When it comes to leading women in the Australian TV industry, it’s hard to go past Lisa McCune.
The four-time Gold Logie-winning actress has long been included in the TV WEEK family. So when Lisa caught wind of our 60th birthday celebrations, she was especially keen to be involved.
“TV WEEK has been such an important part of my career,” Lisa, 46, says proudly.
Lisa was just 23 when she scored the role of Constable Maggie Doyle in the Channel Seven drama series, Blue Heelers.
“Then I auditioned for Blue Heelers, which was a really long process. It took about a year after the series went to air for it to strike a flame with audiences. Thankfully, it just shot off from there.”
The police drama, which also starred John Wood and Martin Sacks, ran from 1994 to 2006. Lisa’s final episode, in which her character is shot and killed, remains one of the most-watched moments on Australian TV.
The actress says she’ll never forget her last day on the set.
“I think it took five bullets to finish me off,” she laughs.
And Lisa adds that her co-star, Martin, who played fiancé PJ, found the scene particularly difficult to shoot.
“All I had to do was lie there, but Marty had so much emotional work to do,” Lisa remembers. “He did a brilliant job.”
As it turns out, PJ wasn’t the only one who didn’t want Maggie to die in such tragic circumstances.
“I really fought the set producers about Maggie’s death,” Lisa explains.
“I really felt that I didn’t want her to go. Many years later, I could understand why they did it. But at that time, I was sad to see her go – because she was a gorgeous, young girl.
“Maggie represented hope. She ticked all the boxes in all the right ways. She was feisty, came from an Irish-Catholic background and had a strong father. I think all her qualities are what we love in characters on TV.”
While Lisa says Blue Heelers “had its time” and a reunion is out of the question, she’d be keen to star in another long-running drama given the chance.
“I’m all for long-running series,” she says. “They’re a great training ground, and audiences really like them. I think it’s only a matter of time before we get one audiences gravitate to.”
For the full story, pick up this week's issue of TV WEEK.