Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kate Ritchie

Kate Ritchie. The name sounds familiar. I'm pretty sure she's an actress. I'm going to guess that she's on a soap opera. Now this is not some kind of psychic thing. I'm just remembering seeing her name in that context before. But let's see if I'm right or wrong.

Well, I'm right.

She's an actress, and she was on a soap opera. Home and Away.

Is she still on it?

Nope. She left it in 2008. Lord Wiki says she has the Australian record for playing a soap opera character for the longest time. The role originated in 1988. I wonder what the record in America would be.

Well, Lord Wiki says the record is about playing a role continuously. Days of our Lives (and other American soap operas) have long-running characters. But many times the actor leaves for a few years. Their character usually dies, and then miraculously undies.

The one actress that comes to my mind as playing a continuous role on Days of our Lives is Allison Sweeney. Well, nope. Richie beats her. Sweeney has been on only since 1993.

Lord Wiki has a list of other characters on soap operas that have been around for a LONG time. But they're more recurring characters. They make an appearance every now and then. Sweeney's character has been the center of all the action for sixteen years.

Back to Ritchie.

She played Sally Fletcher on the show. Lord Wiki has a detailed description of this woman. I'm going to read it. What typical soap opera situations has she lived through?

1. alcoholic father
2. Mother killed in boating accident
3. Grandma developed Alzheimer's
4. Had a long lost twin brother
5. Adopted
6. adopted brother died of SIDS
7. Another adopted brother died in boating accident
8. Crush on foster brother
9. Boyfriend burned in fire
10. Man appeared claiming she had been his daughter in a past life
11. Adopted father died while trying to rescue someone from drowning
12. Got lost in the woods after a rafting accident
13. lost her virginity to a guy later arrested for smuggling in illegal aliens
14. Shot during an armed robbery
15. developed obsessive compulsive disorder
16. Ended up with ovarian cancer
17. tried having children via a surrogate mother.
18. Pushed off a ladder by the Summer Bay Stalker. Yikes!
19. Narrowly escaped an exploding building
20. Stabbed by a former gang member she was trying to help
21. Found long lost twin brother
22. Had near death experience

Strangely, it seems she never suffered from amnesia. Maybe I missed that. Or maybe it's just an American soap opera affliction. I think almost everyone on Days of our Lives has had amnesia at least once. It's like a requirement.

Well, enough about Fletcher. Let's go back to Ritchie.

She was born 14 August 1978 in Goulburn New South Wales. We went there!

Ritchie attended Campbelltown North Public School. Is that near Goulburn, or did the family move?

Well, I'm looking at Google Maps. It's near Sydney...or maybe in Sydney. I'm not sure where Sydney officially ends. It's about an hour south of the CBD.

Ritchie later went to Hurlstone Agricultural High School. It's a school for students interested in agriculture. Was this what Ritchie wanted before she went the actress route? Or were her parents farmers? Did they expect her to follow in their career path?

She started on Home and Away when she was about ten. Did she go to these schools before her acting career began, or did she go to school while on the show?

Ritchie is the oldest of four younger siblings. She probably does NOT have a long lost twin out there. But who knows.....

I'm trying to decide whether I want to read about her career with Lord Wiki, or jump over to IMDb. I think I'm going to start with Lord Wiki. Maybe I'll use IMDb to fill in the blanks.

In 1986, Ritchie was in a miniseries called Cyclone Tracey. She would have been about eight then. It was about the big storm that hit Darwin in 1974.

Although Home and Away premiered in 1988, her work with the show began in 1987. Ritchie was not quite nine when she started working for them.

In 2006, Ritchie appeared in a TV movie called Stepfather of the Bride. It was a romantic comedy.

Ritchie has been on something called the Merrick  and Rosso show. I'm confused about that. I think they might have a radio show and a TV show? Okay. Yeah. Lord Wiki says they have both. It seems Ritchie appeared just once on the TV show. But she may have had a bigger part on the radio show. Maybe?

In 2009, Ritchie was on UnderBelly. She's been on two episodes so far. But she may be in more later. I'm a bit confused again.

Currently, Ritchie is the spokesperson for Vaseline. Interesting.

She's quitting a radio show she's been on. That's Nova 96.9's breakfast team. She wants to put more energy into acting.

She's going to be hosting the ARIA awards on 26 November.

She's engaged to a sport guy named Stuart Webb. I'm not sure when their wedding will be.

