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Rowena Wallace

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rowena Wallace
Rowena Wallace.jpg
Born (1947-08-23) 23 August 1947 (age 74)
Years active1962–current
(m. 1973; div. 1974)

Rowena Wallace (born 23 August 1947) is an English-born Australian actress of stage and screen actress, most especially in the genre of television soap opera. She is best known for her Gold Logie-winning role as conniving Patricia "Pat the Rat" Hamilton/Morrell/Palmer in Sons and Daughters, being the first soap star to win the Gold Logie. After leaving the series and being replaced in the role by Belinda Giblin, Wallace returned in the final season as Patricia's sister Pamela Hamilton.

She started her career on the small screen in the late 60's in serial You Can't See 'Round Corners as well as appearing in that serial's film version and then had regular roles in TV series including Crawford Productions Division 4, Number 96 and Cop Shop and in 1980-1981 became well known for her stint as Anne Griffin in cult series Prisoner

After Sons and Daughters, she subsequently appeared primarily in guest roles and cameos in numerous TV serials, before again returning to more permanent fixtures in regular roles from 2000-03 as Donald Fisher's wife June Reynolds in Home and Away, in 2007 as Mary Casey in Neighbours, and as Melbourne gangland figure Judy Moran in Deadly Women in 2012.

She has appeared as herself as a panellist on talk show Beauty and the Beast and featured regularly on Bert Newton's popular morning breakfast show Good Morning Australia.

Early life

Rowena Wallace was born in Coventry, West Midlands, England, as an only child. She moved to Australia with her parents when she was five, settling in the state of Queensland. Her father was a pilot for Ansett Airlines. Initially she grew up in Cairns and later moved to Brisbane at the age of 12 years. There, she attended Kedron State High School. After finishing school she became interested in acting and was taken by her mother to dancing lessons at, and was also persuaded to join, the Twelfth Night Theatre under the artistic direction of Joan Whalley.

At age fifteen, having left school and attended a business college at the insistence of her parents, Wallace decided to become an actress. She joined an advertising agency while still performing in the theatre at night. Her first television role was in Brisbane as an entertainer on the variety show Theatre Royal (hosted by George Wallace Jr., no relation). She also presented the afternoon news and weather and a children's show. At the age of nineteen, Wallace was diagnosed with scoliosis. She has required painkillers almost continuously since then.


While Wallace was working in television in Brisbane, Barry Creyton persuaded the producers of a new series to fly her down to Sydney to audition for the lead role in their show; as a result Wallace won the role of Margie Harris in You Can't See 'Round Corners in 1967 and moved to Sydney. She would also feature in the 1969 film version.[1]

After completing Corners, she went on to star as the juvenile lead in a hit comedy stage production with John McCallum and Googie Withers. The show, Relatively Speaking, played to packed audiences in Melbourne.[1]

On 12 February 1970, the film Squeeze a Flower had its world premiere in Sydney. Wallace starred in the movie as the female lead, opposite international Italian film star Walter Chiari. By 1972, she had found work intermittently. In 1973 she married George Assang, some 20 years her senior, a Thursday Island-born jazz singer and actor known professionally as Vic Sabrino.[2] The marriage lasted just over a year, and Wallace has had no long-term relationships since then.[citation needed]

Number 96 and Prisoner

In the late 1970s she appeared frequently on Australian television, with an ongoing role in the soap opera Number 96 in 1975–1976, followed by a regular role in the police drama Cop Shop, playing policeman's wife Pamela Taylor.[1] After leaving that series she played a mentally unbalanced remand prisoner named Anne Griffin in Prisoner for several weeks in late 1980.


Rowena Wallace's most famous role was in the soap opera Sons and Daughters, in which she played Patricia Dunne/Hamilton/Morrell/Palmer; starting in 1981.[1] Nicknamed Pat the Rat, the character became an immensely popular bitch figure in the series; its most famous character.

