Ian Smith (actor)
Ian Smith in 2001
19 June 1938|
|Years active||1966 – present|
Ian Smith (born 19 June 1938) is an Australian soap opera character actor, television producer and screenwriter. He played Harold Bishop in the soap opera Neighbours from 1987 when the series was taken over by Network Ten until 1991. He returned to the role in 1996 and continued as a series regular until 2009.
Before appearing on Neighbours, Smith had previously acted in guest roles in drama series such as the Crawford Productions police dramas Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police. He had a regular role in long-running Australian television serial Bellbird, made a guest appearance as a police detective in The Box in 1975, and had a semi-regular role in serial Prisoner. Smith was also script editor of Prisoner for most of its eight-year run. He became Associate Producer of Prisoner late in its run.
Smith became best known through his portrayal of Harold Bishop in the soap opera Neighbours from 1987 to 1991, and returning in 1996. He switched to recurring status from 2008 to 2009, becoming one of its longest serving characters.
In 2008, he revealed to the Daily Mail newspaper that his main decision for leaving Neighbours was the ongoing abuse that he received from yobs near his Melbourne home. He claimed that the abuse was so bad, he had to get the police involved. In his final Neighbours storyline, his character was diagnosed with cancer. Harold recovered after treatment and was written out by leaving to travel around Australia. For his portrayal of Harold, Smith received a nomination for a Gold Logie Award in 2009.
In December 2010, Ryan Moloney revealed to TV Week that Smith would be returning to Neighbours in 2011. Smith appeared for six weeks from May 2011. Smith returned to Neighbours in 2015, with former co-star Anne Charleston for the 30th anniversary. He also appeared in a documentary celebrating the anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.
In April 2018, Smith admitted that he should have left Neighbours sooner and admits he felt typecast. Smith admitted "he wasn't aware he was becoming 'Harold from Neighbours while he was on the show" and joked that when he auditioned for other roles he would be told "Oh you were in Neighbours, you were Harold, you couldn't possibly be a murdering paedophile".
Smith was 54 when his mother Connie Smith, realising she had very little time to live, told him that he had been adopted. After her death, Smith went in search of his natural mother Peg Kline, whom he finally found. According to Kline's story, Smith was conceived when she was fourteen, the product of rape, and was put up for adoption. Kline eventually married and had two children from this marriage. She never told anyone besides her husband about her first son until she was contacted by Smith via a letter. Kline contacted Ian's wife Gail Smith, who mentioned that her husband was a prominent Neighbours actor, to which Kline replied, "I've never seen Neighbours in my life". Smith and Kline were reunited and he has built a strong relationship with his mother and two half-brothers, although Smith said that he did not feel a mother–son relationship. He called Kline "one of my best friends". Peg Kline died in May 2005 after a battle with cancer. Smith told his story in an exclusive interview on the biographical documentary series Australian Story in March 2005. He had also described the situation in a BBC interview some years before. Smith lives in Melbourne.
In a 2008 interview, Smith confirmed that he is an atheist.
|2018||Hughesy, We Have a Problem||Himself||Guest celebrity|
|2015||Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite||Himself||Documentary|
|2011||The British Soap Awards||Himself||Award presentation|
|2010||Underbelly The Golden Mile||Ken Wallis|
|2009||Talkin' Bout Your Generation||Himself|
|The Jesus Spoon||Buck Senior|
|2007||Little Britain Down Under||Himself||Special thanks|
|2002||It Shouldn't Happen To A... Soapstar||Himself|
|2001||The Big Breakfast||Himself|
|1997||The Last Of Ryans||Sir Arthur Rylah|
|1996||The Genie From Down Under||Race Judge|
|1994||Blue Heelers||Clive Burton|
|1993||Body Melt||Dr. Carrera|
|1992||Noel's House Party||Himself|
|1991||Pebble Mill at One||Himself|
|1990||Happy Birthday, Coronation Street||Himself|
|1987–1991, 1996–2009, 2011, 2015||Neighbours||Harold Bishop||Main cast|
|1981||I Can Jump Puddles||Mr. Slade|
|Bluey||Sen. Det. Davidson|
|1975||Division 4||Mike Chapman|
|Quality of Mercy||Unknown|
|1971–1973||Matlock Police||Larry Fisher
Const. Graham Browning
- Dean, Sarah (20 November 2011). "'I'm A Celebrity' Day 7: Ian Smith Joins The Jungle, Things Heat Up Between Emily Scott And Mark Wright, Sinitta Freaks Out AGAIN". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "'I quit Neighbours over fat Harold taunts from cruel yobs,' reveals Ian Smith". Daily Mail. London. 6 November 2008.
- Millar, Paul (28 December 2010). "Harold Bishop returning to Ramsay Street". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Knox, David (28 February 2015). "Airdate: Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Neighbours 30th anniversary schedule confirmed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- Sandwell, Ian (18 April 2018). "Neighbours legend Ian Smith wishes he'd quit Harold Bishop role sooner". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- " Ian himself is the longest-serving member of the cast, and fans are often shocked when they meet him, expecting him to be an old fuddy duddy like his famous alter ego. "I can't argue with any of his morals on life," Ian says. "He believes in honesty, in not doing anybody any harm, and doing an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. "As far as those things go, I pretty much base him on my own values, but I swear, I drink booze and I'm an atheist, so I am different to Harold." "Gemma Quaid interviewing Smith, 'Blue skies over Erinsborough', Birmingham Post, 9 February 2008, Features, TV & Radio, Pg. 32.