Stefan Dennis

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Stefan Dennis
Paul Robinson.JPG
Stefan Dennis as Paul Robinson on Neighbours in 2018
Born (1958-10-29) 29 October 1958 (age 61)
Tawonga, Victoria, Australia
OccupationTelevision actor, musician
Years active1979–present
Websitewww.stefandennis.com

Stefan Dennis (born 29 October 1958) is an Australian actor and singer best known for playing the role of cold-hearted and ruthless businessman Paul Robinson in the soap opera Neighbours from its first episode in March 1985 to the present day. He departed Neighbours in 1993, but returned in 2004 and has played Paul ever since. During his time away from Neighbours he was a cast member of Scottish soap opera River City. He is also known for his 1989 hit single "Don't It Make You Feel Good", which reached Number 16 in the Irish and UK Singles Chart.[1]

Biography[edit]

Dennis was born in Tawonga, Victoria but his family moved to Queensland for 12 years, where he did most of his schooling. He started showing his genuine interest in music and acting at the age of seven and was eleven years old when he started in amateur theatre in Queensland. His debut with this first theatre company was in Oliver!. Also, at this time he and his brother formed a vocal duo and performed on many occasions. They played at weddings, charity events, and some large concerts.

By the age of 14, Dennis was convinced he wanted to go into the entertainment business. He understood the pitfalls associated with choosing the career of an entertainer, so he decided to get a trade behind him to support him through the times when he might be out of work. He left school at 15 and took an apprenticeship as a chef. On completion of his chef's certificate, he moved from the Gold Coast to Melbourne. In the following five years, he worked hard gaining knowledge and experience.[citation needed]

Dennis started out in guest roles on programmes such as Cop Shop, Skyways, Carson's Law, Young Ramsay, Prisoner, Home, The Henderson Kids, The Sullivans, The Young Doctors and many others.[2] Dennis has a number of credits to his name. He had a major role in The Henderson Kids, a co-lead in an ABC children's show called Infinity Limited, and he co-starred in The Flying Doctors mini-series. In 1984, he auditioned for the roles of Shane Ramsay and Des Clarke in a new soap opera, Neighbours where he was later cast as Paul Robinson instead.[3][4] Through the role in Neighbours came opportunities like appearing at the Royal Variety Performance along with other cast members.

After finishing Neighbours in 1992, Dennis moved to the UK and worked on a variety of TV shows and theatre productions. He appeared in many pantomimes, plays, and musicals. In 1994, he played Mickey in Blood Brothers, touring in New Zealand and Australia before returning to the UK to appear in the show in both the West End, and in a national tour of the UK. He appeared in many television shows, including Dream Team, River City, The Bill and Casualty. He also returned to Australia from time to time for guest roles in shows such as Blue Heelers, Good Guys Bad Guys and Stingers. Dennis has worked as a voiceover artist for many years both in Australia and the UK.[citation needed]

He was part of the team that set a new world record in 1995 for 24-hour endurance outdoor karting. The team – Stefan Dennis, David Brabham, Russ Malkin, Steve Malkin – set the record of 1664.7 km on a 1.3 km track at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey, UK on 24 and 25 February 1995.[citation needed] While in the UK, Dennis became a partner in Lex Film Entertainment, and was associate producer on the film The Truth About Love. He also met and married his wife, Gail. The couple have two sons, Cameron and Declan, and a daughter Darci. The family are now back living in Australia.[citation needed]

He returned to Neighbours at the end of 2004, and was a regular character once again as of 2005, signing a three-year contract which ran to the end of 2008, which he has now extended. He is the only current cast member who appeared in the first episode, although he is not the longest serving due to his long break. Of his role in Neighbours, Dennis has said that people struggle to tell the difference between himself and the character and "shy away" from him because "they think I'm going to bark at them". He has conceded that it could be a testament to his acting and says "It's a real compliment though, as people know the character that well, they actually think I am like him in real life".[5]. As a matter of fact, although he portrays Paul Robinson as having a prosthetic leg, he has two good legs of his own.[6]

In 2009, Dennis was stalked by two fans while presenting the Best Villain award at the British Soap Awards.[7] He hosted a documentary special celebrating Neighbours' 30th anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.[8][9] In 2018, Dennis appeared in the recurring role of Michael Armstrong QC in the sixth series of Wentworth.[10]

