Celebrity News

The Aussie superstars who were crowned Most Popular New Talent at the Logie Awards – and later went on to dominate

These actors were always superstars in the making!
Loading the player...

Years before they become some of the biggest stars in the country – and for some, around the world – earning millions of dollars in lucrative TV and film deals, these young stars were just humble Aussie actors hoping for their big break.

And their hard work certainly did pay off.

All of these stars below have won the Most Popular New Talent gong at the TV WEEK Logie Awards, a coveted title given to the up-and-comer TV WEEK readers and Aussie television viewers think is the most promising new kid on the block.

And we have to say, you guys certainly know how to pick a winner!

Some of these names are now treasured Aussie stars we are proud to call our own.

Keep on scrolling to meet the Most Popular New Talent Logie Award winners who have now made it big!

Chris Hemworth

Chris Hemsworth pictured holding his Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent.

(Image: Getty)

Remember when Chris Hemsworth was just a pupil at Summer Bay High?

TV WEEK readers instantly knew he was destined for great things – though not many could have predicted how great those things would turn out to be.

Chris began in Home And Away in 2004, playing Kim Hyde, son of new school principal Barry (Ivar Kants).

The following year, he won the Logie for Most Popular New Male Talent and was a nominee for Most Popular Actor.

He had an eventful three years in the show, which saw him on several TV WEEK covers.

Highlights included believing he was the father of Hayley’s (Bec Hewitt) baby, dating – and later marrying – his doctor Rachel (Amy Mathews), and impregnating Kit (Amy Mizzi) while stranded in the bush following a helicopter crash.

He also managed to find the time to show off his moves on Dancing With The Stars in 2006.

READ NEXT: All the celebrities you forgot were once on Dancing With The Stars

Chris Hemsworth and his Spanish wife Elsa Pataky.

(Image: Instagram)

Chris left Home And Away in 2007 and moved to the US to try his luck.

Within weeks, he was snapped up for the role of James T Kirk’s (Chris Pine) father George in the movie Star Trek (2009).

Bigger roles followed in movies such as The Cabin In The Woods (2012) and Snow White And The Huntsman (2012), in which he starred opposite Kristen Stewart.

But it was the title role in 2011’s Thor that would set Chris on the road to superstardom.

Before shooting began, he hit the gym and packed on muscle.

Chris’ Thor became iconic. As well as playing the superhero in a string of films, he branched out into some very different roles. He portrayed Formula 1 champ James Hunt in Rush (2013), lost a scary amount of weight to star in In The Heart Of The Sea (2015), and showed off his comedic talent in 2016’s Ghostbusters.

Based in the NSW coastal town of Byron Bay with his actress wife Elsa Pataky and their three kids, Chris can pick and choose his roles.

Daniel Macpherson

How cute is baby Dan Macpherson?

(Image: Getty)

Super-fit Daniel was discovered at the age of 16 while competing in a triathlon in Sydney. The role of Joel Samuels in Neighbours was written for him, and he moved to Melbourne for it in 1998.

The character was described as “good-looking, down-to-earth, friendly and a champion triathlete” – not too much of a stretch for Daniel.

Joel had romances with a string of women, including Felicity “Flick” Scully (Holly Valance).

Daniel won the Logie for Most Popular New Male Talent in 1999.

After four years in Neighbours, Daniel moved to the UK, where he played an Aussie cop, PC Cameron Tait, in The Bill in 2003.

When he returned to Australia, he was in demand as a TV presenter as well as an actor.

He hosted The X Factor and Dancing With The Stars, as well as appearing in City Homicide in 2007. He also starred in Aussie Western series Wild Boys in 2011, where he worked opposite the woman who was to become his wife, Zoe Ventoura.

Daniel hit the big time with a leading role in the action series Strike Back: Retribution and had a role in the Aussie series Bad Mothers. He also shot a part in the big-budget Disney film A Wrinkle In Time.

Delta Goodrem

Delta holding her coveted trophy.

(Image: Getty)

Delta always wanted a music career, but it was her acting talent that made her famous.

Neighbours producers saw her video for her unsuccessful debut song, “I Don’t Care”, and offered her the role of Nina Tucker in 2002.

They rewrote Nina to change her from a bad girl to a good girl, and made her a wannabe singer. A star was born.

In 2003, Delta won the Most Popular New Female Talent Logie. She also topped the album charts for 29 weeks with Innocent Eyes.

That same year, at the age of 18, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

But after treatment, she briefly returned to Neighbours in 2004.

