Georgie Parker’s sudden departure from the venerable Australian soap has shocked viewers of Home and Away as well as her fellow cast members.
The actress, who has been portraying Ruth “Roo” Stewart since 2010, will leave our screens in August to take a lengthy hiatus.
Georgie’s abrupt departure occurs at a difficult time for the close-knit Summer Bay family, who have already said goodbye to co-stars Patrick O’Connor and Sophie Dillman (aka Ziggy and Dean).
The day Georgie, 58, announced her exciting news, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, but Ray Meagher was obviously the one who felt the brunt of it.
Ray, who portrays Georgie’s on-screen father Alf Stewart, and the two of them have developed a strong bond outside of the camera.
Ray, 78, has raved about Georgie, saying, “We’re both very, very privileged to have the sort of working relationship that we do.
Even Georgie has acknowledged that the seasoned actor played a significant role in her decision to stay in Summer Bay for more than ten years.
The former fan favorite from All Saints says, “I’m more than pleased to be connected to such a legendary figure [in Alf]. But more significantly, it means that I get to work with Ray on the most of my sequences, which is a major incentive for me to continue with the program.
But, despite their close bond, Georgie is eager to fly solo and take on fresh acting challenges.
The Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica stage play, which runs at Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre in March and April, will require the Gold Logie winner to take a seven-week leave of absence from her job.
Although Georgie is the second actress to portray Roo since the 1980s, when Justine Stewart first played the part, it’s not anticipated that the role would be recast this time around. Instead, until Georgie is prepared to return to Summer Bay, Roo will simply disappear for a few weeks.
“I’ve been fortunate that I kind of put it out there – if it’s going to be long term – that I need time out for plays with Home and Away or any other TV projects I’ve been associated with,” the actor said.
“Channel 7 has always been very generous with letting me do that, and ask for [time off]. I just get it written into my contract,” she says.
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