Ramsay Street to Prime Time, Neighbours Stars in American TV

With my favourite former Neighbours star set to debut her new American series on BBC2 tonight I have decided to look back at the actors who have escaped from the show my sister used to make me watch, and are now regulars on American TV. These are the success stories.

Margot Robbie
Where did you come from?
Back on Ramsay Street Robbie played Donna Freedman, notable for wearing dungarees, hiding the departure of her father, being Ringo’s girlfriend and kissing Sunny, the least convincing exchange student ever. After a rocky start in the fashion industry Donna eventually left to study in New York.
Where did you go?
In one of the biggest hits of the new US TV season Robbie stars alongside Christina Ricci in Pan Am. Following the exploits of a group of air stewardesses, Robbie’s character Laura is on the run from her mundane life and is on a search for adventures in the sky and across the globe in the 60s. Pan Am premieres on BBC2 tonight (16th Nov) at 9pm.

Jesse Spencer
Where did you come from?
Spencer started his career in Neighbours as Billy Kennedy, son of soap royalty Karl and Susan. After five years of adventures including a kissing contest and carpentry, Spencer got bored and left the show, only to return once for a cameo in 2005.
Where did you go?
Now Spencer co-stars in one of TV’s most popular dramas as Dr. Robert Chase in House. Starring alongside fellow import Hugh Laurie, Spencer has solved many a medical mystery, gained and lost a fiancée, and left and rejoined the team at least once. House currently airs on Sky1.

Alan Dale
Where did you come from?
Alan Dale portrayed Jim Robinson, a man with many a failed marriage and quite a litter of children as his legacy. In Neighbours from the very start Jim died of a heart attack in 1993, starting a bit of a trend for Dale.
Where did you go?
What show hasn’t Alan Dale been in? Dale has had big roles in 24, The O.C., Ugly Betty, Lost, Undercovers, The Killing and Entourage, two of these ending with his character dying of a heart attack. Your next opportunity for some Alan Dale will be Boxing Day when The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes out.

Dichen Lachman
Where did you come from?
Dichen Lachman played Katya Kinski for just over a year, but still managed to fit in plenty of dramatic storylines. Katya struggled to care for her two siblings (bizarrely not sharing her ethnicity), mistakenly dated an evil twin, was shot and later went to jail before being held hostage and eventually leaving the street to take the position of medic for a football team. Stressful.
Where did you go?
Her first Hollywood gig was in Joss Whedon’s lack-lustre Dollhouse where she played Sierra, a “doll” capable of taking on any personality. After the show’s cancellation Lachman moved on to the American mini-series of Torchwood and has now taken on a role in the US remake of Being Human which is nowhere near as good as the original.

Dean Geyer
Where did you come from?
After coming third in Australian Idol Dean Geyer spent a year knocking about Ramsay Street as Ty Harper, an aspiring musician who falls in love with Rachel Kinski (who can blame him?) After just over a year on the soap, Ty follows Rachel to London and Geyer headed to LA.
Where did you go?
Dean Geyer has done well for himself with a recurring role in Steven Spielberg’s new dinosaur epic Terra Nova as soldier Mark Reynolds. Terra Nova currently airs on Sky1 but is as dull as drying paint.

Sianoa Smit-McPhee
Where did you come from?
Smit-McPhee played the least glamorous member of the Timmins family, troubled teen Bree. Poor Bree struggled with an identity crisis after a failed attempt to contact her birth parents and then suffered the loss of her adoptive brother. When Sianoa was fired from the soap Bree no longer had troubled connecting with her biological parents and moved to be closer to them.
Where did you go?
Since 2009 Smit-McPhee has had a small role in Hung as the daughter of the lead character, a male prostitute. Hung airs on More 4… at some point.

Honourable Mentions

Holly Valance
Since playing Felicity Scully, Valance has had a semi-successful career with a few movie roles and a recurring role on Prison Break. Now mostly seen in that Fosters ad and trying to revive her career alongside fellow Neighbours alum, Jason Donovan, on Strictly Come Dancing.
Pippa Black
After finishing the role of Elle Robinson, Pippa Black joined the cast of Outsourced as Tonya. Sadly Outsourced was a terrible sitcom and was cancelled earlier this year.
Ben Lawson
The man who played the dishy Frazer Yeats has since been in failed lawyer drama The Deep End and recently been seen in episodes of Covert Affairs.