Wendy Hughes

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Wendy Hughes
Born(1952-07-29)29 July 1952
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died8 March 2014(2014-03-08) (aged 61)
Spouse(s)Sean Scully (1971–1973) (divorced)
Chris Haywood (c. 1980) (divorced)
Patric Juillet (1980–?) (divorced)

Wendy Hughes (29 July 1952 – 8 March 2014) was an Australian actress known for her work in theatre, film and television.[2][3] Her career spanned more than forty years and established her reputation as one of Australia's finest and most prolific actors.[4] In her later career she acted in Happy New Year along with stars Peter Falk and Charles Durning. In 1993 she played Dr. Carol Blythe, M. E. in Homicide: Life on the Street. In the late 1990s, she starred in State Coroner and Paradise Road.

Early life[edit]

Born in Melbourne, Australia,[5] to English-born parents,[6] Hughes originally studied to become a ballerina[7] but, during her teenage years, she turned her focus to acting and later graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).[5]


After honing her skills with the Melbourne Theatre Company, she had her first film role in Petersen (1974).[7] During the early 1970s, she also had her first television parts, including appearing in Power Without Glory, a television series first broadcast in 1976.

Called "one of the most important players in the development and productivity of Australian film",[3] Hughes worked closely with prominent Australian artists such as the cinematographer John Seale and the writers David Williamson and Bob Ellis.[3] She was one of the leading players in the 1970s' "New Australian Film" renaissance.[8]

Hughes's first internationally known role was the character Patricia in Lonely Hearts (1982).[9] That role began a decades-long collaboration with the Dutch-Australian director Paul Cox.[9]

As one of the leading actresses in Australian cinema, Hughes's roles in the 1970s and 1980s included those in Newsfront, Kostas, My Brilliant Career, Lucinda Brayford, Touch and Go, Hoodwink, Lonely Hearts, Careful, He Might Hear You, My First Wife, I Can't Get Started, An Indecent Obsession, Echoes of Paradise, Boundaries of the Heart, Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train (1988) and Luigi's Ladies.[10][11]

Hughes made her American debut in 1987 in John G. Avildsen's film Happy New Year, opposite Peter Falk and Charles Durning. In 1989, she starred opposite Pierce Brosnan in The Heist, a TV movie made by HBO.[10] She continued to make occasional appearances on television, such as playing Jilly Stewart in the 1983 mini-series Return to Eden. During the early 1990s, she spent time in the United States, where she played medical examiner Dr Carol Blythe in the television series Homicide: Life on the Street. She also appeared in the miniseries Amerika and made a guest appearance as Lieutenant Commander Nella Daren on Star Trek: The Next Generation, in the episode "Lessons", as one of the few love interests that Captain Jean-Luc Picard had on the show.

Back in Australia, Hughes played lead roles on television in The Man From Snowy River ("Snowy River: The McGregor Saga") and State Coroner. Hughes's film appearances at that time included the fact-based comedy-drama Princess Caraboo and Paradise Road. Her later film roles included Salvation (2007), The Caterpillar Wish (2006) and The Man Who Sued God (2001).[12]

Stage appearances by Hughes during this time included as Mrs. Robinson in the 2001 Melbourne version of The Graduate, Martha in a 2007 staging of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by the Melbourne Theatre Company,[13] the character of Honor in Honour in 2010,[14] and Henry Higgins's mother in Pygmalion (2012).

Her last TV appearance was in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.


She was nominated for Australian Film Institute acting awards six times, and won the Best Lead actress award in 1983 for her performance in Careful, He Might Hear You.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Hughes had two children, a son with restaurateur Patric Juillet and a daughter, Charlotte, with actor Chris Haywood. She was also married to actor Sean Scully for a short time.[5][16]


Hughes died of cancer on 8 March 2014, aged 61. Actor Bryan Brown announced her death to an audience attending the play Travelling North in Sydney that afternoon, asking the audience to join him in a standing ovation in tribute to the late actress.[16]