Dennis' older brother, John, was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 12. Of the sentencing, Dennis has said: "That driver was fined just $50 for what he did. And that same weekend someone who killed a koala at Currumbin Sanctuary got fined $200. So … well, that's hard."[11] Dennis has used the incident to raise awareness about drink driving via his Twitter account.[citation needed]

Music[edit]

In 1989, Dennis started a side-line music career, and released the single "Don't It Make You Feel Good", which reached No. 16 in the UK Singles Chart,[12] in May of that year. He released a second single, "This Love Affair", which reached No. 67 in the UK in October 1989.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Cop Shop
  • NeighboursPaul Robinson
  • The Sullivans
  • The Young Doctors (1982)
  • Infinity Limited (1983) – as "Rick"
  • Prisoner – as "Shayne Berkley"
  • Young Ramsay (1 March 1980) – as "Sid Atkinson" in episode: "Gift Horse"
  • Prisoner (1981) – as "Peter Richards"
  • Five Mile Creek (3 April 1985) – as "Boy No. 2" in episode: "The Best of Mates"
  • The Flying Doctors (1985) (mini series) – as "Doug Hennassy"
  • The Henderson Kids (1985) as "Terry"
  • The Office (1996) – as "Nigel"
  • World Fun (1997) – as "Stefan C Dyson"
  • Blue Heelers (1 July 1997) – as "Colin Docker" in episode: "Poetic Justice"
  • Good Guys Bad Guys (14 April 1998) – as "Andy Caesar" in episode: "Don't Cry for Me Arch 'n' Tina"
  • Stingers (22 February 1999) – as "Snr. Com. Karl Hiller" in episode: "Nothing Personal"
  • The Big Breakfast (14 December 2001) – as himself
  • Dream Team (2001–2002) – as "Samuel Irving"
  • River City (2002–2003) – as "Dr. Marcus McKenzie"
  • Casualty (9 November 2002) – as "Mark Christie"
  • The Bill (7 May 2003) – as "Gene Bishop"
  • Rove Live (19 July 2005) – as Himself
  • Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite (2015) – as Himself
  • Wentworth (2018) – Michael Armstrong

Films[edit]

  • Channel Chaos (1984) – Actor as "Cameraman"
  • The Truth About Love (2004) – Production as associate producer – Actor as "Dougie"

Theatre[edit]

  • 1990/91 – Robin HoodLiverpool, UK
  • 1991/92 – AladdinSouthampton, UK
  • 1992/93 – CinderellaBournemouth, UK
  • 1993 – Whose Life is It Anyway? – UK Tour
  • 1993/94 – Jack and the BeanstalkWimbledon, London, UK
  • 1994 – Blood Brothers – Australia
  • 1994 – Blood Brothers – New Zealand
  • 1994/95 – Peter PanBlackpool, UK
  • 1995 – Blood Brothers – UK
  • 1995 – Point of Death – UK Tour
  • 1997 – Murder by Misadventure – UK Tour
  • 1998/99 – AladdinWeston-super-Mare, UK
  • 2000 – Fool for LoveEdinburgh, UK
  • 2007 – AladdinAberdeen, UK
  • 2009/10 – CinderellaWolverhampton Grand Theatre, UK

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7.
  2. ^ "Stefan Dennis". Neighbours. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Stefan Dennis (Neighbours' Paul Robinson) Interview". Last Broadcast. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  4. ^ Hopwood, Clive (1990). The Official Neighbours Annual 1990. World International. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7235-6859-9. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  5. ^ Sperling, Daniel (27 December 2010). "Soaps – News – 'Neighbours' Dennis: 'People think I'm Paul'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  6. ^ https://metro.co.uk/2008/12/31/stefan-dennis-makes-limp-excuse-274720/
  7. ^ Green, Kris (12 May 2009). "Soaps – News – 'Neighbours' icon stalked at BSAs". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  8. ^ Knox, David (28 February 2015). "Airdate: Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  9. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Neighbours 30th anniversary schedule confirmed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  10. ^ Dainty, Sophie (1 August 2018). "Neighbours star Stefan Dennis took a break from show to film guest role in Wentworth". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  11. ^ Duck, Siobhan (6 March 2015). "Neighbours stalwart Stefan Dennis on family heartbreak, royal fans and Hollywood ambition". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  12. ^ UK charts Search "Stefan Dennis"

External links[edit]