Mailman at The Sapphires Australian premiere in August 2012
Deborah Jane Mailman|
14 July 1972
Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
Deborah Jane Mailman, AM (born 14 July 1972) is an Australian television and film actress, and singer. She was the first Aboriginal actress to win the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and had gone on to win four more both in television and film. The awards are now known as the AACTA Awards. Mailman first gained recognition for the 1998 film Radiance for which she won her first AFI award.
She is well known for having played the character Kelly Lewis on the successful Australian television series, The Secret Life of Us. She is also well known for her current role as Cherie Butterfield in the successful Australian drama series Offspring. She also portrayed the role of Lorraine in the rotating cast of the acclaimed Australian TV series about daily Aboriginal life Redfern Now.
Mailman is currently part of the main cast of the television program Cleverman, in which she portrays the character Aunt Linda.
Mailman grew up in Mount Isa in north-west Queensland. She is one of five children born to Wally Mailman, a famous rodeo rider and horseman, and Jane (Heeni) Mailman, the daughter of a preacher and talented musician. She has both Indigenous Australian (Bidjara) and Māori (Ngati Porou and Te Arawa) heritage. In 1992, she graduated from Queensland University of Technology Academy of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Performing Arts. Since then she has worked extensively in Australian film, television and theatre as well as many contributions overseas.
Mailman played the role of Kate in a La Boite Theatre production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in 1994. Other early stage roles include solo show The Seven Stages of Grieving (which she co-wrote with Wesley Enoch) for Kooemba Jdarra, Queensland Theatre Company's 1997 revival of Louis Nowra's play Radiance, and Cordelia in King Lear for Bell Shakespeare in 1998.
In 1998, Mailman made her film debut as Nona in the Australian independent film Radiance (based on the play), for which she won the AFI Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. From here she has since become one of Australia's most prominent local actors especially through her lead role on The Secret Life of Us, a role for which she was twice awarded Most Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series at the Logies (2002 and 2004). She stayed during the shows entire duration (2001–2006).
Mailman was featured prominently in the Leah Purcell documentary Black Chicks Talking (2001), where she candidly discussed her thoughts about her Aboriginal heritage. In 2006, she took part in a four-part television documentary series with Cathy Freeman called Going Bush, where the pair set off on a journey from Broome to Arnhem Land spending time with Indigenous communities along the way.
She appeared in the film Rabbit-Proof Fence. She played a lead role in the 2010 musical film Bran Nue Dae. In the play The Sapphires and the subsequent film of the same name she played the role of singer Gail McCrae.
She was awarded an Inside Film Award for her short film Ralph, which starred Madeleine Madden. From 2010 to 2014, she played the role of Cherie Butterfield in Channel Ten's Offspring drama series.
Mailman's partner is advertising executive Matthew Coonan. They have two sons, Henry and Oliver. Deborah has four siblings.
|2000||The Third Note||Tina||Short film|
|2000||The Monkey's Mask||Lou|
|2001–05||The Secret Life of Us||Kelly Lewis / Narrator||TV series (Seasons 1–4, Episodes 1–86)|
|2006||The Book of Revelation||Julie|
|2009||Bran Nue Dae||Roxanne|
|2010–||Offspring||Cherie Butterfield||TV series|
|2012||The Sapphires||Gail McCrae|
|2012||Redfern Now||Lorraine||TV series (Episode 3: Raymond)|
(Episode 7:Where the Heart Is)
|2014-18||Jack Irish||Cynthia||TV series|
|2015||Oddball||Mayor Lake||also narrator|
|2015||Redfern Now: Promise Me||Lorraine||TV movie|
|2015||Blinky Bill the Movie||Blinky's mum||Voice|
|2016||Tomorrow When the War Began||Kath Mackenzie||TV series|
|2016-17||Cleverman||Aunty Linda||TV series|
|2016||Black Comedy||Guest Cast||TV series|
|2016||Wolf Creek||Bernadette O'Dell||TV series|
|2016||A Few Less Men||Police Officer|
|2016||Please Like Me||Siobhan||TV series (Episode 4.6 'Souvlaki')|
|2017||Little J & Big Cuz||Big Cuz||Animated TV series|
|2017||Get Krack!n||Prime Minister Burney||TV series (Episode 1.7)|
|2017||Djali||Gracie Phillips||Short film|
|2018||Mystery Road||Kerry Thompson||TV mini-series|
|2018||Bite Club||Anna Morton||TV series|
Awards and nominations
|1998||Best Leading Movie Actress||Radiance||Won|
|2003||Best Leading TV Actress||The Secret Life Of Us||Won|
|2010||Best Supporting Movie Actress||Bran Nue Dae||Won|
|Best Supporting TV Actress||Offspring||Won|
|2013||Best Leading Movie Actress||The Sapphires||Won|
|Best Supporting Movie Actress||Mental||Nominated|
|Best Leading TV Actress||Redfern Now: Promise Me||Nominated|
|2002||Most Outstanding Actress||The Secret Life Of Us||Won|
|Most Popular Actress||Nominated|
|2016||Most Outstanding Actress||Redfern Now: Promise Me||Won|
|2010||Best Supporting Actress||Bran Nue Dae||Nominated|
|2013||Best Actress||The Sapphires||Nominated|
|2003||Best Female Actor in a Play||The Seven Stages of Grieving||Nominated|
|2005||Best Female Actor in a Play||The Sapphires||Nominated|
|2007||Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play||The Lost Echo||Won|
|2003||NAIDOC Person of the Year||Won|
|2003||Female Actor of the Year||Won|
- Lehmann, Megan (9 November 2013). "Darkside star Deborah Mailman moves amid kindred spirits". The Australian. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2012. inspirational-stories/deborah-mailman
- Bryant, Nick (October 2012). "The Mailman express: An actress on a roll". The Monthly. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- Prior, Sian (11 March 2002). "Smashing through". The Age. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- Jopson, Debra (15 June 2002). "Look at us now". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- Dwyer, Michael (26 January 2006). "Home and away". The Age. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "The Actors Company's short, fraught life". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- Hawker, Philippa (8 August 2009). "Indigenous film's world premiere introduces some Bran Nue stars". The Age. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- "Ralph". Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- "Deborah Mailman". Offspring. Network Ten. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2010.[dead link]
- Knox, David (28 May 2012). "Cameras roll on Redfern Now". TV Tonight. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- Domjen, Briana (11 January 2015). "Deborah Mailman and Cate Blanchett to co-host the AACTA Awards". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Sunday Herald Sun
- "2012 Queensland Greats recipients". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.