Debra Lawrance

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Debra Lawrance
Debra Lawrance

(1957-01-01) January 1, 1957 (age 65)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
OccupationTelevision and film actress
Years active1976–present
Dennis Coard
(m. 1992)

Debra Lawrance (born 1 January 1957) is an Australian actress.

She is best known for her role on Home and Away, as Pippa Ross, which she played from 1990 to 1998, and has made a number of return appearances as the character, the most recent being in 2009. She also had a role in cult serial Prisoner, coincidentally she also appeared in the re-imaging series Wentworth on Foxtel.

She is also known for her roles as Rose in Please Like Me, for which she won the Logie Award for Most Outstanding Supporting Actress, and Liz Conway in Neighbours.

In 2019, she appeared in the Australian stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.[1]


Debra Lawrance was born in Melbourne, Victoria and was the second youngest of six children. In 1974 Lawrance studied and graduated in 1976 from NIDA alongside such alumni as Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley, Judy Davis and Robert Menzies


Lawrance has appeared in a number of roles including The Sullivans as Prue Waterman (1976), in Skyways as Sheila Turner, A Country Practice a sKerry Burgess (1982), Bellamy (1981) as Lisa and Sons and Daughters between 1983 and 1984 as Lisa Cook

Lawrance had a more permanent role in Prisoner from 1985 to 1986 as Daphne Graham, after having had minor roles including as a Nurse and Trainee Prisoner Officer Sally Dean much earlier in the series.[2]

Lawrance featured in miniseries The Last Outlaw, (1980) a series about Ned Kelly, and feature film Silver City (1984)

Lawrance's big break was a lead role in The Fast Lane, a widely successful ABC comedy. Her success led to her appearance in the film Evil Angels (released as A Cry in the Dark outside of Australia and New Zealand),[3] starring Meryl Streep and Two Brothers Running with Tom Conti.

In July 1990 Lawrance was cast in Home and Away, taking over the role of Pippa Fletcher (later Ross) from Vanessa Downing. Lawrance left the main cast in 1998, but has made returning guest appearances over the years, the last being in 2009.

Lawrance subsequently starred in Blue Heelers in the recurring role as Reverend Grace Curtis, Tom Croydon's ill-fated wife from 2001 to 2004.

Debra's theatre credits include the London tour of Jack Davis' No Sugar, the role of Vi in the Melbourne Theatre Company production of The Memory of Water, the 2009 tour of Steel Magnolias in the role of M'lyn, the title role in the 2010 tour of Driving Miss Daisy, and in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2019.

From 2013 to 2016, Lawrance played Rose, the mother of the title character portrayed by Josh Thomas, in the comedy drama Please Like Me.

She appeared in a main role in all four seasons of the show, which saw her character deal with divorce and mental illness. Lawrance's performance was met with critical acclaim, winning her an AACTA Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy for her part in a two-hander episode (with Thomas) in the show's second season.

In 2017, Lawrance appeared as a celebrity contestant and eventual winner in the local TV version of Hell's Kitchen.[4][5]

In 2018, Lawrance read Charlotte Voake's Ginger on ABC2's Story Time.[6]

She also joined the cast of Neighbours as Liz Conway.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Lawrance met her husband Dennis Coard when he was cast as Pippa's second husband on Home and Away as Michael Ross. They married in 1992 and have two children, daughter Grace (born 1992) and son William (born 1999).



Film Release year Character
Next of Kin 1982 Carol
Fluteman 1982 Sally Cooper
Silver City 1984 Helena
Two Brothers Running 1988 Anonymous
Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark) 1988 Sally Lowe
The Jammed 2007 DIMIA Case Officer


Television show Years played Character
The Sullivans 1976 Prue Waterman
Cop Shop 1978
Glenview High 1978 Jane
Ride on Stranger 1979 Jenny
Skyways 1979 Sheila Turner
The Last Outlaw 1980 Maggie Kelly
Holiday Island 1981 Michelle Costello
Bellamy 1981 Lisa
Prisoner 1981 Trainee Officer Sally Dean
A Country Practice 1982 Kerry Burgess
Sons and Daughters 1983–1984 Lisa Cook
Prisoner 1985–1986 Daphne Graham
The Fast Lane 1986 Pat
What's the Difference 1986 Angela Burke
Home and Away 1990–1998 (main) 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005–2009 (guest) Pippa Fletcher
Blue Heelers 1999–2004 Reverend Grace Curtis
Satisfaction 2008 Margaret
Please Like Me 2013–2016 Rose
Wentworth 2016 Faith Proctor
Neighbours 2018, 2019 Liz Conway
Fisk 2021 May
Five Bedrooms 2018, 2019 Pam Fitzsimons


  1. ^ "Debra Lawrence". AusStage.
  2. ^ Prisoner TV Series (1979–1986) at IMDb
  3. ^ "A Cry in the Dark (1988) – Release dates". Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  4. ^ Saw, Amelia (24 March 2017). "The celebrities taking on Marco Pierre White in Hell's Kitchen Australia are named". Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  5. ^ Coster, Alice (24 March 2017). "Hell's Kitchen Australia host doesn't know the celebrity contestants". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  6. ^ "ANC Australia Story Time". 10 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  7. ^ Dainty, Sophie (29 June 2018). "Neighbours confirms Debra Lawrance is joining as Susan's sister Liz Conway". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 December 2018.

External links[edit]