Year Association Category Work Result
1983 Logie Awards Silver Logie for Most Popular Lead Actress Sons and Daughters Won
1984 Logie Awards Gold Logie Sons and Daughters Won
1984 Logie Awards Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress Sons and Daughters Won
1984 Logie Awards Silver Logie for Best Actress in a Series Sons and Daughters Won
1985 Logie Awards Silver Logie for Best Lead Actress in a Series Sons and Daughters Won

In 1984 Wallace won a Gold Logie for the portrayal[1] during an era when Gold Logies were usually won by major television personalities and hosts but not actors. She was the first woman soap actress to win the award since it was opened up to Most Popular Australian Personality.[clarification needed]. She was not the first female to win the Gold Logie, that honour going to Australian actress Lorrae Desmond.

Wallace also received 4 Silver Logies

Son and Daughters

Wallace left Sons and Daughters after three years, with her final scenes going to air early in 1985 just after her Gold Logie win.[1] Wallace claimed in a reunion documentary that she left due to exhaustion from playing such an intense character. She also claimed she regretted walking away from the role as she did not get the later acting offers she had anticipated. The popularity of her character led to it being recast, with Belinda Giblin assuming the role of a returning Patricia after extensive cosmetic surgery had altered her facial features. Late in the show's run, with ratings in decline, Wallace was returned to the series in an attempt to boost the show's popularity. With Giblin remaining in the show, Wallace now played a new character, that of Patricia's long-lost identical twin sister Pamela. Her return lasted ten weeks but did little to halt the show's dwindling ratings, and the show was cancelled shortly afterwards.

Home and away and Neighbours

Between years 2000 and 2003 Wallace appeared in the weeknight soap opera Home and Away as June Reynolds.[3]

In 2007 Wallace joined the cast of Neighbours for several months.[4] She played Mary Casey, an unstable woman[4] who ended up in prison for the false imprisonment of Pepper Steiger. Mary's cellmate turned out to be Sky Mangel.

Other roles

In 2012 Wallace starred as Melbourne gangland matriarch Judy Moran in the Foxtel series Deadly Women.[5]

In September 2016 Wallace had a cameo in Wonthaggi Theatrical Group's production of Little Shop of Horrors as the narrator.

Personal life

Between July 1999 and November 2003, Wallace was collecting a disability support pension, despite being actively employed by television series such as Water Rats, Beauty and the Beast, and Good Morning Australia.[6] In October 2005, she was charged with social security fraud, and given a suspended sentence of six months imprisonment.[6]

In August 2010, Wallace was the subject of a Today Tonight special feature on the Seven Network, where she was reportedly nearly broke and on the verge of becoming homeless. The following week, a number of offers to take her in were made by Australians around the country.

