Home And Away Soap Opera Wiki

Judith Ann "Judy" Nunn (AM) (born 13th April, 1945, Perth, Western Australia) is an internationally renowned best-selling author and former actress. She played original character Ailsa Stewart (Hogan) on Home and Away from the pilot episode in 1988 until 2000.

Judy's husband Bruce Venables was working as an actor when the pilot for Home and Away was made. He spoke the first line of dialogue on the show. They married the same week as her on-screen character married Alf Stewart.

Pre H&A Career

Judy began taking acting lessons as a teenager. She moved to Sydney shortly before she turned 19 to pursue an acting career and eventually ended up in London. She spent 5 years in England, acting on stage, on radio and on television. She returned to Australia in 1973 and continued her acting career. Some of her credits included parts in Prisoner, Skyways, Sons and Daughters and A Country Practice. However, she was probably best known for playing the scheming, bisexual TV journalist Vicki Stafford on the risqué TV series The Box. Interestingly, she also did some writing for Neighbours in 1985 [1]

Home And Away

Judy was cast as Ailsa Hogan on Home and Away and remained on the series until 2000. During her time on the show, her character got to marry Alf Stewart, revealed a surprisingly dark past, suffered a nervous breakdown (what was in those pills that made Bobby's head appear in the fridge door?), co-owned the Bayside Diner and fostered numerous youngsters. Ailsa was finally killed off by a fatal heart attack. In a 2017 interview with TV Week, she admitted that she wasn't happy with the way Ailsa was written out [2] “I couldn’t believe it when I got the script. I thought, ‘Oh, come on, mate. After a solid 12 years, she has this stupid little heart attack or she’s seen clutching her chest?’ I felt very let down by the powers-that-be, actually. “It was just, ‘OK, you’re out with the trash now.’”

During her time on Home and Away, Judy became more interested in writing. She wrote and published four novels, using the down-time on the show to write. "I wrote four books while I was still doing Home and Away,” she says. "When we were either burying or marrying someone on the show, Then they’d yell, ‘Action!’ and I’d sit in the scene and cry with happiness or sadness.” [3]

After Home And Away

Judy and her husband Bruce

Once she left Home and Away in 2000, Judy became a full-time author. As of 2019, she has written 14 adult books and written/co-written 4 children's books. Her books have sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Judy's husband Bruce is now an author too. As Judy says on her website, " We help each other hugely with our writing, which is an enviable situation to many of our writer friends who know what a lonely profession it can be.”

Nunn also said in an interview years after leaving the show that she was 'displeased' with how Ailsa was written out of the show and wished she had been consulted instead of just 'dropping dead on the floor.'

In 2015 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her "significant service to the performing arts as a scriptwriter and actor of stage and screen, and to literature as an author". [4]