Pamela Rabe

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Pamela Rabe
Born Pamela June Koropatnick
(1959-04-30) 30 April 1959 (age 56)
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canada Canadian
Australia Australian
Occupation Actress, Director
Years active 1985–present (film & television)
Height 6 ft 4 in (195 cm)
Spouse(s) Roger Hodgman 1983 - present

Pamela Rabe (born 30 April, 1959) is a Canadian / Australian stage, television and film actor and theatre director. A graduate from the Playhouse Acting School, in Vancouver, Pamela Rabe is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and awarded actors.[1] She is best known for her appearances in the films Così, Sirens, Paradise Road and starring as Joan Ferguson in the television series Wentworth.

Early life[edit]

Rabe was born Pamela June Koropatnick in Oakville, Ontario, Canada in 1959. Deciding on becoming an actress, she graduated from the Playhouse Acting School in Vancouver. Following her marriage to Australian Theatre director, Roger Hodgman, Rabe relocated to Australia in 1983, in which she has become an Australian citizen.

Career[edit]

Theatre

Rabe is a prolific contributor to theatrical life in her adopted country in acting and directing. Some of her high-profile acting roles include Nora Boyle in Patrick White's The Season At Sarsaparilla, for which she won a Green Room Award for Best Actress,[2] and Richard III in the Sydney Theatre Company production of The War Of The Roses, which also starred Cate Blanchett as Richard II.[3][4]

In 2005 she performed a challenging, Croatian play called Woman-Bomb.[5]

In 2010 she starred in the Melbourne stage production of David Mamet's play Boston Marriage.[6]

In 2012 Rabe won a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a musical for her performance in Grey Gardens.

On July the 27th 2015 she won a second Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a play for her performance in The Glass Menagerie.

A long standing collaborator with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Rabe was its Artistic Director in 2012.

Film

In 1989, Rabe made her film debut with a minor role in Against the Innocent. Her second role came in 1993 when she was cast in John Duigan's romantic comedy, Sirens with Hugh Grant and Sam Neill. Rabe's first leading role was in the 1995 film Vacant Possession. Following this, she appeared in Così with Toni Collette, Lust and Revenge directed by Paul Cox, and Paradise Road, a film starring Glenn Close set during World War II. In 1997, Rabe was cast in the leading role of 1997 film adaptation, an adaptation of Elizabeth Jolley's novel The Well, for which she received an AFI Award for Best Actress.[1] More recently she appeared in the Jasmila Zbanic drama film For Those Who Can Tell No Tales and she narrated the upcoming 2015 film, Symphony of the Wild.

Television

Rabe has appeared on several Australian television series throughout her career. Her first was in 1990, when she received a guest role in the soap opera A Country Practice. Then she featured in a number of recurring roles including the family series Ocean Girl and The Secret Life of Us and a lead role in the short lived series Mercury. In September 2013 it was announced that Rabe would be cast in the Australian prison drama series, Wentworth, a reimagining of the classic Network Ten soap opera Prisoner. She joined Wentworth in Season Two as sadistic prison governor Joan "The Freak" Ferguson, a role originally played by Maggie Kirkpatrick in Prisoner. Rabe as Ferguson is seen as intimidating and evil and often uses a clever, non-physical approach in a way to control and manipulate the prisoners and officers alike, with little need for violence, unlike Kirkpatrick's character who mainly resorted to violence. Rabe appeared in both Season Two and Season Three in a leading role, as it was finally discovered that Ferguson is unstable and her crimes are revealed. Rabe will reprise her role as Ferguson in Season Four of Wentworth in 2016, although it is unknown if her character will remain in the series.

Other work

Rabe served on the board of the Australian Film Institute from 1999-2002[7] and is a former member of the Board of Directors of NIDA.

Filmography[edit]

Film

Title Year Role Notes
Against the Innocent
1989
American Woman
Sirens
1993
Rose Lindsay
Vacant Possession
1995
Tessa
Così
1996
Ruth
Lust and Revenge
1996
Obnoxious Woman
Paradise Road
1997
Mrs. Tippler
The Well
1997
Hester
The Boy Who Feeds Cats
2004
Narrator
Voice; short film
For Those Who Can Tell No Tales
2013
Mum
Symphony of the Wild
2015
Narrator
Voice

Television

Title Year Role Notes
A Single Life
1985
Margaret Bennett
Television film
Nancy Wake
1987
Madeleine
Miniseries
A Country Practice
1990
Marnie Rose
Season 10 - "My Sister's Keeper" (Parts 1 & 2)
Seven Deadly Sins
1993
Greed
Miniseries
Ocean Girl
1995
Commander Byrne
Recurring role; Season 2 - 13 episodes
Mercury
1996
Claire Bannister
Leading role; Season 1 - 13 episodes
The Bite
1996
Samira Nazib
Miniseries
Frontier
1997
Rosa Campbell Praed
Miniseries
Stingers
2001
Eve Reisner
Season 4, Episode 18 - "True Colours"
The Secret Life of Us
2003
Luciana
Recurring role; Season 3 - 9 episodes
CrashBurn
2003
Andy
Season 1, Episode 13 - "Seven Letters or Less"
Holly's Heroes
2005
Mrs. Rocacelli
3 episodes
Wentworth
2014–
Joan Ferguson
Leading role; Season 2 & Season 3 - 24 episodes

Film, theatre and television awards[edit]

Year Format Association Category Nominated work Result
1997 Film AACTA Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Well Won
1997 Film Stockholm International Film Festival Best Actress Won
1998 Film Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards Best Actor - Female Nominated
2002 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Musical The Wizard of Oz Nominated
2005 Theatre Best Female Actor in a Play Dinner Nominated
2007 Theatre Best Female Actor in a Play Mother Courage and Her Children Nominated
2009 Theatre Best Female Actor in a Play War of the Roses Nominated
2012 Theatre Best Female Actor in a Musical Grey Gardens Won
2015 Theatre Best Female Actor in a Play The Glass Menagerie Won
2015 Television Astra Award Most Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor Wentworth Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Pamela Rabe". 16th Street. 
  2. ^ "Sarsaparilla steals the Melbourne Limelight". Sydney Morning Herald. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Richard III, thy name is woman". Sydney Morning Herald. January 5, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  4. ^ Lalak, Alex (January 19, 2009). "Review: The War Of The Roses, starring Cate Blanchett". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ Womb with a view
  6. ^ Croggon, Alison (June 11, 2010). "Pamela Rabe on a roll as a woman behaving badly". The Australian. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  7. ^ "National Institute of Dramatic Art". 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • IMDb - Pamela Rabe