Delta took on a couple more acting roles – in 2005 kids’ film Hating Alison Ashley and a guest spot in the primetime US soap North Shore – but for the next few years, she focused on music.

In 2012, Delta joined the judging panel on The Voice alongside Seal, Joel Madden and Keith Urban and is still a host to this day, alongside new judges Guy Sebastian, Kelly Rowland and Boy George.

She later returned to her acting roots, playing teacher Izzy Dreyfus in House Husbands and in the Olivia Newton-John biopic, Hopelessly Devoted To You. In 2022, she made a cameo appearance as Nina Tucker in the final Neighbours episode.

In August and September 2023, Delta will take her Hearts On The Run tour to Europe and The UK.

Simon Baker

A handsome young Simon Baker pictured back in the day.

(Image: Getty)

TV audiences saw quite a bit of Simon before they heard him. Simon Denny, as he was then known, featured in sexy music videos such as Melissa Tkautz’s “Read My Lips” and Euphoria’s “Love You Right”, before being cast as Constable Sam Farrell in E Street in 1992.

Ratings for the soapie may have been dropping, but Simon was voted Best New Talent at the Logies in 1993, over Neighbours’ Natalie Imbruglia.

“It’s been a bit of an eye-opener this year for me,” Simon said in his acceptance speech, “and it’s sort of ironic, what’s happening with the show.”

E Street had just been axed. But it was only the beginning for the young actor.

After roles in Home And Away (1993-94) and Heartbreak High (1996), he scored a small part in hit movie L.A. Confidential in 1997.

Then, in 2001, came the role that made him a TV star in the US: playing Nick Fallin in The Guardian. The legal drama ran for three seasons.

Simon starred in a string of movies, including The Devil Wears Prada in 2006, before being cast as Patrick Jane in The Mentalist in 2008. The show saw Simon nominated for an Emmy Award in 2009.

In 2017, he directed his first movie, Breath, based on the bestselling Tim Winton novel. There’s nothing he can’t do!

Tammin Sursok

Tammin Sursok looked stunning in this classic early noughties look.

(Image: Getty)

South African-born Tammin was at high school in Sydney when she auditioned for, and landed, the role of Dani Sutherland in Home And Away.

Fans loved her as confident, rebellious Dani. She won the Most Popular New Female Talent Logie in 2001.

In Tammin’s four years in H&A, Dani’s drama included being raped by Kane (Sam Atwell), running him over in her car, and then being sent to jail for it. Tammin was nominated for Most Popular Actress in 2004.

After a brief detour into music, scoring hits such as 2004’s “Pointless Relationship”, Tammin moved to Hollywood and became a star of daytime TV as Colleen Carlton in The Young And The Restless in 2007.

She then found a younger audience as Siena in Hannah Montana in 2010, and followed that up with seven seasons as Jenna Marshall in hit Pretty Little Liars. She also starred as Montana Marcel on Neighbours in 2022.

Georgie Parker

Just one of the many Logie Awards Georgie has won over the years.

(Image: Getty)

When Georgie joined hit series A Country Practice as zany nurse Lucy Gardiner in 1989, Australians immediately fell in love with her. But for Georgie, it came as a shock to win the 1990 Logie for Most Popular New Talent.

“I wasn’t terribly ambitious, so I had no ideas about winning anything,” she recalls. “When they read put my name, I was kind

of like, ‘Oh, God – what?'”

Another three Logies followed, plus two nominations for the coveted Gold.

After leaving A Country Practice in 1992, Georgie was in demand. She had roles in Acropolis Now (1992) and Fire (1995). Then, in All Saints, she took on a character in 1998 that was to become one of the most memorable in Australian drama.

As nun-turned-nurse Terri Sullivan, she had a long, drawn-out romance with Dr Mitch Stevens (Erik Thomson) that ended tragically with his death from a brain tumour.

“With Mitch, I think they found the perfect formula,” Georgie says. “They had happiness for such a short time. It was just a perfect scenario.”

All Saints scored her a legion of fans, plus more Logies, including two Gold in 2001 and 2002. She left the show in 2005.

Since 2010, Georgie has been playing Roo Stewart in Home And Away, a role originated by Justine Clarke in 1988.

So many young stars get their start in the drama, and Georgie is more than happy to help them out.

“A lot of the time, I’m supporting the younger storylines,” the star says. “You try to guide as much as you can, and I enjoy it.”

Stephen Peacocke

Stephen Peacocke quickly became a fan favourite thanks to his performance as Braxton in Home And Away.

