Justine Clarke at the Aria Awards 2013 in Sydney, Australia
|Years active||1978 – present|
|Children||Josef, Nina and Max|
|Awards||Ástor – Best Actress 2006|
Justine Clarke (born November 1971) is an Australian actress, singer and television host. She has been acting since the age of seven and has appeared in some of Australia's best-known TV shows. She is also a film and stage actor, and won the Best Actress Award at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in 2006 for her role in Look Both Ways.
At the age of seven, whilst at Woollahra Public School with other up and coming talents like Mouche Phillips and Deni Hines, Clarke began appearing in television commercials, one of which was Arnott's Humphrey B. Bear biscuits. At eleven she played the role of Brigitta in the stage musical, The Sound of Music.
Clarke's first significant acting role was as the character Anna Goanna in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The same year she appeared in the TV series The Maestro's Company and featured in the 1986 mini-series Professor Poopsnaggle's Steam Zeppelin. The following year she made appearances in A Country Practice and Willing and Abel
In 1988, Clarke began an eighteen months role on the soap opera Home And Away playing the character Roo Stewart. The character of Ruth was reinstated in the cast list, in 2010, but was now portrayed by Georgie Parker. She was one of several Home and Away cast-members to star in a stage musical about the soap, which toured the UK in 1991.
Following her departure from Home And Away in 1989, Clarke appeared in the short-lived series Family and Friends before going on to act in several mini-series including Come In Spinner, Golden Fiddles and Tracks of Glory.
In 1991, she formed a Dolly Parton inspired band called the Honky Tonk Angels, which disbanded three years later. In the late '90s she was a backing vocalist in the Sydney band Automatic Cherry, that also featured The Cruel Sea guitarist James Cruickshank. The band released the album Slow Burner in 1997. Clarke is also a jazz vocalist and cabaret singer, popular on the Sydney club circuit.
A popular children's entertainer and presenter on the landmark children's television program Play School, Clarke has made solo albums and DVDs for children including I Like to Sing, Songs to Make You Smile, Great Big World & the Aria winning A Little Day Out With Justine Clarke.
First time I stepped onto that set I felt like I was a child again and I had climbed into the television! I remember feeling slightly nervous about meeting old pros like Jemima and Big Ted, but they were very warm and welcoming and just the same as they are on the show.
— Justine Clarke, On becoming a Playschool presenter
Clarke's film Turning April in 1996 was followed by Blackrock with Heath Ledger in 1997. More recently she has starred in the films Danny Deckchair and Look Both Ways. The role of Meryl Lee in Look Both Ways scored Clarke a nomination for an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Lead Actress award in 2005 and the award for Best Actress at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
After three episodes of the series Wildside, she played Dr Samantha O'Hara in 21 episodes of All Saints. She also played the leading role in the Australian medical drama The Surgeon and appeared in the third season of the critically acclaimed Australian TV Drama series Love My Way, as Simone, the estranged sister of Asher Keddie's Julia.
An experienced stage actor, Clarke has worked with the Sydney Theatre Company is productions such as The Man with Five Children, Trelawey of the Wells, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Herbal Bed, "Hedda Gabler" and Stiffs, and for Belvoir Company B in Michael Gow's Toy Symphony.
In 2009, she starred as the main character in the television series for Showcase Tangle.
In 2010, Clarke starred in the short film Peekaboo.
In 2012, she appeared in the television series Woodley.
- Look every which way – TV & Radio – Entertainment – theage.com.au
- Play School >> faces >> presenters >> justine
- Harrison, Tony The Australian Film and Television Companion Simon and Schuster 1994 ISBN 0-7318-0455-4
- "Home and Away musical", mook. URL last accessed on 2007-01-29.
- Look both ways – Sarah Watt, William McInnes, Justine Clarke, Anthony Hayes – CIA
- I Like to Sing – Arts Reviews – Arts – Entertainment – smh.com.au
- Song in their hearts – The Daily Telegraph
- Mendelsohn, Clarke miss Tangle launch – news.com.au
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