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Peta Toppano
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Peta Toppano : Biography

Peta Toppano is an Australian stage, film and television actor.

The daughter of classical musicians Enzo Toppano and the late Peggy Mortimer and sister of US record producer Lorenzo Toppano, the Toppano family are extremely well known in Australia in the performing arts. She trained at The Ensemble Theatre Studios under the tuition and guidance of renound American stage actor Hayes Gordon.

She is best known for her roles in popular television series including The Young Doctors playing ‘Dr. Gail Henderson’, Prisoner (known as Prisoner: Cell Block H outside of Australia) playing ‘Karen Travers’. Return to Eden playing super-bitch ‘Jilly Stewart’and Home & Away playing ‘Helen Poulos’. Other televised roles include: All the Rivers Run, G.P, E Street, Fields of Fire II, Fields of Fire III, The Flying Doctors, Carson’s Law, Sara Dane, Water under the Bridge, and Heartbreak High.

In Thailand and New Zealand, Toppano starred opposite John Waters and Cybil Shepherd in the Turner tele-movie Which Way Home. Prior to this she played Kate in the ABC mini-series Paper Man starring opposite Oliver Tobias, John Bach and Rebecca Gilling. Paper Man was filmed both in Australia and England.

Film roles include: Harbour Beat for Palm Beach Pictures, Echoes of Paradise directed by Phillip Noyce and starring opposite Wendy Hughes and John Lone Seeing Red and Street Hero directed by Michael Pattinson starring opposite Vince Colossimo.

Peta Toppano must be one of Australia's busiest and most versatile actresses. She joined the Les Miserables company in the role of Fantine after starring opposite John Waters and Cybil Shepherd in the telemovie Which Way Home filmed in Thailand and New Zealand.

Prior to that she played Kate in the ABC mini-series Paper Man opposite Oliver Tobias, filmed in Australia and England, with a trip to Paris where she has become very popular through her portrayal of super-bitch Jilly Stewart in Return To Eden.

Peta gained a Logie nomination as Best Actress In A Telemovie Or Mini-Series for her portrayal of Gina in Fields of Fire III. Other award nominations have included an AFI Best Supporting Actress for the feature film Street Hero, a Sammy Award nomination for Uke in Water Under The Bridge and nominated Best Actress for the Sydney Theatre Critics Award as Roberta in Danny and The Deep Blue Sea.


In the theatre Peta has appeared in leading roles, including Claudia in Nine, Priscilla Presley in Are You Lonesome Tonight?, They're Playing Our Song, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and for 14 months in A Chorus Line as Diana Morales. In Musical Theatre, Toppano has appeared in leading roles including: 'Peita' in 'Godspell' for Ken Brodziak Productions ‘Claudia’ in Nine for Nove Productions 'Beth' in 'Merrily We Roll Along' by Stephen Sondheim for The Sydney Theatre Company starring opposite Gina Riley, Genevive Lemon, Tony Sheldon and Greg Stone ‘Priscilla Presley’ in Are You Lonesome Tonight? Starring opposite renowned British Actor Martin Shaw ‘Eliza Doolittle’ in My Fair Lady starring opposite Stuart Wagstaff as 'Professor Higgins' 'Monica' in 'I Love My Wife'. Performed at Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney with Tony Sheldon ‘Sonia Walsk’ in 'They’re Playing Our Song' touring throughout the UK starring opposite then husband Barry Quin.

1976 - Spats at the Speakeasy - Theatre Restaurant - Speakeasy PTY with Bruce Barry
1977 - A Chorus Line (14 months) - Diana Morales - Edgley International & JC Williamsons
1980 - My Fair Lady - Eliza Doolittle - Delicado Prods Tour
1982 - I Love My Wife - Monica - JC Williamsons
1983 - They're Playing Our Song (Lead) - International Attr
1986 - Are You Lonesome Tonight - Her Majesty's Sydney
1987 - Danny & the Deep Blue Sea (Roberta) - Globe Theatre Co. Sydney - (Nominated Best Actress - Sydney Theatre Critics)
1988 - Nine - 88 Tour (Claudia) - Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney
1990/91 - Les Miserables (Fantine) - Cameron Mackintosh - (May 1990 - March 1991)
1990 - Love Letters with Andrew McFarlane - Victoria Arts Centre - Directed by George Fairfax
1991 - Love Letters with Shane Porteous - TN Complex - Brisbane
1991 - Love and Magic in Mamma's Kitchen (Lead) - Belvoir St. Theatre


Her numerous leading roles for television include; ABC/RCC tele-drama G.P., E Street, All The Rivers Run II, Fields of Fire II and Fields of Fire III, Flying Doctors, Return To Eden, Carson's Law, Sara Dane, Water Under The Bridge, Home & Away, Heartbreak High and Prisoner.

