. Rupert witnesses Malcolm Kennedy accidentally shooting Lou Carpenter in the leg when Malcolm tries to impress him and Danni Stark with a hunting rifle. Rupert fails Year 12 and repeats it along with Danni, who uses him to make Malcolm jealous. After learning his teacher, Andrew Watson is gay, Rupert begins a harassment campaign against him and eggs him while driving. Rupert dates Libby Kennedy, but cheats on her with Rochelle Stig at a party to celebrate the football team's win and the event is captured in a photo. Rupert apologises and pleads with Libby to take him back and she considers it, but realises he will only hurt her again. She takes revenge by editing footage of Rupert playing and using the photo with some commentary about footballers being untrustworthy. Billy Kennedy asks for Rupert's help in a plan to prove to Anne Wilkinson that the streets are not safe for girls at night. Rupert poses as an attacker, but is quickly fended off by Anne's martial arts moves.
3 March Mrs Starvaggi Sylvie Fonti[63] Mrs Starvaggi is Miranda Starvaggi's mother.
3 March–7 September 1995 Miranda Starvaggi Leah De Niese[64] Miranda is a classmate of Hannah Martin. She is revealed to be behind a series of prank phonecalls and threatening letters, after Hannah is initially accused of being the culprit. Miranda explains she did this because Hannah did not invite her to her birthday party. She and Hannah make up and get into various scrapes. Miranda makes her last appearance when she, Hannah and Zoe Tan unwittingly eat a watermelon laced with vodka, resulting in the three of them getting drunk.
3–4 March Michael Whitney Himself[65] After Wayne Duncan quits his job at Erinsborough High, he assures Brett Stark and Michael Martin that he will find a replacement cricket coach, and he later brings Michael Whitney to the sports centre. Michael helps Brett with his confidence, before the group go to Lassiter's. Michael sees Cheryl Stark and reveals that they used to date. Michael agrees to sign autographs and answer some questions before he leaves, but Brett takes up most of his time.
8–17 March Sophie Giradi Antonietta Morgillo[66] Sophie is a Hypnotherapist who Cheryl Stark sends her son Brett to in order for him to become more confident at playing cricket. She hypnotises him and The therapy seems to work and Brett's game improves. The following week Brett visits Sophie in order to gain confidence with dating, which ultimately fails.
11–29 March Tom Weaver George Mallaby[67] Tom is an estate agent who takes a romantic interest in Pam Willis, after meeting at an art class. He showers Pam with gifts and even proposes to her, knowing that she is married. Pam lets Tom down gently, and he admits that he misses his own wife.
23 March–13 January 1995 Squirrel Brooke Howden[68] Squirrel is one of the many students transferring to Erinsborough High when her previous school West Waratah Tech merges with Erinsborough High. She attends the Debutante Ball with Sam Kratz. Several months later, Squirrel reappears and tells Sam that she is pregnant and he is the father of the child. After confessing to Sam's cousin Danni Stark that Sam is not the father, Danni urges Squirrel to tell Sam the truth, which she does. Squirrel then leaves to stay with her aunt in the country.
23 March–3 August 1995 Leanne "Packo" Packington Verity McIntyre[69] Packo is part of a new wave of students following a merger between Erinsborough High and West Waratah Tech. She becomes fast friends with Danni Stark. Packo bullies Hannah Martin on her first day of high school and later becomes Billy Kennedy's violin tutor. Billy develops a crush on Packo, but when he tells her, she laughs and scoffs at him, hurting his feelings.
24–28 March Chrissie Adele Danielle[59] Chrissie is an ex-girlfriend of Michael Martin, from when he slept rough on the streets of Sydney. Chrissie reveals to Michael that she may be HIV-positive, prompting him to be worried about his own health. Both Michael and Chrissie are tested and the results return negative.
