This week on Home and Away, Alf Stewart and daughter Roo had a falling out when Alf tried to persuade Roo to see her sister with him.
Roo decides not to accompany her father to Merimbula because she believes viewing Martha will influence her decision to receive a transplant – but will she be able to meet Martha before it’s too late?
Since 1988, viewers have followed Roo through some of her most significant events, including a teenage pregnancy, health issues, and her departure from Summer Bay.
Original Roo actress Justine Clarke was replaced in the role by Georgie Parker in 2010, but have you ever wondered what happened to the original actress?
The Daily Star looks at where original Roo actress Justine Clarke is now, 23 years after her departure from Home And Away.
Link to Heath Ledger
Justine rocketed to popularity as Anna Goanna in the blockbuster Hollywood film Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome in 1985, just a few years before she played Ruth ‘Roo’ Stewart in Home And Away.
Following her departure from the soap, she continued to act in films such as Turning April in 1996 and Blackrock in 1997, in which she co-starred with late Hollywood actor Heath Ledger in his first ever credited film role.
She also won Best Actress at the Mar Del Plata International Film Festival for her performance as Meryl Lee in the 2005 film Look Both Ways.
While Justine may have left Home And Away over 23 years ago, she has continued to feature on television shows such as All Saints, The Surgeon, Maya The Bee, and, most recently, RFDS.
Celebrity on children’s television and a music career
Justine rose to prominence in 1999 when she was hired as a regular presenter on the Australian children’s television show Playschool, where she remained one of the show’s longest-running hosts until 2020.
“I’d always wanted to be on Play School,” the actress admitted to Now To Love, adding, “I’d always wanted to be on Play School.” I’d seen it as a kid and could tell how talented those actors were from a young age.”
She has landed prominent roles in major theatre plays such as The Sound Of Music, Cyrano De Begerac, The Man With Five Children, and Muriel’s Wedding in 2017, as well as hosting her own children’s TV show, The Justine Clarke Show.
Justine is not only a gifted actor and presenter, but she is also a critically renowned singer who performs on the Sydney Club Circuit on a regular basis.
She even combined the two abilities by creating A Little Day Out With Justine Clarke, a children’s CD that received the ARIA Award for Best Music Album in 2013.
Life in the family
Justine has not only achieved recognition during her career, but she has also found love while acting in a Cyrano De Begerac stage production.
Justine met her husband, Jack Finsterer, while both were working on the project, and the two married afterwards.
The actress, on the other hand, stated that her husband proposed by mistake in a happy accident while the couple was rehearsing a Shakespeare play.
“We were at the Melbourne Theatre Company and the lights were just about to go down at the beginning of act two,” she said in an interview with Now To Love.
“Anyway, he was asking me whether I was serious about this connection, and then he said, ‘will you marry me?’” “I was like, ‘Yeah,’” I said.
“‘Do you truly want to marry me?’ he said. After that, the lights went out. That’s why I can’t recall the title of the play. ‘Oh my God, what just happened?’ I remember wondering as I sat there. It was truly beautiful.”
Despite her high-flying job, Justine emphasized that her family always comes first. The couple has three children named Joe, Nina, and Max.
“I believe the career decisions I’ve made are not based on what’s best for me; they’re based on what’s best for everyone,” she continued.