1968 - Homicide - Marika Lucas - 7 Network/Crawford Productions
1970 - Bobby Limb's Sounds of the Seventies - Various - NLT Productions
1975 - Class of '75 - Gina Ferrari - The Grundy Organisation
1976 - Rush - Drusilla - Australian Broadcasting Corp./Portman Productions
1976 - King's Men - Policewoman - Grundy Television Productions
1976/77 - The Young Doctors - Dr. Gail Henderson - Grundy Television Productions
1977 - The Outsiders - Sally Gower - Australian Broadcasting Corporation
1978 - Skyways - Sister Theresa - Crawford Productions
1978/79 - Prisoner (Karen Travers) - Sustaining Role - Grundy Television Productions
1979/80 - Water under the Bridge - Uke - Shotton Productions
1981 - Sara Dane (Alison Barwell) - Major Role - S.A.F.C.
1981 - Bellamy - Meredith - Grundy Television Productions
1981/82 - M.P.S.I.B. (Lisa Hesse) - Lead - ABC TV
1982 - Parkinson - (Tribute to Cy Coleman) - Channel 10
1985 - Return to Eden (Jilly Stewart) - Leading Role - McElroy & McElroy
1987 - The Flying Doctors - Carol Brett - Crawford Productions/Nine Network Australia
1987 - Fields of Fire II (Gina) - Leading Role - Palm Beach Pictures/Zenith UK
1988 - Fields of Fire III (Gina) - Leading Role - Palm Beach Pictures/Zenith UK
1988 - E Street - Miki Fallon - Westside Film & Television
1989 - G.P. (Anna Carelli) - 10 Episode Mini Series - ABC/RCC
1989 - All the Rivers Run II - Eunice Pike - Crawford PDS. Director: John Power
1989/90 - Paper Man (Kate Cromwell) - Mini Series - ABC/RCC/GRANADA UK
1990 - Which Way Home (Annie) - With Cybil Shepherd - McElroy/Turner TV
1990 - Harbour Beat - Mrs. De Santos - AFFC/Palm Beach Pictures/Zenith Entertainment
1991 - Piccolo Mondo - Lena - Generation Films
1991 - A Country Practice (Colleen Nicholls) - 4 Episodes - JNP Films P/L
1994 - Heartbreak High (Stella Ioannou) - 20 Episodes - Gannon Television PTY Ltd
1995 - Bordertown (Diomira) - TV Mini Series - 10 Episodes - ABC TV. Director: Ian Gilmour
1998 - Never Tell Me Never (M.C.) - TV Movie - Golden Square Pictures/Palm Beach Pictures. Director: David Elfick
2000 - Above the Law (Mrs. Giovanelli) - TV Series - Columbia Tri Star TV PTY Ltd/McElroy Television
2002 - 3-4 Ever - Unnamed Character - Fandango/Vertigo Productions
2000/09 - Home & Away - Helen Poulos - 7 Network


Films include Harbour Beat, Echoes of Paradise and Street Hero.

1984 - Street Hero - AFI Nomination - Paul Dainty Production. Director: Michael Pattinson
* AFI Award Nomination for "Best Supporting Actress"
1986 - Echoes of Paradise - Judy - Great Scott Productions. Director: Philip Noyce
1991 - Seeing Red - Vivian - Goosey Ltd. Virginia Rouse
1993 - The Feds (Brandy) - TV Movie - Director: George Ogilvie


'Elegance' playing 'Pandora' at The Tilbury Nightclub, Sydney (Also referred to as 'The Lost Jane Austen Novel') 'You & the Night and the House Wine' written by Tony Sheldon and Tony Taylor. Performed at Roses Nightclub, Sydney