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Home and Away flashback! The original cast reunited

The original stars of Home and Away reunite to share their fond memories.

With 23 babies born, 34 marriages and 100 deaths, there has never been any shortage of action in Summer Bay. At the centre of it all is the Fletcher clan, the ever-changing foster family we first met when they moved into the picturesque caravan park in 1988.
Fans across the world have laughed and cried as the series shone a spotlight on real-life issues and followed the ups and downs of the famous family.
The actors who made up the original Fletchers left the Bay long ago but recently reunited, trading memories and catching up after almost three decades apart.
“Those early days on Home And Away were such fun,” recalls Vanessa Downing, who played foster mum Pippa Fletcher. “We all got along fabulously and share some wonderful memories.”
Summer Bay, back in the day...
Nicolle Dickson ‘Bobby Simpson’ 1988-93
“What I remember most about those really early times on Home And Away is how much we all loved each other,” says Nicolle, now 46.
Nicolle left the soap in 1993 after six years, and later re-invented herself as a bookkeeper and accountant.
“My two sons Lincoln [19] and Winston [17] think it’s hysterical to hunt up old YouTube clips of ballsy Bobby bashing everyone up!”
Alex Papps ‘Frank Morgan’ 1988-89, 91-92
These days, Alex, 46, laughs at his former sex symbol status. “Before the show went to air I was receiving fan mail – as was Frank’s mullet. It was crazy!”
The Play School host has just released a fun album for kids.
Sharyn Hodgson ‘Carly Morris’ 1988-91
Sharyn, now a natural therapist and childcare worker, thought it was fantastic that she also played Carly Morris’ twin sister Samantha – and got paid twice! “I was 17, so it was incredibly exciting,” she recalls.
Sharyn dropped out of the limelight to become a mum, and says she has no regrets. “I was very proud of the show, but I don’t think I was cut out to be in showbiz for the long haul,” Sharyn, 46, confesses. “But my 12-year-old gets a great laugh looking back over old clips!”
Roger Oakley ‘Tom Fletcher’ 1988-90
One of Roger’s best memories is spending time with Kate Ritchie, then 10, who played his foster daughter Sally. “There was always a fruit bowl brimming with apples and bananas and adorable Katie and I would pass the time pretending the bananas were telephones and have amazing conversations,” he laughs.
The New Zealand-born actor, 71, has now notched up almost 50 years in showbiz, appearing on hit shows like Prisoner, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors and, more recently, Underbelly, after his first role in The Sullivans.
Vanessa Downing - ‘Pippa Fletcher’ 1988-90
Reflecting on her time as Pippa Fletcher, Vanessa, 57, reflects on how she landed the role after Carol Willesee was dropped over a contractual dispute, and the first episodes had to be re-shot. “I’m in a cabaret show and get the frantic call asking if I could immediately take over,” she recalls, revealing she hadn’t read a script until she was in the makeup chair.
“Debra Lawrance eventually took over playing Pippa when I left.” Both Pippas recently caught up and laughed about the fridge in the Fletcher kitchen. “It stank because it wasn’t plugged in!” Vanessa recalls.
In 2006, Vanessa graduated as a lawyer, and today she juggles law with acting, mainly in the theatre.
Ryan Clark ‘Sam Marshall’ 1991-2002
Little Sam is all grown up! Ryan’s now married with a two-year old son, Nixon, and is one of the hottest stars of Bondi Rescue.
“I was only seven when I landed the role,” he says.
“It was my first audition. I decided to give acting a try after some schoolmates did a TV commercial for Cottee’s and got loads of free cordial!”
“What kid wouldn’t love it?” says the 31-year-old of his stint on the show.
Today, Ryan, who also owns a gym in Sydney, is considered a sex symbol – look out for him showing off his surfer body in Davenport’s latest underwear campaign.

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