29 March–18 May Jesse O'Connor James Ryan[70] Jesse is a classmate of Hannah Martin at Erinsborough Primary. Hannah bullies Jesse at first, but they later become friends. Jesse's father, Aaron, disapproves of their friendship after Jesse and Hannah run away. He later takes Jesse out of school and they move away, much to Hannah's distress.
30 March Gwen Childs Robin Bissett[71] When Michael Martin attempts to return Len Mangel's jacket to him, he arrives at the address on a card, only to be met by Gwen. Gwen tells Michael that Len conned her out of her savings and warns that he will do the same to Michael's step-great-grandmother Helen Daniels.
15 April–31 May Kris Hyde John Higginson[72] Kris is hired by Gaby Willis as her personal assistant and they begin dating. The relationship does not last long, as Kris is revealed to be married with children and has been planning on conning Lassiter's out of money.
29 April–2 October 1995 Mary Cochrane Jennifer Botica[73] Mary is a council official. She helps Anne Teschendorf oversee the Deb ball and later approves the idea of a Drop-in centre for teens on Miller Street. Mary also attends the unveiling of newly elected Mayor Lou Carpenter's portrait.
4 May–30 June Khan Ozturk Senol Mat[74] Khan is the Mayor of Erinsborough. He and his wife Fatimah attend the Deb Ball.
9–12 May John Muir Benjamin Grant[75] John is Sally Pritchard's housemate. She discusses Rick Alessi's marriage proposal with him and Gaby Willis. John advises her to break up with Rick, as he is too young. John later suggests that they pretend to be a couple to put Rick off, but Sally is unsure about using John.
9 May–11 July Andrew MacKenzie John Morris[76] Andrew or "Macca" is a builder, who begins working for Doug Willis (Terence Donovan). Debbie Martin develops a crush on Macca, but he rejects her advances. When Debbie questions him, he tells her he is gay.
24 May–27 October 1995 Anne Teschendorf Lois Collinder[77] Anne is the principal of West Waratah Tech and takes over at Erinsborough High, assuming the position after Vince Roland leaves and the schools merge. When Debbie Martin spots Anne sitting having a drink with Andrew MacKenzie, she gets the wrong idea and throws a drink over her. Anne later takes Year 12 to task over a dangerous muck-up day prank involving a fuse box, costing the school thousands of dollars. She threatens to ban the Year from taking exams at the school unless somebody confesses. Brett Stark confesses to prank.
9–22 June Drew Grover Christopher Kirby[78] Drew is Cody Willis' former husband. She breaks up with him, after learning he has cheated on her. Drew follows Cody to Australia to ask for a divorce, as he wants to be a politician and he feels a mixed race marriage could ruin his political aspirations.
13 June–4 January 1995 Elliot Patterson Jon Concannon[79] Elliot is a publisher, who meets with Annalise Hartman to discuss her poetry. Elliot want to print an anthology of Annalise's work and they become good friends. Annalise asks Elliot to give her away at her wedding to Mark Gottlieb. After the wedding is called off, Elliot invites Annalise to a poetry festival in Adelaide, so she can get away from Erinsborough for a few a days.
15 June–19 October 1995 Vikram Chatterji Nigel Rodrigues[80] Vikram is a colleague of Philip Martin at his Newsagency. When some money goes missing, Philip's wife Julie is quick to blame Vikram, as he has mentioned money problems in the past. Vikram, offended, resigns. When Julie apologises, Vikram returns to work. When Vikram's sister, Lata arrives, he objects to her dating. When he catches her and Brett Stark kissing, he sends Lata to live with their aunt Rupa.
30 June–19 July Gough O'Hara Ben Solowiej[81] Gough is Hannah Martin's partner for the presentation at the Deb Ball. He later brings his horse to Hannah's birthday party much to her delight.
30 June Fatimah Ozturk Ijlal Iz[81] Fatimah attends the Deb Ball alongside her husband, the Mayor of Erinsborough Khan Ozturk.
