6 May 1961 |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Gina Riley (born 6 May 1961) is an Australian actress, writer, singer and comedian.
Television and film
Riley became a popular television performer in the sketch shows Fast Forward, its successor Full Frontal, Big Girl's Blouse and Something Stupid. In the latter she was also a producer and writer. On Fast Forward, Gina Riley sent-up such singers as Tina Arena, Paula Abdul, Bette Midler, Sinéad O'Connor and Dannii Minogue as well as Australian personalities Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Jacki MacDonald. She later appeared in The Games, a spoof behind-the-scenes look at the organising committee of the Sydney Olympics.
She has enjoyed great success as Kim Craig and Trude in Kath & Kim, written, produced and created by Riley and her long-time writing partner and friend Jane Turner. Riley also works frequently with Magda Szubanski.
In contrast to the rest of her cast (such as Glenn Robbins, Peter Rowsthorn and Magda Szubanski), Riley makes relatively few public appearances as herself. Most of the time she appears in character as Kim, with Jane Turner. One notable exception was on Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, where she and Turner both appeared as themselves.
Riley starred as Kim in the Kath and Kim feature film Kath & Kimderella. The film opened in Australia on 6 September 2012 and despite negative reviews from critics it was a box office success having grossed $6,150,771.
In 1987, she played the part of 'Chrissie' (loosely based on rock singer, Chrissy Amphlett) in Phil Motherwell's musical play 'Fitzroy Crossing' which enjoyed successful seasons and rave reviews at LaMama Theatre, in Carlton, Victoria. The music for the play was composed by Joe Dolce.
Riley has also had some roles in musical theatre. In 1992 and 1993, she appeared on stage as Janet in The New Rocky Horror Show; she is included on the cast album. In 1994, she played Trina in Sydney Theatre Company's production of Falsettos, winning a Green Room Award for its Melbourne season. In 1998, she played The Baker's Wife in a Melbourne Theatre Company production of Into the Woods. In 2009, she played Matron "Mama" Morton in a production of Chicago.
Riley is married to Rick McKenna and they have a daughter named Maggie (born 1996/97), who is also an actress.
In March 2013, Riley revealed she was being treated for breast cancer, following the discovery of a tumour during a yearly check-up late in 2012. However she reported that it was found early enough to be easily treated.
- Turner, Tonya: Gina Riley leaves Kim for a spell in Chicago, The Courier-Mail, 5 December 2008.
- Games Management Team, The Games (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
- Quinn, Karl: The Magda carta, The Age, 14 September 2003.
- Jane Turner and Gina Riley (Kath and Kim), Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, ABC TV, 28 July 2003.
- AusStage - Gina Riley AusStage. Retrieved 22 February 2015
- "Gina Riley takes on Chicago role". The Courier-Mail.
- Fortescue, Elizabeth (June 14, 2017). "Kath and Kim star Gina Riley’s daughter Maggie McKenna lands dorky role in Muriel’s Wedding". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- "Kath & Kim star battling cancer". 3 News NZ. 19 March 2013.