Real Life

Meet the TV stars who happily traded in fame and fortune for a regular life

They walked away from the big time, with zero regrets!
Loading the player...

Being a celebrity sounds great on paper, but life in the spotlight isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Many Aussie TV stars have actively chosen to live a normal life away from the bright lights – and they’re all the happier for it!

You’ve seen these actors on Home and Away, Neighbours and even Heartbreak High, but these TV stars chose a more regular path after their time in the spotlight!

Keep on scrolling to see which celebs have chosen to trade in the big time for the quiet life.

Jason Smith

Jason and H&A co-star Chris Hemsworth.

(Image: Supplied)

Famous for: Making us laugh as lanky teen Robbie Hunter in Home And Away.

These days: Behind the scenes in TV – producing and writing

Thanks to his scene-stealing role as Robbie Hunter in Home And Away, Jason was one of the most recognisable faces on Australian TV between 2003 and 2006.

Robbie brought a little fun to the Bay in the early noughties, often getting into trouble alongside his best pal Kim Hyde (played by future A-lister Chris Hemsworth).

Robbie’s relationship with Tasha (Isabel Lucas) remains one of the all-time great Summer Bay romances, and we cried teenage tears of sadness when he left the show.

Jason, 34, took a break from acting before jumping ship to radio in 2016, when he joined Nova FM.

He has since left radio and in 2019, Jason hosted the short-lived official Home and Away podcast which saw him interview various members of the cast.

As for whether he’d reprise his role as Robbie, Jason told New Idea that he was ‘always open to it’.

“But I am really enjoying the behind-the-scenes work. All of the skills I learnt from Home and Away have come in so handy for everything I’ve been doing since I left the show,” he said.

As of 2022, Jason is now engaged to his longtime love Cassidy Creevey and had signed up as a voice actor for Power Rangers: Dino Fury.

Apart from that, Jason has remained relatively quiet on his socials and has stepped back from the public eye.

Jessica Marais

Jessica bottom left with the cast of Packed To The Rafters

(Credit: Seven)

Famous for: Joan Millar in Love Child, Lily Woodward in The Wrong Girl and the sassy, creative and clever Rachel Rafter in Packed To The Rafters.

These days: working in hospitality.

Jessica’s break-out role came in 2008, whilst she was studying acting. Her role on the iconic and well-loved Packed To The Rafters ending up propelling her to fame.

Not only did it bring an influx of roles, but also awards, with Jessica winning five Logies in her time – and winning the hearts of Australian audiences

Jessica looking carefree in a post to her Instagram in 2021

(Credit: Instagram)

After departing Packed To The Rafters in 2011, Jessica had some success in the U.S with a main role in drama series Magic City.

The 37-year-olds last on-screen role was in 2020 in film Chasing Wonders. She has since stepped away from acting to focus on her mental health.

It’s been reported that she still stays in regular contact with her Packed To The Rafters co-stars.

She co-parents daughter Scout Packed to the Rafters co-star James Stewart.

Kyal Marsh

Famous for: Breaking hearts as Boyd Hoyland in Neighbours.

These days: Runs his own construction business.

He started off as a child genius and ended up the bad-boy hunk.

But whichever version you preferred, there’s no forgetting Boyd.

Kyal joined Neighbours in 2002 and spent five years engrossed in some seriously intense storylines – who can forget the time Boyd took steroids!

Speaking to 7News about his time on the show and experience with fame, Kyal said that whilst ”we weren’t huge stars, we would get recognised everywhere we went.”

He also confessed that even though he ”didn’t want to be famous,” he still had a ”curiosity” about what it was like.

”I can easily see how people would be addicted to that adrenaline and that feeling of self importance being treated that way,” he said.

”When in my mind I knew that I was just a normal Australian kid. Like I….I wasn’t a superstar.”

Kyal rose to fame on Neighbours.

(Image: Supplied)

Kyal eventually quit the show in 2007, criticising producers for the way his exit was handled.

In the years since Kyal has said he felt like he had ”serious imposter syndrome” and ”felt guilty” for being famous and that he ”didn’t deserve” the fame.

Perhaps it’s not surprising he left acting behind, choosing instead to learn a trade.

”After not really being successful in, in any big auditions I just decided to continue with construction, working with my dad,” Kyal told 7News.

Kyal, 31, is now the managing director at Fitzroy Shopfitting & Building, a construction company in Melbourne.

”I don’t miss it one bit. I don’t need fame to be happy. No, I’m very happy. I’m much happier now than when I was famous.”

Kyal has left acting behind!

(Image: Supplied)

Zoe Tuckwell-Smith

Zoe (far left) and the Winners & Losers gals

(Image: Supplied)

Famous for: Part of the fab four in Winners & Losers.

These days: Life coach.

Winners & Losers was appointment viewing for most people during its five-year run.

When it ended in 2016, much of the cast went on to new shows. But not Zoe.

Instead, the actress, now known as Zoe Gameau, focused her energy on becoming a life coach.

Zoe is a life coach!

(Image: Instagram)

She works at the Centre For Mind Body And Wellness in Mullumbimby in northern NSW.

Zoe also co-wrote the book That Sugar Guide with her husband and fellow former actor Damon Gameau.

Amelia Frid

Amelia graced our screens as Cody Wills on Neighbours.

