S&DS DEATH THROES
...But Oriana Panozzo was One Star Who Beat the Dreaded Axe
Sons and Daughters beauty Oriana Panozzo had already
made her decision to quit the Seven Network soapie.
She told Grundys, the shows producers, she was leaving
the series on December 3.
Now she will be followed by the rest of the cast when Sons
and Daughters ends production at the end of March next
The show which has had a highly creditable run of just over
five years will, according to the Seven Network, continue to
be seen until late August 1987.
And the shows executive producer, Don Battye, promises
there will be a few shocks, a couple of marriages and plenty
of high drama before the show disappears from our screens.
"It will be going out with a bang - I can promise you
that," he told TV WEEK.
The return of the real Pat the Rat, Rowena Wallace, confronting
Belinda Giblin, who as Alison Carr was supposed to be a new-look
Pat after extensive plastic surgery, will provide fireworks
as the riddle of their identities is resolved.
Oriana, who has played TVs beleaguered Susan Hamilton
for the past 14 months, decided some weeks back she would not
be continuing with the show.
But the rest of the cast did not know the fate of the show
until the axe fell on November 7.
"As far as Im concerned, 14 months is heaps in a
soap opera. I was starting to feel the wear and tear of early
mornings, learning lines and having virtually no private or
social life," Oriana said.
"When you work on something like this you eat, drink and
sleep Sons and Daughters.
"And there was nowhere else for Susan to go; there was
no reason for her to stick around."
Oriana is the first to admit the real-life dramas she had to
cope with in the past year - including the death of her father
in June and the breakup of an eight-year relationship - influenced
"Its been a very draining year and thats mainly
because the personal side of my life has been so busy,"
Playing Susan was Orianas first major series role and
she said it taught her a lot about series production and technique.
Oriana had been planning an overseas holiday after Christmas.
But she may have to forego her trip - she already has offers
for two plays and a telemovie.
"Im not sure whats happening with any of those
yet, buy apart from that I will probably be doing Macbeth
and Hamlet with Shakespeare for Schools in March next
year. And theres a chance we might be travelling to Singapore
to do a production of Julius Caesar."
Oriana will continue to be seen in Sons and Daughters
One of the shows original cast members, Leila Hayes,
was philosophical about the axing.
She found it 'extraordinary' that she had mentioned to her
daughter when she set off for work on the day the axe fell that
this was the very day five years ago she had taped her first
episode of Sons and Daughters.
"But everybody concerned feels its had a jolly good
run," Don Battye said.
Rowena Wallace, who in three years with the show earned the
title of television's 'queen bitch' and 'Australias answer
to JR', sending the ratings soaring, hadnt heard the news
of Sons and Daughters' demise when TV WEEK contacted
She was in the middle of taping one of the shows major
new storylines where she comes face to face with what viewers
have believed to be the 'new Pat the Rat', Alison Carr, played
by Belinda Giblin.
"Was it something I said?" Rowena quipped.
On a more serious note, she added: "Im very sorry
for the regulars. It will hit them really hard but I guess it
had to come. Its the end of an era. They were hoping to
give the show an injection with our storyline, now theyre
not even going to wait to see what the outcome is - it had to
come. One assumes they were seriously thinking about it (winding
up the show) even before I came back."
Belinda Giblin said she was only contracted until June next
"I was going to leave anyway. Its time for a new
"Ive thoroughly enjoyed doing it and I think its
had an excellent innings for a soap opera. I havent been
with the series since its inception, so I probably dont
have that really strong family feeling about it but my feelings
are still good for the show. Its been a really fun 20
months. Rowie and I have had a ball, just for the last weeks
she came in, and the storylines have been great fun.
"Its only fair now to replace it, soon, as it's
employed so many actors and production people in the industry.
Ive got nothing but good things to say about the show...
but I will miss the money!"
Source: TV Week
Date: 22 November 1986