Oh! She was also the co-host of a contest/game show called It Takes Two. I missed that before. In this show, contestants are matched with celebrities, and they sing a duo together. I think I've seen a clip of it from YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, I'm going to go and do breakfast with Jack. Then I'm going to try and watch some Ritchie stuff.

One more thing before I leave Lord Wiki. Ritchie won Logie awards in 2006, 2007, and 2008. I guess it took awhile for people to realize they liked her. Well, I'm just surprised she didn't win anything earlier.

Okay.....I'm back from breakfast. It looks like YouTube has a lot of fun stuff. I'll start watching.

I'm going to begin with a montage of Sally Fletcher.

It's fun watching that little girl grow up, but I feel certain scenes were shown for too long.

Ritchie is cute. I think she has a unique type of beauty.

Here's Ritchie being interviewed on her last day on the set of Home and Away.

That brought a few tears to my eyes...especially when Ritchie herself got all choked up.

She talks about how she used to resent people saying they watched her grow up. I can understand. They didn't watch HER grow up. They watched Sally Fletcher grow up. But now Ritchie is okay with all that.

Once Home and Away was done with, Ritchie did an interview with Rove.

Ritchie talks about the Logies. She says being at the show is more enjoyable when you're not nominated. I can understand that too. I imagine the nominees are horribly nervous. I'm not sure which is worse....losing, or winning and having to go up to make a speech.

She cries a lot. She's an emotional person.

Rove seems somewhat surprised that Ritchie's mother came with her to the Logies when Ritchie was twelve. I don't get that. I would think it would be strange for her NOT to have her mother there. She was only a child. Maybe I'm overprotective. Maybe I'm thinking of a child Jack's age rather than one that's twelve. I don't know. I just don't see an awards show as something a child should attend alone. Maybe I'm thinking of the stuff that happened to Drew Barrymore.

Ritchie would turn gay for Monica Bellucci. I didn't know who that was, so I had to ask Lord Wiki. She's an Italian actress. She's pretty, but not my type. I'd more likely turn gay for Ritchie.

Here's Ritchie winning one of her Logie awards. It's a Gold Logie...for most popular actress. She beat Adam Hills, Rove, Andrew Denton, a guy who looks familiar to me, and some other people I've never seen before. That's pretty impressive. I guess the award is for best person on TV period. Well, it's subjective, of course.

Ritchie received the award after she had finished up with Home and Away. She talks about how it's the end of a long chapter in her life, but she's opening up a new chapter, blah, blah, blah. She hopes this is not the last we see of her......

It's always a risk when an actor leaves a TV show they've been on for a long time. Many huge TV actors disappear into oblivion. But then sometimes they DO come back. It looks like, so far, Ritchie has NOT vanished yet. She's keeping busy and visible.

Oh. It's so sweet and beautiful. The one person she thanked by name was Sally Fletcher. That made me cry.

You know the one other person I've seen do something like that was Kristin Davies during the Sex and the City finale special. She talked about saying good-bye to Charlotte. That made me cry too.

Ritchie was featured on Australia Story. I might not watch the whole thing. I think I'll watch part of it, and then read the transcript.

I love the Feist song they're playing in the background. But it might make me cry too. I'm very emotional today.

Ritchie played Fletcher from the age of eight to twenty-eight. Now that's something that doesn't often happen on Days of our Lives. Children have freaky growth spurts on American soap operas. They're a baby one day, and then suddenly they're five years-old. They go away to school or to visit relatives. Then they return as teenagers. Does that ever happen on Australian soap operas?

A friend interviewed on the show says that Ritchie is an extrovert. That surprises me. I picture most actors as being introverts, and Ritchie strikes me that way. I could be wrong though. Or maybe the friend is confusing outgoing with extroversion. My guess is that most actors are outgoing introverts. They enjoy being alone, but they're good at the whole socializing thing.

Richie's dad was a policeman. That's interesting. In the Rove interview, she said she'd like to dress up as is a policewoman. I wonder if there's a part of her that feels guilty for not following in her dad's footsteps.

I'm having fun playing psychoanalyst here. But I'm probably totally wrong about everything.

She says her parents were NOT like typical stage parents. When I was a preschool teacher, one of our kids DID have the typical stage parents. The child ended up with a role on a soap opera, and an appearance or two on some major prime time stuff. I wonder how she's doing. And I wonder if the acting was something she liked, or something her parents pushed her into. It could have been a combination of both.