(Image: Channel Seven)

An ex-jackaroo and labourer, country boy Stephen brought something very real to the role of Darryl “Brax” Braxton in Home And Away – and TV WEEK readers couldn’t get enough of him.

Stephen started in the show in 2011 along with Dan Ewing and Lincoln Younes, the three playing the bad-boy brothers known as The River Boys. For the first few months, Stephen was just enjoying his job.

“I remember a producer telling me that everything would change when I went to air,” he says. “And I thought, ‘Yeah, whatever.'”

Everything did change when The River Boys’ episodes aired. Fans loved the trio, especially Brax. Stephen won the Logie for Most Popular New Talent in 2012.

The Logies just kept on coming, and he was nominated three times for the Gold gong. He was also on the cover of TV WEEK 50 times.

Brax had some emotional storylines. They included his romance with local cop Charlie (Esther Anderson), which ended with her death, and his troubled relationship with Ricky (Bonnie Sveen), who gave birth to his son.

Stephen left the drama after five years to seek work in LA. Almost immediately, he landed roles in two movies: Me Before You in 2016, with Emilia Clarke, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in 2016, with Tina Fey and Margot Robbie.

“I was lucky,” Stephen says. “Had I not been able to grab a few jobs straight off the bat, maybe it would have been more difficult to say goodbye.”

Stephen returned home in 2016 to star in the series Wanted with Rebecca Gibney. Since then, he’s gone on to enjoy success on series including Five Bedrooms, RDFS, and The Newsreader.

Jason Donovan

Who could forget Charlene and Scott?

(Image: Supplied)

The son of actor Terence Donovan and TV presenter Sue McIntosh, Jason started his career at the age of 11 in the series Skyways.

But it was when he joined the cast of Neighbours as Scott Robinson in 1986, taking over from Darius Perkins, that he shot to superstardom.

It wasn’t a hard decision for TV WEEK readers to vote him Most Popular New Talent at the Logies in 1987, and Most Popular Actor the following year.

Scott and Charlene, played by Kylie Minogue, became perhaps the most iconic Aussie soap couple of all time.

Crowds went wild for Jason and Kylie in Australia and the UK. Both launched singing careers and had huge hits.

After leaving Neighbours in 1989, Jason won another Logie in 1990 for WWII miniseries The Heroes (1989). Later, he took on roles in stage musicals.

He reprised his role as Scott on Neighbours during their farewell season in 2022.

Melissa George

Melissa George as Angel Parrish on Home And Away.

(Image: Supplied)

Roller-skating champion Melissa was just 16 when she moved from Perth to Sydney and stepped into the role of Angel Brooks in Home And Away.

Fans took the teen runaway to their hearts, and Angel’s relationship with Shane (Dieter Brummer) was one of the most popular in H&A history. The romance ended tragically with Shane’s death from blood poisoning.

“I remember that my love for acting really came from shooting the finale scene of Shane in Home And Away,” Melissa has said.

She won the Logie for Most Popular New Talent in 1994, and was Most Popular Actress winner the next year and Gold nominee for two years running in ’95 and ’96.

TV WEEK readers could see she had undeniable star quality. It wasn’t long before network execs in LA saw that too.

After a memorable guest spot as a sexy nanny in Friends, Melissa scored a string of major roles. She was Lauren Reed in Alias (2003), Laura Hill in In Treatment (2008) and Dr Sadie Harris in Grey’s Anatomy (2008).

Melissa returned to Australia to play mum Rosie in drama The Slap (2011), winning another Logie in 2012, then played the same character in the US version of the series.

More recently, Melissa, starred as surgeon Dr Alex Panttiere in the series Heartbeat in 2016, Bad Mothers in 2019, and Peaceful in 2021.

Isabel Lucas

Isabel Lucas with her Most Popular New Talent Logie Award in 2004.

(Image: Getty)

Home And Away producers knew Isabel was special. When the teen tried out for the role of Kit but wasn’t quite right, they created a new character for her: the mysterious Tasha Andrews, who, at first, didn’t speak at all.

TV WEEK readers also saw something special in Isabel, awarding her the Logie for Most Popular New Female Talent in 2004. She stayed with H&A for three years, during which time Tasha got involved with a cult and fell pregnant.

After Home And Away came vampire movie Daybreakers in 2009 and miniseries The Pacific in 2010. That led to her breakthrough role in the US in action film Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.

Over the next decade, Isabel combined acting with environmental activism. Following a protest against dolphin culling, a warrant was issued for her arrest in Japan.

