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Friday, February 23, 2024

Home and Away Ray Meagher’s surprising career before Alf Stewart soap fame

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Home and Away star Ray Meagher is best known for playing Alf Stewart since the soap’s first episode but before landing the role, the TV star had another job alongside acting

Home and Away star Ray Meagher is best known for playing Alf Stewart since the soap’s first episode but before landing the role, the TV star had another job alongside acting

In the early years of his acting career, Ray Meagher, star of Home and Away, drove taxis.

The 79-year-old actor aired the first-ever episode of the Channel 5 soap opera in 1988, playing the character of Alf Stewart.

Even though Ray is well-known for being one of the most recognizable characters from the soap opera, he disclosed that in order to continue trying out for roles, he had to work a second job before being cast.

After getting his taxi license, Ray used to drive on the weekends in order to make some extra cash.

He told Stuff, “I got a cab license early on as an actor, but I really only drove cabs for probably half a dozen weekends.” “I was able to audition because I had enough money in my little hand to last me through the week.”

Even with the enormous success he has received from Home and Away, Ray acknowledged he wasn’t sure he could pursue acting as a full-time vocation and had held onto his driver’s license for years as a fallback. He clarified, “I kind of thought, ‘I’m just not going to get more acting work, so I held on to that cab licence for about 10 years.”

“It’s all going to dry up, so I’ll hang on’, and I hung on and hung on but I kept working and doing bits and pieces.” The TV star added: “Not a lot early on, but enough to scrape through from one job to the next.”

In an earlier interview with The Sun, Ray acknowledged that he was “more cynical” when he initially joined the cast and that’s why he would only commit to six months in Summer Bay instead of signing a two-year contract.

Ray, who spent 35 years on the Australian soap opera, clarified, saying, “I would not sign the two-year contract they wanted me to sign. It seems ridiculous now.” Since I was older and more pessimistic, I was certain that it would crash and burn like most things do after we completed the pilot.

“You have to be kidding me when you say we’re going to do a series and we want all the main characters to stick around for two years!” I told them there was no way I was signing for two years since it felt like a lifetime. Once more, I declined their offer to sign a one-year contract.

Ray continued: “In the end I agreed to six months. I thought it would be nice being able to go back to my own bed after work every night rather than shooting something in Melbourne or Western Australia, or being all over the shop which I had quite enjoyed over the years. Having been home for six months I was a bit seduced by that and signed for another six months.”

The soap star went on to say: “Then they said what about another year? And then it became three-year deals and five -ear deals, and here were are 35 years later and I’m a lot older.”

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