Popular Australian drama Prisoner: Cell Block H is back tonight as Channel 5’s Wentworth Prison. But when Prisoner: Cell Block H closed its doors for good in 1986 what happened to the stars?
From Neighbours to Nemo here’s what they’ve been up to…
Val Lehman starred as prisoner Bea Smith in over 400 episodes. After leaving the show in 1983, as arguably the most recogniseable star of the show, Lehman made guest appearances in countless Australian TV series including Good Guys Bad Guys and Something in the Air. Lehman’s also appeared in theatre shows around Australia including Driving Miss Daisy, The Wizard of Oz and Steel Magnolias.
Hanging up her prison uniform, Kerry Armstrong left the character of Lynn Warner behind for her Hollywood break. Armstrong starred in Dynasty and Murder She Wrote and starred with Geoffrey Rush in Lantana (for which she won Best Actress at the American Film Institute awards). Armstrong has since turned author with debut novel The Circles.
Fiona Spence played senior officer Veronica Bennett for 222 episodes in Prisoner: Cell Block H but is equally famous for her role as gossiping Celia Stewart in Australian soap Home and Away.
Far more famous for playing Madge Bishop in Neighbours, Anne Charleston had several roles during Prisoner: Cell Block H as a policewoman, Brookes’ evil daughter and Reb Keen’s mother. Charleston’s TV CV also boasts Emmerdale, Holby City and Doctors.
From various roles in Prisonser: Cell Block H – including Nancy McCormack, Evelyn Randall and Alice Dodds – Julia Blake has also starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as the ill-fated Heather Hudson.
After playing tough officer Rick Manning in Prisoner: Cell Block H, Andy Anderson bagged the roles of Kevin Baker in Home and Away and head of the Scully brood, Mick Scully, in Neighbours. More recently, Anderson has appeared in horror films, including playing the part of the Sherrif in teen horror House of Wax.
After her character Paddy Lawson was viciously murdered in Prisoner: Cell Block H, Hruby took on the role of Judith Ackroyd in Home and Away – a teacher at Summer Bay High School.
Another Prisoner: Cell Block H star to become a Scully, Shane swapped playing Bongo Connors in the cells, to Joe Scully in Neighbours for nearly 400 episodes. He’s currently working on the sequel to cult film Wolf Creek and has squeezed in a Violet Crumble chocolate bar commercial along the way.
Bill Hunter (who passed away in 2011) played George Lucas in Prisoner: Cell Block H, before later going on to voice the dentist in Disney hit Finding Nemo. Hunter also starred in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding and Minder, too.
Playing Kerry Vincent in Prisoner: Cell Block H was a springboard for Penny Downie into Minder, Silent Witness, Ripper Street, New Tricks, Doctors, Waking the Dead, Inspector Morse… the list goes on. Downie even appeared in stage show Hamlet with David Tennant.
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