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Katherine "Kate" Ritchie (born 14 August 1978 in Goulburn, New South Wales[1]) is a dual Gold Logie awarded Australian actress, best known for her long-running role as Sally Fletcher on the television soap opera Home and Away. She played the character for 20 years from 1988–2008. Prior to her retirement from the role, she shared the record (recognised by Guinness World Records) for the longest continuous role in an Australian drama series, with fellow original cast member Ray Meagher.[2] After a five year absence, Ritchie returned to Home and Away in 2013.

In addition to 20 years on Home and Away, Ritchie has also hosted various television events, appeared in commercials, a mini-series and an Australian film. She has also been involved with the Campbelltown Musical Society.[3]

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Ritchie's parents are Heather and Steve, and she has three younger siblings – Rebecca, Stuart and Susan.[4] Ritchie attended Campbelltown North Public School and Hurlstone Agricultural High School – the latter a New South Wales agricultural and selective school.[5]

Career[edit]Edit

1986–2007[edit]Edit

Richie was cast as Molly, the child lead in the 1986 Nine NetworkPBL mini-series Cyclone Tracy, starring Chris Haywood and Tracy Mann.[6] Ritchie started working with Home and Away in 1987, at age 8. Production began in July 1987 (shortly before her ninth birthday) and it premiered on the Seven Network on 17 January 1988.[citation needed] In 2006, Ritchie played "Nicole" in the ABC film Stepfather of the Bride.[7] Whilst promoting Home and Away in the United Kingdom in 2006 with Mark Furze and Jodi Gordon, Ritchie appeared on The Friday Night Project and Loose Women, and appeared on interviews for Five and Five Life.[citation needed]

In 2006, Richie was also a contestant on the celebrity singing competition It Takes Two, partnered with Troy Cassar-Daley. The pair placed fourth in the competition.[8] She went on to co-host the second series of It Takes Two withGrant Denyer in 2007.[9] In 2007 Ritchie joined Nova radio to co-host the drive show with comedian Akmal Saleh, replacing Matthew Newton.[10] She was replaced in May by New Zealand comedian Cal Wilson.[11]

In September 2007, Ritchie announced that she would be leaving Home and Away in mid-December.[12] Her final scenes were filmed on 13 December 2007,[13] and she last appeared on Australian screens as Sally Fletcher on 3 April 2008. Her UK demise with the same episode, was not long after the Australian with her departure being screened on UK terrestrial television on 12 May 2008.[14]

2008–present[edit]Edit

On 14 January 2008, Ritchie began work on the Nova 96.9 breakfast show with Merrick and Rosso.[15] Shortly after the 2008 Logie Awards Ritchie did an interview with Rove McManus on Network Ten, her first interview with another network since leaving Home and Away, thus making it her first television appearance since leaving the show. On 16 October Ritchie appeared on pay-TV, on the Merrick & Rosso Show.

In November, it was revealed that Ritchie would appear in the second series of Underbelly, as Judi Kane, the wife of slain 1970s standover man Les Kane.[16] The series screened in 2009. This was her first TV drama role since leaving Home and Away. Throughout 2009, Ritchie continued her radio role on the "Merrick & Rosso and Kate Ritchie Show".

In 2009 Ritchie also became the face of Vaseline.[17] It was announced on 7 November 2009 that Ritchie would host The 2009 ARIA Awards on 26 November, alongside actor and fellow "Underbelly" cast member Gyton Grantley.[citation needed]

On 10 November 2009, Ritchie announced she would be leaving Nova 96.9's breakfast team and returning to acting.[18] In January 2010 it was announced that Ritchie had been cast with a lead role in Nine's new police drama Cops L.A.C.. The series did not rate well and was cancelled after the season finale.

In 2012, Ritchie narrated the Australian version of the reality series Don't Tell the Bride which aired on Ch-10. In early 2013, it was announced that Ritchie was returning to Home & Away, reprising her role as Sally Fletcher.[19][20]

In 2013, Ritchie announced via Twitter that she will be hosting the Nova FM drive show with Tim Blackwell and Marty Sheargold from 2014, following the departure of Meshel Laurie, who will host Breakfast on Nova 100 in Melbourne.

Personal life[edit]Edit

Ritchie started dating St George Illawara Dragons player Stuart Webb in 2008.[citation needed] On 9 September 2009, it was announced that Ritchie had become engaged to Webb.[21] On 25 September 2010 Ritchie married Webb in a countryside outdoor wedding in Tasmania.

Shortly after her wedding, the weekly magazine Woman's Day ran what it claimed to be an exclusive cover story on the event. But ABC-TV's Media Watch revealed that the article had been a fabrication as in reality, Ritchie and Webb had wanted their wedding to be kept private and had not allowed any media to attend. A photograph purporting to be of Ritchie in her wedding dress was actually one taken of her at an awards evening earlier that year and photo-shopped over an image taken from the wedding venue's website. The article, which the magazine claimed to have been written by an insider who attended the wedding, was mostly fabricated, containing errors including a mention that actor and Ritchie's Home & Away co-star Ray Meagher was present whereas in reality, the actor was in the UK at the time.[22][23]

Filmography[edit]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1986 Cyclone Tracy Molly TV mini-series
1988—2008, 2013 Home and Away Sally Fletcher TV series

Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress (2006—2008) Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality (2007—2008) Nominated—Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality (2006, 2009) Nominated—Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress (2009)

2002 The Best of Aussie Drama Host TV documentary
2006 Stepfather of the Bride Nicole TV movie
2006—2007 It Takes Two Herself Contestant (2006)

Co-host (2007)

2007 Mere Oblivion Sonia Short film
2007—2009 Carols in the Domain Co-host Co-hosted annually with Grant Denyer for 3 years
2009 Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities Judi Kane TV series

2 episodes Nominated—Australian Film Institute Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama

2009 The 23rd Annual ARIA Music Awards Co-host Co-hosted with Gyton Grantley
2010—2011 Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation Contestant / Surprise Guest 2 episodes
2010 Cops L.A.C. Samantha Cooper TV series

13 episodes

2012 Don't Tell The Bride Narrator Reality TV Series
2013 Mr & Mrs Murder Celeste TV Series
2013 It's A Date Zara TV Series

1 episode

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