Ray Meagher

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Ray Meagher
Ray Meagher.jpg
Born (1944-07-04) 4 July 1944 (age 69)
Roma, Queensland, Australia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1972–present
Spouse(s) Gilly Meagher (2010–present)

Ray Meagher (born 4 July 1944) is a veteran Australian character actor. He has appeared regularly in Australian film and television since the mid-1970s, and is notable as the longest continuing performer in an Australian television role, as Alf Stewart on Home and Away, having played the role since the first episode in 1988. He is the only original actor still with the series as of 2013. Meagher won the Gold Logie Award for his role in Home and Away in 2010.

Early life

Meagher was born and raised on a sheep and cattle station in Queensland, before attending a boarding school on the Gold Coast from the age of nine. He became a keen sportsman at high school, Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane, representing the school at a number of sports including rugby union, a sport which he ultimately played at state level.[1]

Career

Film

His early film roles included appearances Breaker Morant, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Newsfront, My Brilliant Career and The Shiralee[1] He also had a cameo in the 1979 war comedy The Odd Angry Shot.

Television

He first appeared on television as host of the folk music programme Around Folk. His first regular acting work on television was in the soap opera Number 96, briefly appearing as the character Fred Shrimpton in 1977.[2] Subsequent television acting roles included three different roles as various villains in Prisoner, including Geoff Butler between 1979 and 1980, Kurt Renner in 1984, and Ernest Craven in 1986. He also had two different guest starring roles in A Country Practice. He also had substantial roles in several 1980s miniseries, including A Fortunate Life.[1]

Meagher joined the cast of soap opera Home and Away in 1988 and as of 2012, he remains in the role of Alf Stewart. Meagher holds a Guinness World Record as the longest-serving actor in an Australian serial for his role of Alf.[3]

In September 2009, Meagher was the third-highest paid personality on Australian television, behind Eddie McGuire and Rove McManus.[4]

Meagher won the Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at the 2010 Logie Awards. He was also nominated for "Most Popular Actor".[5]

Stage

In 2007, Meagher took over the role of Bob the mechanic in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, taking over from Bill Hunter.[6] From 30 September 2010, he took over the role of Bob in the West End production of Priscilla until March 2011.[7] In June 2011, it was announced that Meagher would be returning to the West End production from October.[8]

Meagher regularly travels to the United Kingdom to take part in the traditional Christmas pantomimes. In December 2008, he played Abanazar in a production of Aladdin at the Anvil Theatre in Basingstoke and in 2009 he performed as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells.[9][10]

Facebook incident and parody video series

see main article Alf Stewart Rape Dungeon

The misappropriation of the name, Alf Stewart, in the Australian Facebook page Alf Stewart Rape Dungeon created by comedian Mr Doodleburger, has been condemned as an insult to sexual assault victims as well as a smear on Ray Meagher's name. It led to calls for the social networking site to be more closely monitored.[11][12]

Filmography

Film

Title Year Role Notes
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
1978
Dud Edmonds
Newsfront Len's Second Brother
The Odd Angry Shot
1979
Range Corporal
My Brilliant Career Mailman
The Journalist Senior Investigator
Breaker Morant
1980
Sgt. Maj. Drummond
Mystery Island Policeman
Hoodwink
1981
Shaw
Mystery at Castle House
1982
Stakovich
On the Run
1983
Joe Thompson
On the Loose
1984
Russell Leech
The Fire in the Stone Dosh
Relatives
1985
Herb Taylor
Bootleg Lawker
Short Changed
1986
Marshall
Dark Age
1987
Rex Garret
The Place at the Coast Uncle Doug
Vietnam
1988
Army Sergeant Small role
Luigi's Ladies
1989
Lance