In March 2011, she was the subject of more media coverage, this time because the unit she occupied at subsidised rent in Wonthaggi, Victoria was due for demolition in August 2011 and she feared she would have nowhere to live. The rents in Wonthaggi had doubled or even tripled due to the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant being constructed nearby, but her pension would not even cover her rent.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 You Can't See 'round Corners Margie Harris
1970 Squeeze a Flower June Phillips
1981 Puberty Blues Mrs. Knight
1982 The Dark Room Liz Llewellyn
1985 Relatives Nancy Peterson
1988 Backstage Evelyn Hough
1988 Day of the Panther Lucy Andrews
1989 Cappuccino Anna
1995 Blackwater Trail Beth
2012 Ryder Country Rebecca Ryder
2019 Magdala Rose Lady Corba de Péreille Completed[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1967 You Can't See 'Round Corners Margie Harris Main role
1968 Contrabandits Carole Episode: "A Game for Two Players"
1968 Hunter Sue Episode: "Sue"
1969 Riptide Cathy Smith, Xena Episodes: "Affair at Mangrove Creek", "Good Friday Island"
1969–1970 The Rovers Rusty Collins Main role
1970–1971 Dynasty Betty Westlake, Jill Campbell Episodes: "Young Jim Westlake", "Corrida for a Stuntman"
1970–1971 Barrier Reef Tracey Deane Regular role
1971 Spyforce Patricia "Trish" Mathews Episode: "The Lovers"
1971, 1973 Matlock Police Sally Broughton, Kate White, Susan Stone Episodes: "Olsen's Ghost", "Cup Fever", "Jeff's Missing"
1971–1975 Division 4 Various Recurring role
1972 Boney Kat Loader Episode: "Boney Meets the Daybreak Killer"
1972–1973 Homicide Primrose Taylor, Ruth Morgan Episodes: "I Love You Primrose Taylor", "Follow the Leader"
1973 And Millions Will Die Maggi Christopher TV film
1973–1974 Ryan Kate, Sue Ogilvie, Zita, Holly Beckett Episodes: "King's Bishop to Queen Three" "Miss. Ogilvie Repents", "Red Alert", "Goodbye Holly Beckett"
1974 The Evil Touch Jean Lewis Episode: "Kadaitcha Country"
1974 Silent Number Sylvia Marsh Episode: "Dark Corridors"
1974 Out of Love Julia Martin Episode: "I Don't Want to Know"
1975 Shannon's Mob Estelle Episode: "Loser Takes All"
1975–1976 Number 96 Muriel Thompson Recurring role
1976 McCloud Jennifer McGee Episode: "Night of the Shark"
1976 Power Without Glory Harriet Marshall Recurring role
1976 Murcheson Creek Karen Fields TV film
1977 Bluey Jean Anderson Episode: "The Changeling"
1977 Going Home Jacqueline Newton TV film
1977 Glenview High Pam Wilson Episode: "Quiet Nights and Silent Deaths"
1977–1979 Cop Shop Pamela Taylor Regular role
1978 Bobby Dazzler Ruth Rierdon Episode: "The New Guard"
1978 Catspaw Kate Keppel Main role
1979 Skyways Ann Wallace Episode: "Spaces"
1979 Burn the Butterflies Trish Morrison TV film
1980 Water Under the Bridge Honor Mazzini TV miniseries
1980–1981 Prisoner Anne Griffin Recurring role
1981 Holiday Island Marjorie Quade Episodes: "Zack", "Island Queen"
1981 The Willow Bend Mystery Linda TV miniseries
1981 Outbreak of Love Diana Von Flugel TV miniseries
1982–1987 Sons and Daughters Patricia Dunne/Hamilton/Morrell/Palmer and Pamela Hudson Regular role
1985 Glass Babies Ruth McCrae TV film
1988 All the Way Elaine Seymour TV miniseries
1989 Mission: Impossible Natalia Zorbuskaya Episode: "The Pawn"
1990 Flair Pamela Winter-Smith TV miniseries
1990 More Winters: The Big Wish The Queen TV film
1992 The Flying Doctors Paulina Giglia Episode: "Wimp"
1992 A Country Practice Patricia Lincoln Episode: "Nothing But the Truth: Part 1"
1995 Echo Point Elizabeth O'Connor TV series
1995 G.P. Elizabeth Armstrong Episode: "Private Faces, Public Places"
1996 Pacific Drive Mara de Villenois TV series
1996 Shark Bay Clarissa Delaney TV series
2000 All Saints Katrina Ford Episode: "Eye of the Beholder"
2000 Pizza Anne Griffin Episode: "Gambling Pizza"
2000 Water Rat Dolly Munro Episode: "Remember This"
2000–2003 Home and Away June Reynolds Recurring role
2001 The Finder Irene Davidson TV film
2003 Code 11-14 Mrs. Shaw TV film
2007 Neighbours Mary Casey Recurring role
2012 Deadly Women Judy Moran TV series[9]
2012 Micro Nation Tottie Nesbit Episode: "Meet Pullamawang"


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Rowena Wallace Career Page". Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Classic Australian Television Interview Rowena Wallace". TV Eye No 3. October 1994.
  3. ^ "Best Character Awards : 68 to 40..." p. 66. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b Casey, Marcus (11 April 2007). "Pat the Rat is back". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b Kate McClymont (12 October 2005). "Actor spared jail for benefits fraud". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ Herald Sun, 21 March 2011, Gold Logie winner Rowena Wallace needs a home
  8. ^ Magdala Rose (2019) - IMDb, retrieved 7 December 2020
  9. ^ "Foxtel". Retrieved 7 December 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 November 2021, at 14:39
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