12–29 July Cassandra Rushmore Radha Mitchell[82] Cassandra is a sky-diving instructor, who helps Rick Alessi with his impending parachute jump. Rick and Cassandra share a brief flirtation, and she offers him a job at her father's hotel Parkside Pacific. Rick is tempted by the offer, but ultimately rejects it to stay with Lassiter's. Cassandra tells Cody Willis that she will keep trying to lure Rick to Parkside, but Cody warns her that she will not let it happen.
20 July–14 September Lata Chatterji Kamila Webb[83] Lata is Vikram's sister. Brett Stark shows an interest in her and they begin dating. When Vikram catches them alone, he is enraged and sends Lata to live with their aunt Rupa. Before she leaves, Lata gives Brett a Galah, whom he names Dahl.
22 July–7 September Kim Roth Jeremy Fuller[84] Kim is a hairdresser who attends the same clinic as Debbie Martin when she is undergoing counselling for bulimia. At first they clash, but eventually become friends. Kim makes a romantic pass at Debbie, but she rejects him. When Kim offers to style Debbie's hair, she agrees, but walks out when she becomes paranoid that his stylists are making fun of her. They reconcile once again and Debbie agrees to be Kim's model for a hairdressing competition, which they win.
12 August–10 February 1995 Det. Sgt. Illich Rod Densley[85] Illich is a local detective who makes his first appearance when Gaby Willis' son, Zac goes missing. Illich later reappears when Julie Martin suffers a fall and he questions her husband, Philip. When Julie dies, Illich and his colleague arrest Philip at her cremation. The following year, Illich returns to question Bianca Zanotti over some stolen jewellery and investigates a spate of Ramsay Street burglaries.
18 August–11 March 1996 Fabian Conte Michael A. King[86] Fabian is a local fashion writer. Serendipity Gottlieb invites him over to Number 30 Ramsay Street to see some of Danni Stark's designs, which she passes off as her own. He later interviews Danni and gives her a job. Fabian is last seen driving Danni when he invites her to a fashion show.
19–25 August Lynette Thorneycroft Libby Tanner[87] Lynette is interviewed by Mark Gottlieb and Rick Alessi as a potential new housemate to move into Number 30. When a removal truck arrives on Ramsay Street and Hannah Martin witnesses Lynette loading it with items rather than unpacking, she is suspicious and tells her father, Philip. After Philip refuses to believe Hannah, she tries to tackle Lynette herself. When Lynette tries to foil Hannah's attempt to expose her, Mark and Rick arrive home and catch her. She is then arrested.
26–30 August Moina Beresford Esme Melville[88] Moina is the mother of Pam Willis, who attends the naming day of her great-grandson Zac. Moina warns her son-in-law, Doug Willis, about eating fatty foods, as she believes that is what led to her husband's death. Moina believes that Seamus died from eating a green potato, when he actually died of a heart attack. Moina travels home with Beth Brennan.
14 September– Dahl[89] Dahl is a galah given to Brett Stark by his girlfriend Lata Chatterj, before she leaves Erinsborough to live with her aunt. When Brett leaves to sail around the world, he leaves Dahl with Libby Kennedy. Dahl stays with Libby's family after she leaves Erinsborough. In 2010, Libby's father Karl decides to enter Dahl into a Million Paws Walk, which raises money for the RSPCA. Karl later finds Dahl has gone missing from her cage. Lou Carpenter finds Dahl and uses her in his advertisements for his car yard. He and Karl compete with each other for Dahl. She later flies into Toadfish Rebecchi's house, and he brings her back to Karl.
15–28 September Paulo Cechero Hannes Berger[90] Paulo is a friend of Serendipity Gottlieb who arrives to stay at Number 30. Paulo attends a Murder Mystery weekend with several of the Ramsay Street residents, but leaves soon after the weekend is cancelled following the very real death of Julie Martin.
