Ray Meagher (born 4 July 1944) surname pronouned “Marr” , is a veteran Australian character actor. He has appeared regularly in Australian film and television since the mid 1970s, and is notable as the longest continuing performer in an Australian television role, as Alf Stewart on Home and Away , having played the role since the first episode in 1988. He is the only original actor still with the series as of 2011. Meagher won the Gold Logie Award for his role in Home and Away in 2010
Meagher was born and raised on a sheep and cattle station in Queensland, before attending a boarding school on the Gold Coast from the age of nine. He became a keen sportsman at high school, Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane, representing the school at a number of sports including rugby union, a sport which he ultimately played at state level.
Ray Meagher was born on July 4 in Roma, in Western Queensland, and grew up on a sheep and cattle station.
At the age of nine Ray went to boarding school on the Gold Coast hinterland of Queensland where he was a keen sportsman and developed an interest in acting. His stage debut came at the age of 11 when he played the Wicked Witch in the school’s pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
At high school in Brisbane, Ray excelled at sports and represented his school in tennis, swimming, athletics and football. After leaving school he played Rugby Union football and represented the State of Queensland in several games.
When some friends were auditioning for a kid’s pantomime at the Twelfth Night Theatre, Ray decided to go along too. He landed a very important role, that of a horse’s bum! “I had great aspirations to be the front end the next time around, so I went back for more”, he says.
His first play at the La Boite Theatre was A Refined Look at Existence. Around this time, Ray made his television debut, hosting an ABC-TV folk music show called Around Folk.
In the 1970s Ray moved to Sydney to star in a year-long role in the play Dimboola. He also began working on some ABC-TV series, including Ben Hall and Rush.
“I also earned a small role in the movie Mad Dog Morgan… I think mainly because I could ride a horse”, he says.
His credits since then include the mini-series The Great Bookie Robbery, A Fortunate Life, True Believers, Spit McPhee (a children’s telemovie) and The Fire in the Stone. Ray has appeared as a guest star in the television series of Prisoner, The Restless Years, Cop Shop and Skyways. He worked on the movies Breaker Morant and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith and has won a Penguin Best Actor Award for his lead role in the telemovie Mail Order Bride. He also played the mechanic in Priscilla – the musical.
Ray says when he auditioned for the pilot of Home and Away he thought it may be only a few months’ work. Nearly two decades later, he is still with the show!
Ray says: “In the words of Albert Facey, I think I’ve had a fortunate life”.
For the past ten years Ray has appeared in Christmas pantomime productions in the UK, Belfast and Wales in such roles as Captain Hook in Peter Pan. He now beats veteran actor Kate Ritchie for being one of the longest serving actors on an Australian drama series.
Ray was born under the Zodiac sign of Cancer.