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Irene Fisher

Irene Fisher


First Appearance: Episode 422
Last Appearance: Episode 738

Key Storylines:
Irene was married to her second husband, Nat Fisher, in the 1960s, and they had a son, Todd. Both doctors, Irene and Nat clashed frequently over the fact that Irene was prepared to look at methods of healing other than conventional medicine, and when she tried such methods on Todd when he was very ill as a young child and Nat found out, it was the end for them. Nat used his money in the courts to ensure that Irene never saw Todd again, and he painted a picture of her as a bad mother. Irene decided to give up medicine.

By 1984, she is running a boarding house, and she gives shelter to Terry Hansen when he goes on the run after kidnapping baby Fee O'Donnel. She has to give him up to the police when they call, but in the process she meets Fiona Thompson, and Fiona offers to buy into the boarding house - an offer Irene accepts. Todd comes back into her life, but, to her horror, Irene learns that he has a terminal illness. She and Amanda Morrell spend several happy weeks with him as they help nurse him until he becomes too ill to carry on and he flies off to Switzerland to die.

Irene harbours feelings towards David Palmer, but he only has eyes for Patricia, and, to Irene's disappointment, looks upon her purely as a mate. Irene's main concern is the management of the boarding house, but she still puts her medical skills to use occasionally, such as helping Gordon Hamilton when he has a heart attack. After Patricia walks out on David during their wedding ceremony in late-1984, Irene ends up confessing to him how she feels - but he makes it clear that he doesn't and can't feel the same way about her. Irene ends up being a reluctant witness at his second attempt at marrying Patricia, after which she decides to leave Australia and head to London, to carry out research into the illness that killed Todd. While she's over there, she decides to train to become a surgeon. After a few months, she returns to Australia to set up her own surgery.

She begins a new romance, with Barbara Hamilton's 'late' first husband, Roland Armstrong. Things go well, and Roland proposes marriage - a proposal that Irene accepts. However, when Roland and Barbara's son, Simon, turns up, Irene is horrified because she's met him before: when he picked her up at a party in London, slept with her and then asked her to pay for his services. Although she tries to keep details of Simon's activities as a gigolo - and her involvement with him - a secret from Roland, the truth eventually comes out. Roland finds it hard to deal with his son's 'career' and Irene's having slept with him, and he breaks off the engagement and heads off to Hong Kong, to spend some time with his daughter, Wendy. Irene turns her attentions fully to running her new surgery.

When a friend of Fiona's, Maynard Gilling, tells Fiona, Irene and Beryl about an opportunity to make money by investing in coffee futures in Tangania, Irene decides to go for it, and she invests most of her savings. Unfortunately, an army takeover in Tangania leads to the crops being nationalised - meaning Irene, Fiona and Beryl no longer own them. It also means they lose their investment. As a result, Irene realises that she can't afford to service the mortgage on the boarding house. She helps Fiona through treatment for cancer, but when she's then offered a position as a doctor in a practice in the suburbs, she takes it and moves away.

Todd Fisher

Todd Fisher


First Appearance: Episode 448
Last Appearance: Episode 479

Key Storylines:
Todd is the son of Irene Fisher by her second husband, Nat. Nat gained custody of the boy when he was three years old, and Irene eventually gave up trying to see him. In mid-1984, when he's 18, Todd tracks down his mother after learning that he has a terminal illness. He also meets Amanda Morrell and falls in love with her - although he fears telling her so, because he knows it can't go anywhere. When his illness becomes too much, he flies to a clinic in Switzerland to die.

Karen Fox/Hamilton

Karen Fox


First Appearance: Episode 461
Last Appearance: Episode 562

Key Storylines:
Karen lives with Nat Fisher in Sydney, but has an 'open' relationship with him. She helped raise his son, Todd, for several years. When Karen meets Wayne Morrell in mid-1984, he intrigues her - not only because he's good looking, but also because she sees him as the opening she's looking for into a new business venture: she puts up the money to help Gordon's ailing company and he gives her three months to turn the company's fortunes around. She goes into competition with a new company that Patricia has set up, but is the eventual winner in the battle after Luke Carlyle embezzles all of Patricia's funds. Despite this, though, she faces problems, and at the end of the three months, she fails to have made a significant enough impact to stop Gordon taking control again - although Wayne is put in charge, as Gordon himself is sick following a second heart attack.

During all this, Karen falls in love with Wayne, but their relationship is tempestuous and she ends up losing him to Katie O'Brien, much to her annoyance. She's also furious when Katie and Wayne blackmail her over her past: when she needed money twenty-odd years earlier, she 'borrowed' some expensive jewellery from the wife of the man she was seeing - George Brandon - and arranged for the real thing to be replaced by fakes; she then cashed in the real jewellery. Her relationship with George also gave them a son: Alan. However, as she was only 17 when he was born, and didn't have a husband or partner, Karen gave him up and took little part in his upbringing; she only asks to see him again when she needs money in 1984, he having inherited a fortune from his father upon his death. A bitter Alan makes her jump through hoops before he'll hand over a cheque.

Karen hires Bob 'Mitch' Mitchell as a courier, but he and Wayne continually come to blows over Mitch's interest in Amanda. They end up fighting and Wayne knocks Mitch out; Karen, though, tells Wayne that he's killed Mitch, and she pays Mitch to disappear and then pretends to Wayne that she's dumped the body. As Wayne's guilt at killing someone begins to overwhelm him, Karen uses this to her advantage and she eventually persuades him to marry her. They wed after Wayne's divorce from Amanda comes through, but there are complications when everything becomes too much for Wayne and he decides to confess the 'murder' to the police. Fortunately, Karen manages to persuade the police that Wayne has had a breakdown and that he imagined the whole thing.

Everything begins to go wrong for Karen after Wayne inadvertently discovers the truth about her paying Mitch to pretend to be dead, via a letter sent by Mitch to Amanda. Wayne exacts brutal revenge, almost strangling Karen in his fury at the way she's manipulated him. He throws her out of Dural and tells her that their marriage is over. Distraught at losing Wayne, Karen attempts suicide by gassing herself in her car, but Wayne discovers her and revives her. He tells her, however, that the only reason he did that was because he didn't want her killing herself in full view of the house. Karen ends up ranting at the Hamiltons and then storms off. As she does so, she gets into an argument with Liz Smith over the way Karen abused Gordon. Liz ends up slapping Karen and Karen falls into the stream at the bottom of the Hamiltons' driveway as a result. She's knocked out and drowns.

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