EXCLUSIVE: Georgie Parker celebrates 40 years of acting

A few bumps along the way made her the star she is today.
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With four decades of being in the spotlight under her belt, one might expect Georgie Parker to be carrying an ego as she arrives on set to mark the milestone with New Idea. Yet it turns out her only list of ‘demands’ are “a weak flat white” and Stevie Wonder blaring!

New Idea has followed Georgie’s career since she burst onto screens as Lucy Gardiner in A Country Practice. Fast forward 40 years later and she has found herself in quite the pickle. Her Home and Away character Roo’s life hangs in the balance after being blown up by a bomb planted by a corrupt skincare company. It’s heavy stuff, but Georgie insists it’s all in a day’s work.

WATCH: Georgie Parker and Home & Away cast video chat. Article continues after video.

“You really only have to respond to the environment – there’s not too much acting involved … you’re injured!” says Georgie.

With a laugh she adds her previous roles as both a fire fighter and nurse prepared her for the “very hot” takes.

While some fans aren’t happy about Roo’s situation, Georgie says taking time off from the show was crucial to ensure she could follow her passion for theatre.

“I need to be able to spread my wings whenever I can. I just needed to make sure I could have time out,” she says.

georgie parker career
Georgie Parker has spent 40 years in the spotlight. (Credit: New Idea)

From roles in Scenes From a Separation and Chapter Two, to her most recent run in Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica, Georgie makes it clear that being on stage is what makes her heart flutter.

While Home and Away is notorious for shock deaths and sudden exits, Georgie confesses that making the decision to one day say goodbye for good is a tough one. If not for the diehard fans who would have her head, she also has her on-screen dad and lifelong friend, Ray Meagher, to think about.

“I would find it difficult to go anywhere else because Ray is my mate. My character is so closely linked to him,” says Georgie, who insists playing the “wonderful” relationship they have is sacred.

“Ray and I get along really well, I love his company, I really value it. While he’s there, I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else.

“I do need to go and do other things, I’m just lucky that they do let me.”

WATCH: Georgie Parker and Todd McKenney sing a duet medley. Article continues after video.

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Georgie maintains that, when she started her career in 1983, there was never a point where she could have imagined the heights she would reach.

“You just don’t have the luxury of thinking about what you’re going to be doing next,” she explains.

“It is a really difficult job to do, it doesn’t always favour you – often it has nothing to do with your ability. The stars just need to align.”

Indeed, casting her mind back to her early days on the stage, Georgie, 58, admits that not everybody was always the biggest fan.

“I definitely had some unfortunate auditions,” she says, earnestly. “When people would diminish my ability, you just have to say, ‘well, I’ll bloody show you’ – and luckily I did!

“I remember an opening night for a musical. I knew that two of the people I had unfortunate experiences with were in the audience … and I loved it! I got be like, ‘suck on that, buddy!’” she says, bursting into laughter. “You know what I mean? You really have to be made of tough stuff!”

Even though Georgie says she’s worked hard to shake off her many famous characters, she happily says she now feels like people do love her for just being herself. This includes respecting her need for privacy.

Georgie considers her family’s privacy paramount. (Credit: Getty)

While Georgie remains blissfully married to Steve Worland and is mum to their adult daughter Holly, she doubles down on a decision she made long ago: they’re both off limits.

“My husband is an introvert and a screenwriter. We’ve had a few photos taken, but it’s just not his thing. With my daughter, I always thought I would give her the choice to be in the public space, and she’s just not that type of person,” she explains.

“This is right for me – I do feel like such a hypocrite, because I love nothing more seeing pictures of my friends and their kids online, but I just had to give the people in my life the choice. I’m glad I did because they’re just not comfortable … they hate it.”

Georgie Parker on the set of Home & Away. (Credit: Getty)

With her family by her side, Georgie hopes to be working “for many more decades to come”. Ideally she’d love a new scripted drama – and not “abhorrent” reality TV, as she puts it.

“I understand the allure but … it’s an unskilled format where you have people who aren’t particularly skilled at anything other than trying to get attention for themselves,” she says bluntly.

Georgie admits all she has tolerance for is the SBS survival series, Alone, as she can happily curl up in a ball and watch “real people”.

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