(Image: Supplied)

Famous for: Playing Cody Willis in Neighbours in the late 1980s.

These days: Clinical psychologist.

Debuting on screens in 1989, Amelia played the first incarnation of Cody Willis in Neighbours.

During her two-year spell, Cody quickly became a fan favourite, famous for her on-again, off-again pursuit of Todd (Kristian Schmid).

Today, she’s more focused on matters of the mind.

(Image: Facebook)

After leaving in 1991, Amelia focused on studying, completing a degree in psychology.

She never returned to acting, and these days works as a clinical psychologist where she supports clients who present with anxiety, depression and other mood related issues.

Sebastian Goldspink

Sebastian started out on Heartbreak High Image:Instagram

Famous for: Loveable geek Charlie Byrd in Heartbreak High.

These days: Art curator.

Heartbreak High was a revelation when it debuted in 1994, shining a light on the reality of life for high school students.

Sebastian joined the show in the fourth season, playing computer geek Charlie Byrd.

He notched up more than 50 episodes before departing in 1997.

He’s kept in touch with former co-star Ada Nicodemou Image: Instagram

Sebastian added a few more acting gigs to his résumé, including a stint on All Saints, but eventually found his true calling as an art curator.

A proud descendant of the Burramattagal people of Western Sydney, he followed his love of art and created Alaska Projects, a high-end curating business in Sydney that promotes new and upcoming artists.

Reflecting on his starring role in Heartbreak High, Sebastian told that he enjoyed his time on the show, and especially loved being part of an ensemble of up and coming Aussie stars.

”We all got along great. Some of the actors were romantically linked and sometimes this even paralleled their character’s relationships. The male actors all shared a changed room: we had music and couches and would hang out and watch movies.”

Christie Hayes

Famous for: Being drama magnet Kirsty Sutherland in Home And Away.

These days: Breakfast radio host.

At just 13, Christie stormed Summer Bay as Kirsty Sutherland, the fierce teenager with nothing to lose.

Christie had two stints in Home And Away, between 2000 and 2005 and for a year in 2008.

Kane and Kirsty’s romance shocked the Bay.

(Image: Supplied)

Her character infamously fell in love with Kane Phillips (Sam Atwell), who’d assaulted her older sister Dani (Tammin Sursok).

It remains one of the Bay’s edgiest storylines. Stepping away from acting, Christie is now a breakfast radio host for Hit Hobart and in 2021 married her long-term partner in a secret ceremony.

In recent months she has spoken candidly about how difficult it has been going through IVF treatment on her radio show.

”The struggle was for us…was the money. It is so expensive,” she told her co host Dan Taylor.

”We started our first round of IVF when we didn’t really have any money. We were on one income at the time with IVF. You just go in there with an open mind, you obviously are prepared to give every single cent you have. But I mean, it’s like God, there’s only so much you can do,” she explained.

Let’s hope 2023 brings better news for the couple and they can fulfil their dreams of being parents.

Josh Horner

Famous for: Being the nasty judge on Dancing With The Stars.

These days: Real estate agent.

For five seasons, the best part about Dancing With The Stars was hearing what Josh had to say about someone’s performance.

With quips as quick as his feet, the former Broadway star made a memorable judge.

Josh was a critical judge on DWTS!

After a move to Los Angeles and a stint working with Disney, Josh returned home last year and completed a professional pirouette of his own, becoming a real estate agent.

He’s now selling houses on the NSW Central Coast, based out of Wyong where he grew up.

Leaving acting behind, he sell houses on the NSW Central Coast.

(Image: Getty)

Fleur Beaupert

Fleur (centre) dominated soapies in the 90’s.


Famous for: Solid stints in Home And Away and Heartbreak High.

These days: Policy officer and university lecturer.

If you loved Australian TV in 1997, chances are you were a fan of Fleur.

That year, the actress appeared in 68 episodes of Home And Away and 39 episodes of Heartbreak High.

She was everywhere – until she wasn’t.

Now she’s an academic.

(Image: Showcast)

In the late ’90s, Fleur stepped away from the limelight to focus on academia but she did make a brief return to television in 2012 to star in the TV series deadside.

She studied law, specialising in legal reform and mental health.

Today she works as a policy officer for children and young people with Disability Australia.

Bridie Carter

Famous for: Taking our breath away as farm girl Tess in McLeod’s Daughters.

These days: Actually being a real farm girl at Byron Bay.

Bridie became a household name as Tess on McLeod’s Daughters.

(Image: Supplied)

In what seems to be an unusual case of life imitating art, Bridie spends her days tucked away on a farm in the Byron Bay hinterland in northern NSW.

It’s an amusing twist of fate for the actress who spent six seasons playing country girl Tess McLeod in McLeod’s Daughters.

She’s also a real-life farm girl!

(Image: Instagram)

Bridie lives on the land with her husband and two kids, and although she recently appeared in 800 Words, the acting work hasn’t been prolific.

In the first edition of TV Week for 2023, Bridie sat down with the team to reflect upon her impressive acting career. More on that one can be found here.

There has been talk of a McLeod’s reunion – in which case, dust off the Akubra and head for Drover’s Run.

WATCH BELOW: Meet the stars of Home And Away and Neighbours.

Loading the player...

Related stories