Ilona Rodgers

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Ilona Rodgers
Born (1942-04-28) 28 April 1942 (age 73)
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1962 - present

Ilona Rodgers (born 28 April 1942) is a British-born actress who has been based in New Zealand since the mid-1980s and later then in Australia.


Rodgers breakthrough roles in British television included an adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit and Carol in The Sensorites, a six-episode adventure from BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who. She also made guest appearances in The Saint and The Avengers.

Rodgers first lived in New Zealand from 1973, appearing in soap opera Close to Home and successful goldmining drama Hunter's Gold (retitled Scott Hunter in some territories).

Between 1978 and the mid-1980s she lived in Australia. There she appeared in television programmes The Sullivans, Sons and Daughters (as Patricia Hamilton's sister, Margaret Dunne) and the 1985 Australian miniseries Anzacs (as Lady Thea Barrington), as well as nine episodes of long-running prison drama Prisoner (in 1983). Her Prisoner character, Zara Moonbeam, a medium who claimed to have clairvoyant powers, was forced by Nola McKenzie (Carole Skinner) into impersonating Bea Smith's (Val Lehman) deceased daughter Debbie. Hopes that Bea would thus commit suicide, thinking she had witnessed her daughter's ghost, did not go to plan, but Rodgers' character made it out of prison alive.

After relocating back to New Zealand, her work included medical soap Shortland Street and presenting duties on a light entertainment and advertorial program called Good Morning.

Rodger's best-known role in New Zealand is probably TV series Gloss. She starred in Gloss for three seasons, from 1987 to 1990, playing bossy magazine editor Maxine Redfern. The series was about a fictional publishing empire run by the Redfern family [1]

Later Rodgers played Australian wife to New Zealand comedy legend Billy T James on the final, sitcom version of "The Billy T James Show" (1990).

Her stage work has included one-woman play Shirley Valentine,[2] By Degrees written by Roger Hall and Three Tall Women by Edward Albee.

TV and filmography[edit]

Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1963 ITV Play of the Week Caroline Campbell Episode: "Conspiracy of Silence"
1963 Avengers, TheThe Avengers Receptionist Episode: "Six Hands Across a Table"
1964 Martin Chuzzlewit Mary Graham 9 episodes
1964 Doctor Who Carol Richmond 6 episodes
1966 Adam Adamant Lives! Susan Episode: "The Terribly Happy Embalmers"
1967 Avengers, TheThe Avengers Samantha Slade Episode: "The Bird Who Knew Too Much"
1967 Saint, TheThe Saint Mary Episode: "A Double in Diamonds"
1967 Thirty-Minute Theatre Judy Episode: "The Wake"
1967 Theatre 625 Angiolina Zarri Episode: "As a Man Grows Older"
1968 Theatre 625 Baroness Episode: "The Pistol Shot"
1968 Salt and Pepper Marianne Renaud
1968 Snow Treasure Bente Nielsen
1968 Beverly Hillbillies, TheThe Beverly Hillbillies Sandra MacGregor Episode: "Coming Through the Rye"
1968 Sherlock Holmes Rachel Carey Episode: "Black Peter"
1969 Dr. Finlay's Casebook Kathrin Soutar Episode: "The Visitation"
1969 ITV Playhouse Judy Episode: "Murder: When Robin Was a Boy"
1969 Barrister at Law Jane Paston TV movie
1970 Strange Report Beth Episode: "Swindle - The Square Root of All Evil"
1970 Paul Temple Nancy Episode: "Swan Song for Colonel Harp"
1976 Sullivans, TheThe Sullivans Kate Meredith TV series
1977 Hunter's Gold Molly Grogan TV series
1977 Colour Scheme Ursula Harme TV movie
1981 Outbreak of Love Miss Marcia Rockingham TV movie
1982 Sara Dane Julia Ryder TV movie
1982 1915 Mrs. Reilly TV miniseries
1983 Prisoner Zara Moonbeam 9 episodes
1983 Silent Reach TV miniseries
1983-1984 Sons and Daughters Margaret Dunne 242 episodes
1984 Special Squad Helen Anderson Episode: "Until Death"
1984 Utu Emily Williamson
1985 Anzacs Lady Thea Barrington 5 episodes
1987 Gloss Maxine Redfern TV series
1988 Far Country, TheThe Far Country Jane Armitage TV movie
1989 Night of the Red Hunter Jill Piper TV series
1990-1991 New Adventures of Black Beauty, TheThe New Adventures of Black Beauty Hilda Burton 24 episodes
1992 Billy T James Show, TheThe Billy T James Show Thelma TV series
1992 Marlin Bay Charlotte Kincaid TV series
1995 Riding High Mrs. Harrington 3 episodes
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Queen Camilla Episode: "The Festival of Dionysus"
1997 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Queen Euriana Episode: "Long Live the King"
1998 City Life Beverley Gribble Episode: "1.19"
2003 Shortland Street Ngaire Thompson TV series
2005 Shortland Street Ngaire Thompson TV series
2006 Maddigan's Quest Gabrielle Episode: "Off the Map"
2009 I'm Not Harry Jenson. Margaret
2011 Rest for the Wicked Esther


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Hewitson, Michele (17 April 1999). "Ilona's out of the cupboard". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 

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