Year Title Role Type
1974 Petersen Dr. Patricia 'Trish' Kent / Charles’ wife Feature film
1975 Sidecar Racers Lynn Carson Feature film
1977 High Rolling Barbie Feature film
1978 Newsfront Amy Mackenzie Feature film
1979 For a Child Called Michael Film short
1979 My Brilliant Career Aunt Helen Feature film
1979 Kostas Carol Feature film
1980 Touch and Go Eva Feature film
1981 Hoodwink Lucy Feature film
1982 Duet for Four Barbara Dunstan Feature film
1982 Partners Unknown Feature film
1982 A Dangerous Summer Sophie McCann Feature film
1982 Lonely Hearts Patricia Curnow Feature film
1983 Careful, He Might Hear You Vanessa Feature film
1984 My First Wife Helen Feature film
1985 An Indecent Obsession Honor Langtry Feature film
1985 Can't Get Started Margaret TV film
1987 Echoes of Paradise (aka Shadows of the Peacock) Maria Feature film
1987 Happy New Year Carolyn Feature film
1988 Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train Jenny Nicholson aka The Girl Feature film
1988 Boundaries of the Heart Stella Marsden Feature film
1989 Luigi's Ladies Sara Feature film
1991 Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue Elle Feature film
1994 Princess Caraboo Mrs. Worrall Feature film
1996 Lust and Revenge George's advisor Feature film
1997 Paradise Road Mrs. Dickson Feature film
2001 The Man Who Sued God Jules Myers Feature film
2006 The Caterpillar Wish Elizabeth Roberts Feature film
2007 Salvation Gloria Feature film
2008 The View from Greenhaven Dorothy Feature film
2008 Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! Herself Feature film documentary
2009 Just Desserts Judy Film short