26–27 September Victoria Smith Mary-Rose Cuskelly[91] Victoria answers Cheryl Stark's advert for a nanny for her daughter Louise. Victoria's references check out, however, as soon as Cheryl is out of sight she begins smoking indoors, going through Cheryl's jewellery and is inattentive to Louise. When Serendipity Gottlieb comes to the house, Victoria is keen to get rid of her. Cheryl arrives home to uncover Victoria's unreliability and laziness for herself, and promptly fires her.
11 October–1 November Chip Kelly Martin Crewes[92] Chip is a footballer who Serendipity Gottlieb takes a shine to. Karl Kennedy notices Chip's mood swings and wonders if he is abusing steroids. Serendipity is suspicious when Chip begins standing her up for dates and her worst fears are confirmed when Chip becomes violent after she rebuffs his advances during a dinner date at his place. Serendipity manages to escape and her friend Sam Kratz beats up Chip.
24 October–2 February 1995 Father Michael Graham Greg Scealy[93] Father Graham is a Catholic priest who Mark Gottlieb consults with in the run-up to his wedding to Annalise Hartman. Father Graham conducts the ceremony and later advises Mark when he decides he wants to join the priesthood.
27 October Dr. Tamsin Caldo Soula Alexander[94] Tamsin is a potential partner for Karl Kennedy in the Erinsborough Medical centre. She and her husband Joseph, share a meal with Karl and his wife Susan at the Waterhole to finalise details of Karl and Tamsin's partnership. When Karl temporarily gives up medicine over a crisis of faith following Cheryl Stark's death, he refers all of his patients to Tamsin.
7 November–26 May 2006 Casserole[89] Billy Kennedy comes across a lamb while out on his paper round, and he brings it home with him. He tells his family and friends that he has named the lamb Casserole or "Cassie" for short. Cassie remains with the Kennedys after Billy leaves and lives in their back yard. In 2006, Cassie becomes ill and dies. Billy's parents Karl and Susan Kennedy hold a funeral service for her.
8 November–9 January 1995 Molly Harrison Robyn Hughan[95] Molly is mistaken by Philip Martin for his late wife, Julie , after she walks into his newsagency wearing Julie's old clothes. Molly dates Philip, but the relationship is opposed by his daughter, Hannah. Hannah warms to Molly eventually, but Philip breaks up with her.
14 November–9 August 1996 Marilyn Tanno Catherine Milte[96] Marilyn is the station manager at Radio Erinsborough, who gives Lou Carpenter a job as an on-air talent. When a publicity photo of Lou giving Marilyn a kiss on the cheek is printed, Danni Stark gets the wrong idea and tells her mother Cheryl. Lou explains that Marilyn is his new boss. Marilyn later hires Marlene Kratz as a presenter much to Lou's chagrin.
18 November–4 October 1995 Alf Taylor Frank Bren[97] Alf is Colin Taylor's twin brother. He meets Mark Gottlieb and Annalise Hartman, while on their road trip across Australia and bores them with numerous stories about his life. Alf later visits Colin in Erinsborough, much to everybody's surprise. When Colin suspects Alf is making romantic advances towards Marlene Kratz, he fights with Alf, who confesses that he has no interest in Marlene as he is gay, which shocks both Colin and Marlene. After a talk with Colin, Alf leaves.
22–24 November Jason Von Thunan Kristian Pithie[98] Jason is Malcolm Kennedy's friend from the country, who lets Malcolm and his friends use his beach house over the holidays. When Malcolm and Danni Stark are missing during a storm, Jason and Stonefish Rebecchi find them. Before Malcolm and the others return to Erinsborough, Jason lets him know of rumour going around their old hometown that Malcolm's father Karl killed a patient.

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Bibliography

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  • Monroe, Josephine (1994). The Neighbours Programme Guide. Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-86369-831-6. 
  • Monroe, Josephine (1996). Neighbours: The First 10 Years. Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-7181-4212-4. 
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