Playschool star Noni Hazlehurst turns 70

The veteran actor is celebrating the milestone with an extra spring in her step and a move to a tranquil paradise.
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For 50 years Noni Hazlehurst has graced our stages and screens, barely stopping and garnering every award imaginable in the process.

And now, as she looks forward to turning 70 this week, one thing she’s not looking to do, is slow down.

“Retiring? That’s irrelevant,” she replies. “I just want to keep telling stories. I don’t care if I’m behind the camera, in front of the camera, or on radio.”

Noni at the 7th AACTA Awards in 2017.

(Credit: Getty)

Veteran of the arts

Born in Melbourne in 1953, Noni cut her teeth on acting while studying drama at Flinders University in South Australia before winning high praise in wide-ranging roles in huge shows such as The Box, City Homicide, The Sullivans, Waterfront, Nancy Wake and A Place To Call Home.

And unlike many stars, Noni has been able to successfully pivot from TV to film, winning over critics as Nora in Monkey Grip and stealing scenes from co-stars Cate Blanchett in Little Fish and Heath Ledger in Candy.

Noni as Sharon Lewis on the TV Show The Box.

(Credit: Supplied)

Surprisingly, despite boasting more than 60 projects on her résumé, Noni lists Play School as her greatest work.

“I’m more proud of Play School than anything I’ve ever done,” she tells Woman’s Day of her 24 years presenting on the children’s program.

“It was a great privilege [and] it changed my life.”

Noni stayed on Better Homes and Gardens for 10 years.

(Credit: Supplied)

Noni is quick to point out her greatest personal triumph are her two sons, Charlie, 35, and William, 29, who she had with her former husband of 10 years, Wolf Creek star John Jarratt.

Together, the couple co-hosted the popular lifestyle program Better Homes And Gardens. Noni stayed with the show for 10 years.

“I was very lucky to be able to have two healthy and normal pregnancies and to have my boys at home,” she has said.

Noni with her greatest accomplishments, her two sons!

(Credit: Instagram)

“That was an awe-inspiring thing for me to achieve. It was the greatest thing I had ever done.”

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Noni has never been one for photoshoots and the glare of a stroll down a red carpet.

She much prefers staying home, spending time in her garden and cooking.

“I just love cooking,” says the much-loved star.

Noni’s sea change to this waterfront estate on a Moreton Bay island.

(Credit: Supplied)

“I’ll cook a lovely meal every day, even just for me. I love trying different things with seasonal produce and I’m really interested in recipes.”

Noni has often said she prefers to live in the serenity of the bush and recently sold up her idyllic home nestled in the Gold Coast hinterland of Mount Tamborine, moving to a waterfront estate on a Moreton Bay island.

Noni on the hit TV show ‘A Place To Call Home’.

Stream A Place To Call Home now on BINGE with a 14-day free trial. Subscribe here.

(Credit: Supplied)

“My days of city living are really over,” she has said.

“I’m happy to be there for work, but I do prefer the peace.”

But that peace may have to wait, as Noni is currently shooting two new projects, both of which are due out next year.

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