Max Hoyland

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Max Hoyland
Max Hoyland.JPG
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Stephen Lovatt
Duration 2002–07
First appearance 22 August 2002
Last appearance 16 February 2007
Introduced by Stanley Walsh
Classification Former; regular
Occupation Oil rig worker
Bar co-owner
Home Fiji

Max Hoyland is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Stephen Lovatt. He made his first appearance on 22 August 2002 and departed on 16 February 2007.


After his last appearance in 2007, Lovatt said that he did not know if he would be coming back to Neighbours.[1] However, he said that he would "consider any offer from its producers", but thought that characters like Max usually go for good.[1]

Character development[edit]

Network Ten describe Max stating: "Max always looked out for his little sister and cultivated a stern sense of responsibility." Describing his likeness to his mother Rosie Hoyland (Maggie Millar), they add: "Both headstrong and idealistic, they rub up against tradition and authority the wrong way and frequently find themselves taking opposite stances on big issues."[2] Tom Adair writing for The Age, has described his character as simply "decency personified".[3]

Max's main relationship is with Steph Scully (Carla Bonner), whom he later marries. Their relationship later fails after Max runs away to a new family. Bonner said that their marriage was over because "It's been very badly damaged and a part of her feels that her husband doesn't know her at all, and doesn't trust her." Steph is "hurt" and sees "no way back from here".[4]


Max is the father of Boyd, Summer, and Charlie and the son of Bobby and Rosie. His first wife Claire died several years earlier of heart failure, later thought to be Long QT syndrome because of Summer's later development of the condition. This left him to raise Summer and Boyd on his own, until he married Steph in 2004.

He used to co-own the pub "Lou's Place" (with Lou Carpenter), before it was burnt down. He then went on to co-own Scarlet Bar with his sister Izzy. His father Bobby returned to see Max and Izzy, and Max did not want anything to do with him, but after he decided to accept him, Bobby ran away again.

He and Steph were going to adopt a baby girl from Kayla Thomas (Virginia Ryan), a teenager that wanted to give up her unborn child, but Kayla eventually decided to raise the baby with her boyfriend (Adam Hunter), the baby's biological father. Max was overjoyed to discover on his 40th birthday that his wife Steph was pregnant with their first child. She later gave birth to their son Charlie.

Max is responsible for the death of Cameron who he believed to be Robert when he knocked him over with his car. Paul almost murdered Max out of grief for his innocent son. After this, Max began to come to terms with the fact he killed Paul's son but Cameron's sister Elle Robinson could not stand seeing him going so well so she devised several schemes to make Max think he was going crazy, a technique known as Gaslighting. First she stole his football tickets, then she moved Charlie onto the road, then she kidnapped Charlie. She then forged Max's signature and made him buy unnecessary alcohol and stole his car. After this Max hired a private investigator who caught her stealing the car but Elle paid the guy off. When the report came back negative, Max admitted himself into a hospital. Not long after, he lost grip on reality and heard voices from his family members and friends saying he was insane. Not long after this, he walked out of the hospital and left Ramsay Street, leaving a family picture which he had torn up.

Shortly after, Max was supposedly seen by Stingray Timmins (who may have been drunk at the time ) Max gave a passed out Stingray a piece of paper with a note telling Steph he loved her. Stingray later told the Hoylands but knowing about his recent troubles with alcohol they remained skeptical about his story. Max has recently made contact with his family via the Salvation Army by stating that he has a new life now, and suggest the Hoylands move on.

Max gets spotted by Elle when she returns and she learns that he has settled in with a new family. Elle told Janae about Max and his new family. She in turn went and confronted him about it. After the confrontation, Max came back to town. It's revealed that he actually went to the family for shelter. At first Steph couldn't take him back, but then she recanted her decision. Max was delighted to hear this. However, after he learned that he was second choice, he said that either she choose him or he goes away forever.

Max then faced his court case, where Robert Robinson is brought in to give evidence. Paul burst into the court room and screamed at the judge saying Robert was not well to testify. After his lawyer, Toadie Rebecchi proved that Robert is aggressive, Max won his freedom. After realising that his marriage with Steph is not going to work out, Max decides to return to the oil rigs at Sale, two hours from Melbourne. When Steph is sent to prison, Max gains full custody of Charlie and they move to Fiji. He later remarries.


Max became a popular character with some viewers.[5] Robin Oliver writing for The Sydney Morning Herald opined he was compelled to watch Max and Steph's wedding, describing it as 20 minutes of "good fun".[6] Brian Courtis of The Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald also chose their wedding as their "Pick of the day".[7][8] Fergus Sheil of The Age said chose Max as the standout character from the episode airing on 21 April 2005, however was unimpressed by the lack of scientific knowledge in the episode. He quipped that Max "deserves a Logie" for his "attempts" to awaken a comatose Boyd, by withholding the outcome of a football match.[9]

Michael Idato writing for The Sydney Morning Herald disliked Max and described his appearance stating: "Max who, for the record, looks young enough to be hanging out with the gang rather than claiming fatherhood to at least two of them is dealing with the precociously slappable Summer and the hormonally simmering Boyd."[10] In 2015, a writer for included Max in their list of the top 30 Neighbours' characters. Praising him, they stated "One of the most memorable father figures, Max was headstrong and loyal, an all-round 'good guy' with a desire to protect his loved ones."[11]


  1. ^ a b "New season for Neighbours star". NZCity News. New Zealand City Ltd. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Max Hoyland". Network Ten. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Adair, Tom (6 December 2007). "The neighbourhood ain't what it was". The Age. (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "No going back". TV Week. ACP Magazines: 30. 18–24 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "A neighbourly obsession". The Age. (Fairfax Media). 30 September 2004. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Oliver, Robin (21 July 2004). "Neighbours". The Sydney Morning Herald. (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Courtis, Brian (18 July 2004). "Critic's choice". The Age. (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Courtis, Brian (18 June 2004). "Critic's choice". The Sun-Herald. (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Sheil, Fergus (21 April 2005). "Critic's view - Monday". The Age. (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Idato, Michael (27 January 2001). "TV previews". The Sydney Morning Herald. (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "The 30 Best Neighbours". 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 

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