Well, from what this video is seems to me that Ritchie DID have typical stage parents. Maybe her definition of stage parents is different than mine.

Daddy Ritchie didn't want his kids to be shy, so he put them in situations to get the shyness out of them. I don't know how I feel about that. I was a shy child. I didn't like being a shy child. But I don't know what parents can do to make you overcome that. Did Katie's father manage to fix a shy child?

I don't know.

Ritchie did school while working on the set. She went to school until about noon. Then she worked on the set from then until about eight at night. That's pretty crazy! If I was going to push homeschooling for any family, it would be one like that. When would this child have time to play and be by herself? I'm sure there was a lot of down time on the set. I would have suggested they have a tutor work with her during that time. Then I'd let her be free during the mornings. Although she would need some time to memorize her script.

Ritchie cried the first time an adult asked her for her autograph. It seems she didn't like strangers approaching her. Jack is that way. He doesn't like when unknown adults try to talk to him. I'm trying to teach him that he can be shy, but he needs to be polite. A quick shy response is all I demand of him. He doesn't need to act all loud and outgoing. There are some adults who won't accept that though. They keep talking....asking question after question. I guess they're oblivious. Some outgoing adults have a very hard time being sympathetic towards shy people.

At some point it seemed Ritchie didn't like Sally Fletcher. I think she wanted a better character...someone with more exciting storylines. Really? From what Lord Wiki said, she seemed pretty damn exciting to me.

During her high school years, she was teased a bit. The show plays such dramatic music while talking about this. I do feel for Ritchie. Bullying is bad. But it probably happens to every child. If she wasn't picked on for being an actress, she'd be picked on for something else.

I was going to start reading the transcript instead, but it seems a bit incomplete. I'll continue watching the show.

Ritchie talks about how it's helpful to go off and play a different character when you're having a hard time in your own life. That makes sense. I think though that sometimes just staying busy helps. It's nice to feel we have a purpose; or at least a reason to get out of bed.

Ritchie says she feels sometimes that Sally Fletcher is upset with her for leaving the show. She and her family think of the character as being real. Ritchie seems somewhat worried about sounding crazy. I don't think there's anything wrong with how Ritchie feels. It all makes sense to me.

Although with all this talk of Fletcher being real, I'm getting one of those horror movies in my mind. Soap opera character becomes real and haunts actress who left her behind....

Ritchie says she considers herself an actress and wants to return to it. And I guess she eventually did (Underbelly) She says it's NOT something she did simply because her parents had one day taken her to an audition.

A man on the show says that Ritchie is a delightful person despite being spoiled as young actresses often are. That doesn't surprise me too much. My guess is the spoiled brats are people who come into fame suddenly. One minute they're nobody. The next minute they're somebody. And they forget how to be nice.

I know the behavior of certain starlets contradict my theory. But I'm going to guess that many children who grow up in the business do slowly learn to be fairly decent human beings. It might take a few trials and tribulations to get there.

Ritchie talks about comparing her life to Fletcher's. Fletcher's life was much more dramatic and exciting. In comparison Ritchie is someone who worked on a TV show for twenty years.

That's something I've wondered about before. How does it feel when the character you play is more interesting than you are. I would think about that when I watched Gillian Anderson on X-Files. She's an actress. And that is exciting. A lot of people would love that job. But her character is this super intelligent doctor who goes on all these exciting adventures.

Does Daniel Radcliffe ever wish he was truly Harry Potter?

Does Kristen Stewart ever wish she truly was Bella Swan?

None of these people are that fabulous compared to the characters they play. I think that would be a somewhat depressing fact to face up to.

While playing the role, it's probably not that bad. You're somewhat living the life of the character. Then when off camera, you're the center of so much attention. But what happens when it ends, and the attention fades?

I think it would be emotionally traumatic.

I think it would be a huge blown up version of how I feel when I finish reading a really good book, or come out of the theater after a great movie. There's a sense of loss. I often feel a bit empty inside. I want to go back into the story. I don't want it to be over. Even more so, I don't want to face the fact that it's all pretend.

Anyway, I'm going to end here. I'm tired, and I have lots of stuff to do today.


  1. We grew up together!!! I mean she grew up on tv and I grew up watching her on Home and Away lol I can't believe that show is still running!

  2. Mr Spooky,

    Soap operas tend to last a long time...well, sometimes!