Home and Away’s original cast: Where are they now?

The first episodes began airing in January 1988.
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It’s been more than 30 years since the first episodes of Home and Away premiered in 1988.

Over the years, the drama serial has become one of Australia’s most loved shows, and has grown a devoted fan base who have followed along the often tumultuous lives of the residents of Summer Bay.

With episode 5,000 on the not too distant horizon, the team at TV Week thought we would take a trip back in time, and revist the lives of original cast members and what they have been up to since their starring roles on the show ended.

So without further adieu….

Ray Meagher (Alf Stewart) 1988 – present

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

To this day, Ray is the longest running actor in an Australian serial (in fact he holds a Guinness World record for that title), having starred in the first episode of Home and Away in 1988.

Over the past 30 plus years he has appeared in almost 5,000 episodes, won a Gold Logie award for his portrayal of Alf and is now the only remaining original cast member on the show.

Apart from his starring role on Home and Away, Ray has also taken to the stage, performing in musicals Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and a number of Christmas pantomimes across Australia and the UK.

Norman Coburn (Donald Fisher) 1988 -2007

(IMAGE: Seven)

Known for his role as high school headmaster Donald Fisher, Norman remained in the role full time until 2003, making sporadic returns between 2004 – 2007.

Since then? Well, Norman is enjoying life as a retiree, apart from a rare appearance in a 2019 episode of Home and Away alongside former co-star Debra Lawrence.

Judy Nunn (Ailsa Stewart) 1988 – 2002

(IMAGE: Seven/Penguin Publishing)

After her character was killed off in 2000 (although she did appear in the form of hallucinations had by on screen husband Alf in 2002), Judy devoted her time to a career in writing which saw her release 16 adult fiction novels, her most recent release being Show Time in 2021.

She currently resides with her husband Bruce Vernables on the NSW Central Coast.

Kate Richie (Sally Fletcher) 1988 – 2013

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

Retiring from the role of Sally after 20 years in 2008, Kate returned after a five year absence for the 2013 25th anniversary celebrations.

In the years since she has hosted NOVA FM’s national drive show – Kate, Tim & Joel – as well as a number of additional acting appearances, notably as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent in 2022, and most recently on Channel 7 drama series The Claremont Murders.

Nowadays, Kate and her nine year old daughter Mae (who she had with ex husband Stuart Webb) live in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Nicolle Dickson (Bobby Simpson) 1988 – 2006

(IMAGE: Seven/New Idea)

In what may come as a surprise to some, after leaving Home and Away (after her character was killed off in a boating accident), Nicolle retired from the acting profession and now works as an accountant and bookkeeper.

She now resides in the Southern Highlands with husband James.

Lyn Collingwood (Colleen Smart) 1988 – 2013

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

After roles in A Country Practice and Neighbours, it came as no surprise that Lyn joined the lineup for Home and Away in 1988.

After departing the show and returning and then departing again over a 25 year span, Lynn is now living a life out of the spotlight.

Interestingly, in recent years Lyn has actually worked in research and as an editor of The Australian Encyclopaedia, as well as numerous other encyclopaedias.

Adam Willits (Steven Matheson) 1988 – 2008

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

Who could forget Adam’s portrayal of foster child Steven?

With an original run from 1988 – 1991 (and then some returns over the years), Adam went on to star in Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, Hampton Court, All Saints and serial Rake before stepping out of the spotlight to work in the insurance industry.

Sharyn Hodgson (Carly Morris) 1988 – 2008

(IMAGE: Seven/Womans Day)

Since her initial on screen departure, Sharyn went on to appear in episodes of popular shows like Blue Heelers, Police Rescue and Big Sky.

Nowadays, she is a full time mother, also working as a natural therapist and childcare worker, having fostered children of her own.

Vanessa Downing (Pippa Fletcher) 1988 – 2006

(IMAGE: Seven/Griffin Theatre)

As the original Pippa Fletcher (the role was recast to Debra Lawrence in 1990), Vanessa is a household name for longtime fans.

Over the years she has had a number of guest roles in telemovies and Aussie shows, and has established a successful legal career, working with law firm Craddock Murray Neumann.

Greg Benson (Matt Wilson) 1988 – 2002


After Home and Away wrapped up, Greg quit acting for good. But in a sweet turn of fate, he found his in real life love Amanda whilst on set when she was cast as Narelle Smart.

The pair are now happily married and have two adult children, one of which (Dylan) even made a guest appearance on Home and Away in 2019.

Roger Oakley (Tom Fletcher) 1988 – 2008

(IMAGE: Seven/Womans Day)

Prior to joining Home and Away, Roger was already a veteran of the industry.

After departing the show in 1990 (and returning briefly in 2008), he has remained active, featuring in stage productions of My Fair Lady, The Golden Dragon and more as well as in television series Underbelly and Winners and Losers.

His last on screen appearance was in television series Superwog in 2021.

Peter Vroom (Lance Smart) 1988 – 2006

(IMAGE: Seven/Peter Vroom)

Since a final role in short movie Philip back in 2007, Peter has stepped back from acting and now works as a verdict meditation teacher where he guides clients to connect with their spiritual side and learn how to meditate.

Fiona Spence (Celia Stewart) 1988 – 2013

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

Despite giving her final bow as unlucky in love spinster Celia in 1990, Fiona has made numerous returns to Home and Away over the years, most recently in 2013.

From 2008 – 2013, Fiona starred as Eleanor in Packed to the Rafters, but in the decade since the show finished, she has remained quiet, presumably living her life out of the public eye.

Alex Papps (Frank Morgan) 1988 – 2006

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

Did yo know that the character of Frank was actually the first to ever appear on screen in the premiere episode of Home and Away in 1988?

From 2005 – 2021, Alex was a cohost on Play School, alongside former Home and Away costar Justine Clarke who played his on screen girlfriend Roo Stewart.

Speaking of Justine, the pair also appeared on the ABC drama The Time of our Lives together.

Alex also released his own ARIA award nominated album, composed of music for children ‘Let’s Put The Beat In Our Feet’ in 2014.

In 2018, Alex returned to Summer Bay, some 12 years after his last appearance, to celebrate Home and Aways 30th anniversary.

Justine Clarke (Roo Stewart) 1988 – 2005

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

Justine has been a busy girl since the curtain was called on her character Roo.

After her 18 month stint on the show, Justine acted in a number of television series and films, including Blackrock in 1997 which was Heath Ledger’s first credited film role.

In 1999, she then became a presenter on Play School, a role which she still holds to this day.

She’s also created and starred in popular children’s television series The Justine Clarke Show and has released a number of original children’s songs, twice winning the Aria Award for Best Children’s Album in 2013 and in 2018.

And if you still aren’t impressed Justine also performs as a jazz vocalist and cabaret singer.

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