”I wondered whether I’d be able to feed myself let alone anybody else.”
Although Ray Meagher has played the seasoned Summer Bay resident Alf Stewart on our televisions for a long time, the reality of his life differs slightly from that of his fictitious persona.
While Ray has previously explained why he doesn’t have any children, Alf has served as a father, stepfather, and foster parent.
In 2018, he told The Daily Telegraph that he had considered having children but decided against it owing to the unpredictable nature of playing. “When I was younger and a freelance actor, I wondered whether I’d be able to feed myself let alone anyone else,” he said.
He continued, “It’s an odd old profession, highly precarious, and an odd old job employment-wise.
Despite not having any children of his own, Ray is the stepfather to Rebecca, an adult daughter of his wife Gilly, and the two keep in touch on a daily basis.
He told the publication, “I have a stepdaughter Rebecca who is in her early 40s.”
I love that I get to talk to her at least once a week and meet up with her for brunch or breakfast as often as the Home and Away schedule allows, which is maybe once every two weeks.
The actor and Gilly were wed in 2010, and after 12 years of marriage, he claimed that she prefers to keep a low profile.
The 78-year-old gave an explanation for why she skipped the Logies in 2018: “Gilly would rather swallow a tonne of bricks than go there.”
She is at ease with that since she adds, “That’s your business; you go, and you don’t have to worry about me… not knowing a whole bunch of people.”
Gilly, a former nurse who prefers to stay in the background, plays a significant role in Ray’s life.
Ray, who underwent life-saving triple-bypass surgery in 2019 and was given the all-clear, attributed a lot of his recovery to his wife Gilly.
In 2020, Ray told our sister site New Idea that Gilly was “absolutely terrific” and that she had always been a great help to him.
After his first heart operation, he reiterated that sentiment when he also said to New Idea, “I truly don’t know what I would have done without Gilly.
“Once a nurse, always a nurse.”
When Gilly isn’t saving his life, Ray says she’s a great cook, which is why the two of them are a good match.
I think it’s safe to say that I eat a reasonably balanced diet, and Gilly is also to blame for that, he remarked.
I can probably prepare three or four things, but I never go near the kitchen. I’m a lucky man indeed, Gilly adores cooking, and I enjoy eating, so we make a natural partnership.
Ray acknowledged that his health before Gilly entered his life was significantly different and that his “poor living for 40 years” as a result of prioritising “having too much fun” was the cause.
“She was a lifesaver, and she keeps me on the straight and narrow now,” he said.
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