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Real Life

Home and Away's Pippa and Michael: Our real life love

Life imitated art for Debra Lawrance and Dennis Coard, who are still together after nearly 20 years.
Home And Away favourites Debra Lawrance and Dennis Coard might have left the show years ago, but in real life their love story is still going strong. They’re about to celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary!
Now living in Melbourne with their two children Grace, 18, and William, 11, the couple say they owe their happy ending to the show that brought them together all those years ago.
“Home And Away gave me my life,” says Debra, 54, who met Dennis, 59, when he first screen-tested for the role of Summer Bay foster-dad, Michael Ross. “If I didn’t have a steady job, I don’t think I would have had children. I met Dennis, we have two great children and he’s a brilliant father.”
As foster-parents Pippa Fletcher and Michael Ross, Debra and Dennis helped raise a generation of Aussie kids who looked up to the community’s most famous residents as role models. But sitting at their dining table, the couple share a knowing glance and explain that while their love story blossomed before the TV cameras in the early 90s, it almost never happened in real life.
“I met Dennis at exactly the time my ovaries were yelling, ‘Hello!’” says Debra, laughing at the memory. “I must have smelled his testosterone. I flirted with him and there was chemistry, then I spent the next six weeks being rude to him. I guess I was testing him.”
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