In 2018, Isabel made a return to TV as CIA officer Samantha Cage in the remake of MacGyver.

Gary Sweet

Gary Sweet with his former partner Chloe Morgan.

(Image: Getty)

Gary was a teacher for about a week before giving it up to try acting – and there’s no doubt he made the right choice.

Before long, he scored the part of Les “Magpie” Maddern in popular WWII drama The Sullivans in 1976. Viewers voted him the winner of the Logie for Most Popular New Talent in 1982.

The role of Magpie was meant to last only three weeks, but Gary stayed with The Sullivans for more than two years.

He then cemented himself as a real star by playing cricket legend Donald Bradman in 1984 miniseries Bodyline.

It was as Sergeant Steve “Mickey” McClintock in Police Rescue in 1989 that Gary won fans around the world. The action series was a hit not just in Australia, but in the UK, much of Europe and South Africa too. Playing Mickey won Gary two more Logies in 1993. Other cop roles followed, in Stingers, Cops LAC and more.

In recent times, Gary has spent five seasons as Lewis Crabb in House Husbands. The series may have been axed, but Gary, isn’t disappearing.

Popping up in shows such as The Doctor Blake Mysteries and Harrow, it looks as if he’s going to be on our screens for a long time yet.

Bindi Irwin

How cute is little Bindi and her Logie Award?

(Image: Getty)

Bindi was nine when she won the Logie for Most Popular New Female Talent in 2008, beating out older stars such as Packed To The Rafters‘ Zoe Ventoura.

Of course, she wasn’t a newcomer to the spotlight. As the daughter of the world-famous “Crocodile Hunter”, Steve Irwin, she’d first appeared on TV at the age of two.

Bindi won the Logie for Bindi: The Jungle Girl, her wildlife series aimed at kids. She dedicated her win to her mum Terri and her dad, who’d died two years earlier.

Canny TV WEEK readers knew what they were doing when they picked Bindi. Just a month later, she became the youngest performer ever to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the US.

Since then, Bindi has been constantly in the public eye in one way or another.

She showed off her acting skills by starring in Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove in 2010, as well as Return To Nim’s Island in 2013. She hosted the game show Bindi’s Bootcamp in 2012, and also gave music a go, releasing several albums.

In 2015, Bindi won hearts in America, being crowned champion on Dancing With The Stars. One of her most emotional performances saw her dedicate “Footprints In The Sand” to her dad Steve.

“I feel that Dad is with me every day,” she said on the show.

The now 25-year-old has married the love of her life Chandler Powell and the pair are happily living with their daughter Grace at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast, along with mother Terri and brother Rob.

Luke Mitchell

Luke pictured with his Most Popular New Talent Logie Award.

(Image: Getty)

Luke spent his teen years on tennis courts and planned to turn pro. But fortunately for TV viewers, he switched to acting.

He made a big impact in a brief stint as Chris Knight in Neighbours in 2008, then played Will in H20: Just Add Water in 2009, before landing the role of flirty Romeo Smith in Home And Away.

In 2010, Luke beat Josh Thomas, James Stewart, Matt Preston and Charlie Pickering to take home the Logie for Most Popular New Male Talent.

In Home And Away, Romeo’s love interests included Annie (Charlotte Best) and Indi (Samara Weaving). But it was Rebecca Breeds, the actress playing Ruby, who Luke fell for in real life and later married.

Luke left the drama after four years, following Romeo’s diagnosis with terminal skin cancer.

“The storyline was my idea,” he said at the time. “I pitched it to the writers and was thrilled they ran with it.”

After moving to the US, Luke had instant success, being cast in The Tomorrow People as John Young. The sci-fi series was cancelled after one season, but Luke wasn’t short of work.

Before long, he was playing “Inhuman” Lincoln Campbell in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. After Lincoln’s heartbreaking death, Luke was offered the part of Jane Doe’s (Jaimie Alexander) brother Roman in Blindspot.

“It’s such a different role for me,” Luke said. “Every other character I played was so clean-cut.”

He starred in The Republic of Sarah in 2021 and Big Sky in 2022.

Want more coverage on the TV WEEK Logie Awards? We’ve got you covered:

Perms, satin and a rogue cut-out: The TV WEEK Logie Awards has gifted us with an incomparable red carpet fashion legacy

The cast of Home and Away have delivered an endless fashion spectacle at the Logie Awards over the years

Carrie Bickmore reflects on her famous Logies acceptance speech

Kate Ritchie reveals the adorable way the Home and Away cast celebrated her first Logies

Related stories