Year Title Role Type
1967-72 Homicide Barbara Carlisle / Jan Smith / Rosalind Eyre / Helen Raynor / Darlene Sadler / Julie Smith TV series, 6 episodes
1968 Hunter Sue Gallagher TV series, 1 episode
1971 The Group Laura Bent TV series, 1 episode
1971-76 Matlock Police Jill Perry / Joanna / Fran Carmody / Patti Anderson TV series, 5 episodes
1972 A Time For Love TV series
1972 All About Faces Herself TV series
1974 A Touch of Reverence TV miniseries, 3 episodes
1974 Eye of the Spiral (aka The Spiral Bureau) TV film
1974 The Cherry Orchard Teleplay
1974 Essington TV film
1975 Behind the Legend TV series, season 3, episode 10: 'Christopher Brennan'
1975 Number 96 Vanessa Harrison TV series, 1 episode
1975 The Company Men Jill Freeman TV miniseries, 3 episodes
1976 Rush Emma TV series, 1 episode
1976; 1977 The 18th Annual TV Week Logie Awards Presenter TV special
1976 Is There Anybody There? Marianne Dickinson TV film
1976 The Outsiders Susan Mayfield TV series, 1 episode
1976 The Alternative Melanie Hilton TV film
1976 Power Without Glory Mary West TV miniseries, 12 episodes
1977 The 19th Annual TV Week Logie Awards Herself TV special
1977 Graham Kennedy's Blankety Blanks Panelist TV series, 3 episodes
1978 A Woman in the House TV film
1978 Puzzle Claudine Cunningham TV film
1978 Sammy Awards Herself - Presenter TV Special
1980 Cop Shop Marian McCall TV series, 1 episode
1980 Australian Theatre Festival: Coralie Landsdowne Says No Coralie Landsdowne Teleplay
1980 Lucinda Brayford Lucinda Brayford TV miniseries, 4 episodes
1983 Australian Movies to the World Herself TV special
1983 The Mike Walsh Show Guest - Herself TV series, 1 episode
1983 Return to Eden Jilly Stewart TV miniseries, 3 episodes
1983 The 1983 Australian Film Institute A.F.I. Awards Herself - Winner Best Actress 'Careful, He Might Hear You' TV special
1983 The Mike Walsh Show Guest - Herself (with John Hargreaves, Peter Whitford & Nicholas Gledhill) TV series, 1 episode
1984 The Mike Walsh Show Guest - Herself (with Angela Punch McGregor & Elizabeth Alexander) TV series, 1 episode
1984 Five Mile Creek Arabella TV series, 1 episode
1985 I Can't Get Started Margaret TV film
1985 Remember Me Jenny TV film
1985 Promises To Keep Uncredited TV film
1986 The 1986 Australian Film Institute A.F.I. Awards Presenter as Herself (with Bob Ellis) TV special
1987 Amerika Marion Andrews TV miniseries, 7 episodes
1989 The Heist Sheila TV film
1989 MTV Australia Awards Herself TV special
1990 Donor Dr. Farrell TV film
1991 Sukeban deka: Gyakushu-hen Additional voices Video game
1991 A Woman Named Jackie Janet Lee Bouvier TV miniseries, 3 episodes
1993 Homicide: Life on the Street Dr. Carol Blythe, M.E. TV series, 5 episodes
1993 Star Trek: The Next Generation Lieutenant Commander Nella Daren TV series, episode 19: 'Lessons'
1994 Blue Seed Additional voices Animated TV series
1994-96 Banjo Paterson's The Man From Snowy River (aka Snowy River: The McGregor Saga) Kathleen O'Neil/McGregor TV series, 52 episodes
1995 Golden Boy: Sasurai no o-benkyo yaro Employee C (voice) TV series
1995 Denton Guest TV series, 1 episode
1996 State Coroner State Coroner Kate Ferrari TV pilot
1997-98 State Coroner State Coroner Kate Ferrari TV series, 28 episodes
1997-2001 Good Morning Australia Guest TV series, 4 episodes
1997 Monday to Friday Guest TV series, 1 episode
1997 Melbourne Cup Carnival Guest TV special
2000, 2001 Good Morning Australia Guest TV series, 2 episodes
2002 The Man Who Sued God Discovery Herself - Actress Video
2004 High Rolling: Interviews with Cast and Crew Herself - Actress / Barbie Video
2004 Petersen: Cast and Crew Interviews Herself - Actress Video
2005 MDA Gabrielle Bromley TV film series, 4 episodes
2006 Two Twisted Barber's Wife TV film series, episode 5: 'Von Stauffenberg's Stamp'
2006 Wendy Hughes Discusses... An Indecent Obsession Herself - Actress / Honour Langtry Video
2006 The Caterpillar Wish: Behind the Scenes Herself - Actress Video
2006 Looking Back at 'Hoodwink' Herself Video
2006 A Dangerous Summer: Rekindled Herself Video
2007 A Wire Through the Heart Narrator TV documentary
2007 Constructing Australia Narrator TV documentary series, 3 episodes
2007 Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train: A Journey with Wendy Hughes Herself - Actress Video
2007 The Making of Lonely Hearts Herself Video
2007 The Fabric of a Dream: The Fletcher Jones Story Narrator TV documentary
2007 City Homicide Victoria Semple TV series, 1 episode
2007 The Bridge Narrator TV documentary
2007 Talking Heads Guest TV series, 1 episode
2008 The Saddle Club Louise Lomax (as Wendy Hughs) TV series, 1 episode
2008 Duet for Four: Wendy Hughes Interview Herself Video
2008 Kerri-Anne Guest TV series, 1 episode
2008 Not Quite Hollywood: Deleted and Extended Scenes Herself Video
2009 All Saints Annalise Lang TV series, 1 episode
2009 Darwin's Brave New World Narrator TV series, 3 episodes
2012 Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Adele Freeman TV series, 1 episode



  1. ^ "Wendy Hughes: Mainstay of a resurgent Australian film industry". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  2. ^ Crisp, Lyndall (6 April 2010). "Blissfully at Ease Standing Alone". The Australian.
  3. ^ a b c Australian Centre for the Moving Image. "Focus on Wendy Hughes". Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Wendy's House". 2006.
  5. ^ a b c "Australian actor Wendy Hughes has died at the age of 61". Herald Sun. 8 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  6. ^ ABC
  7. ^ a b The Movies Hype. "Wendy Hughes Biography". Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Wendy Hughes Biography". MSN Entertainment. Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b Tyndall, Philip. "A Celebration of Wendy Hughes". Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Wendy Hughes Filmography by Year". IMDb.
  11. ^ Vagg, Stephen (18 August 2019). "Australian Movie Stars". Filmink.
  12. ^ "Wendy Hughes Filmography". The Movies Hype. Yahoo!7 Entertainment. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  13. ^ MacMillan, Lola (22 August 2007). "Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf? / Melbourne Theatre Company". Australian Stage. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Honour". Australian Stage. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  15. ^ "AACTA – Past Winners – 1980–1989 – 1983". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  16. ^ a b Dumas, Daisy (8 March 2014). "Actress Wendy Hughes dead at 61". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 8 March 2014.

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