Television

Title Year Role Notes
Matlock Police
1973
Kurt Fisher Season 3, episode 43 "By Hook or by Crook"
Number 96
1977
Fred Shrimpton Season 6
Glenview High
1978
Policeman Season 1, episode 15 "Accident"
Because He's My Friend Kevin TV film
Run from the Morning TV series
Skyways
1979
Sergeant Murphy Episode: "The Crated Crim"
Top Mates Mini-series
Prisoner
1979–1980
Geoff Butler Recurring role (1); 14 episodes; season 1 / season 2
A Piece of Cake
1980
Duty Sarglant TV short
Sporting Chance
1981
TV series
Holiday Island TV series
A Country Practice
1982
Tom Skilton
-
Trev Bennett
-
Guest role (1) - Season 2, episode 9 "Agoraphobic Sons and Lovers - Part 1" &
Season 2, episode 10 "Agoraphobic Sons and Lovers - Part 2"
Guest role (2) - Season 2, episode 67 "Coming Ready or Not: Part 1 &
Season 2, episode 68 "Coming Ready or Not - Part 2"
The Weekly's War
1983
Frank Packer Mini-series
The Disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain Mr. Lowe TV film
Five Mile Creek
1984
Lightening Ridge Season 2, episode 1 "The Hangman's Noose"
Kingswood County Season 5, episode 1 "Ted Bullpitt Meets the Lone Arranger"
Season 6, episode 10 "The Butler Dunnit!"
Prisoner Kurt Renner Recurring role (2); 6 episodes of season 6
Mail Order Bride Kevin TV film
A Fortunate Life
1985
Bad Bob Mini-series; episode 1 "Starting Out (1897-1905)"
Mother and Son Geoff Season 2, episode 6 "The Card Game"
Colour in the Creek Clarrie 8 episodes
Prisoner
1986
Ernest Craven Recurring role (3); 8 episodes of season 8
A Country Practice Wally Stanley Guest role (3)
Season 6, episode 15 "Fighting Back - Part 1" &
Season 6, episode 16 "Fighting Back - Part 2"
Blue Lightning Hale TV film
Land of Hope Mini-series
Five Times Dizzy TV series
The Great Bookie Robbery Bob Temple Mini-series
The Shiralee
1987
Polkadot TV film
True Believers
1988
Tom Burke Mini-series
The True Story of Spit MacPhee Frank Arbuckle Mini-series
Home and Away
1988–present
Alf Stewart Soap opera; Leading role
Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television (2010)
Nominated - Logie Award for Most Popular Actor (2010)
Nominated - Logie Award for Most Popular Actor (2012)
Also appeared in: Home and Away: Secrets and the City (video special; 2002) &
Home and Away: Hearts Divided (video special; 2003)

References

  1. ^ a b c Home and Away: Ray Meagher, Yahoo!7.
  2. ^ Duck, Siobhan (29 July 2008). "Home and Away's Ray Meagher OK with career character". The Courier-Mail (Brisbane).
  3. ^ Fife-Yeomans, Janet (19 December 2009). "Shadows fall on Home And Away – behind the scenes at Australia's most troubled soap opera". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 
  4. ^ Clune, Richard (13 September 2009). "Flamin' heck! Alf Stewart's worth a quid". Sunday Mail (Adelaide).
  5. ^ "2010 Logie Awards: Full List of Winners". Perth Now (News Limited). 2 May 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Culture: Slurs and slingbacks". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 30 April 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Meagher taking Home and Away break". RTÉ TEN. Radio Telefís Éireann. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Ray swaps the Bay for UK". Holy Soap. Channel 5. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Margrave, Lauren (24 December 2008). "Aussie soap star crosses the globe for panto". Get Hampshire. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Baynes, Valkerie (21 December 2009). "Light relief for Home and Away Meagher". Ninemsn. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Vasek, Lanai (25 May 2010). "Facebook fury over pro-rape page". The Australian (Sydney).
  12. ^ "Facebook group promoting rape and smearing Ray Meagher slammed". mX (Melbourne). 26 May 2010

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rebecca Gibney
for Packed to the Rafters
Gold Logie Award
Most Popular Personality on Australian Television

2010
for Home and Away
Succeeded by
Karl Stefanovic
for Today