Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Noni Hazlehurst

I have no idea who Noni Hazlehurst is. I added her to the list on August 2, at 1:48 PM. I probably came across her name when researching someone else.

Well, Lord Wiki says she's an actress. I want to say I've never heard of her. But I guess I have, since I do have her on my list. I could have a dissociative identity disorder. Maybe another one of my personalities is adding people.

Hazlehurst was another one of the Play School presenters. She was on the show from 1978-2001. That's a pretty long time.

Baby Leonie Elva was born in Melbourne on August 17, 1953. Her birthday is three days before Jack's.

For secondary school, Hazlehurst attended St. Leonard's College. Lord Wiki reminds me that this is the same school that Hamish Blake attended.

To further her education, Hazlehurst moved on over to Adelaide and attended Flinders University.

She's been married once, but got divorced. Now she lives in Queensland with her partner and two sons.

As for the film and television stuff, I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to go through the IMDb route. I have no idea. Maybe I will. But I'll do my usual...skip all the one-time-guest-star appearances. I'm also going to skip TV shows and movies in which I can't find good enough information. I feel there's no point in even mentioning them. But if you know about something I failed to mention, please feel free to bring it up.

It looks like her career began in 1975. She had an ongoing role in a soap opera called The Box. It was about a television station. The show ran from 1974-1977.

OR maybe her career began in 1974. The Box is listed first in the filmography. But then a few notches above that, it shows she guest-starred on the police show Division 4 in 1974. Maybe that was her first TV appearance, and not The Box.

Then in 1975, she did three more episodes of Division 4. Each time she played a different character.

n 1976, she got a role on that TV show featuring another Play School woman, Lorraine Bayly, This was The Sullivans. It doesn't look like Hazlehurst had a big role. She's way down there in the credits.

In 1978, Hazlehurst did a TV movie comedy about an actor called Bit Part. The movie won a Logie for best TV movie.

In 1979, she did a sketch comedy show called Jokes. That year, she was also in a miniseries called Ride on Stranger. For this, she won a Logie for best supporting actress. I think this was probably her first award. The ABC DVD shop says it's about a young woman moving to Sydney in the 1930's.

In 1980, Hazlehurst was in Fatty Finn. I think I've written about that before. Yep. I just searched the credits. We have another Lorraine Baily connection. This is the third one! Both Bayly and Hazlehurst were nominated for AFI awards, but neither of them won. Here's a scene from the movie. I think I watched it before. I remember saying that it reminds me of a movie with Jodi Foster.

In 1982, Hazlehurst starred in Monkey Grip. That's based on the famous Helen Garner book. I'm trying to decide if I want to read that. I read another book by Garner, and didn't like it much. But I guess I should try to read it. I don't think it's right to give up on an author after just one book.

Monkey Grip is about a divorced mother. I didn't know that. I had no idea what the book was about. I just knew it was seen as a classic, and that Helen Garner is a feminist.

Hazlehurst won an AFI award for her role in the film. Have any of you read the book and/or seen the movie? Do you recommend it?

Here's a very short TV promo for the movie.

In 1984, Hazlehurst was in a TV movie about labor union disputes called Waterfront. This is not to be confused with the more recent waterfront labor dispute movie Bastard Boys. Hazlehurst wasn't in Bastard Boys, but Colin Friels was in it. And he starred with her in Monkey Grip. Lorraine Bayley was in neither Bastard Boys or Waterfront.

For Waterfront, Hazlehurst won herself another Logie. That woman is good at winning herself awards, or at least being nominated for them.

In 1985, Hazlehurst played Fran in a movie called Fran. It's about a single mother, and the struggles that she goes through. An IMDb user says, Misguided Fran's priorities may be, but the idea that she needs a individual life apart from her children is valid. I agree. I do think it's wrong for parents to be incredibly selfish....almost always putting themselves first. On the other hand, I'm not into this idea that our whole existence should be about making our children happy One of my sisters makes me feel worse about my situations by giving me Jack guilt. I should fix my marriage...for Jack's sake! I should stop having an eating disorder...for Jack's sake! Hello? What about me? But see I feel guilty even saying/thinking that. I think it's because society has taught us that parents shouldn't even put themselves into the equation.

For Christmas, we forgo gifts, and went the charitable route instead. Our local domestic abuse shelter provides a store for mothers to pick up gifts for their children, and the children can pick up gifts for their mom. I meant to buy gifts for both, but totally forgot. We ended up buying all toys. Later I talked to my family about it, and said I really regret not buying mom gifts. Another one of my sister's proclaimed that it was so much more important to get the children gifts. She said if she was one of those moms, she's just care about her kid getting gifts. The feeling I got from her was that it would be selfish for one of these moms to want a gift for herself. That seemed so unfair to me, because my sister is very fortunate when it comes to having enough material possessions. So why is it okay for a single mother to be deprived? Why should she be more self-sacrificing? Yes, I do think a decent mother would care more about her children getting gifts. But I think she also has every right to want a gift for herself.

Anyway, for this Fran movie, Hazlehurst won yet another AFI award. The movie itself was nominated for best picture, but it lost to something called Bliss. Lord Wiki says that in the movie, Fran abandons her children to seek romance. Now that's going a little too far in terms of taking care of oneself. I think there needs to be a balance. I think it's fine for a single mother to leave little Joey with Grandma and Grandpa so she can go on a week cruise with her new boyfriend. It's not so great if she abandons poor Joey all together.

In 1987, Hazlehurst starred in Australian Dream. From what an IMDb user says, it seems to be a sex comedy about a swinger's party. Anxietyresister says, Filled with all the bad vibrator, blow-up doll and oral sex gags you could possibly want (or not) to hear, this is an abysmal comedy that is thankfully very rare.

Oh. For a moment, I thought he/she was saying this type of movie is rare. I was thinking, what planet is he from? But now I think he meant that the movie itself is rare....hard to find.

Also in 1987, Hazlehurst did a TV movie about someone named Nancy Wake, and a miniseries called The Shiralee Lord Wiki says Wake was a British agent during World War II. Well, reading further....it looks like she was an Australian who was a British agent.

The Shiralee was a family drama about a swagman looking for work. He ends up having to play parent to his daughter. The movie was based on a novel written by D'Arcy Niland.

In 1991, Hazlehurst did a movie called Waiting. It was written and directed by the same man who directed Hazlehurst in the crazy party movie, Australia Dream. The IMDb trivia page says that Hazlehurst was pregnant during filming. This worked well because her character was pregnant too.

It looks like it's one of those stories where a surrogate mother starts to think she wants to keep the baby for herself. I wonder how often that really happens? I saw about twenty seconds of the issue when flipping by Dr Phil's show this week. I quickly left because I'm not a fan of that guy.

In 1992, Hazlehurst was in a movie called Clowning Around. Ernie Dingo was in it too. From the IMDb image, it looks to be about actual clowns. It's a drama, so I'm guessing it might be one of those stories that tries to show us that clowns can be sad human beings under their happy joy joy make-up. Oh! Heath Ledger was in it. IMDb says it was his first film roll. Did I mention it, when I wrote about him? I can't remember. It's eerily ironic. His first roll is in a clown film. Then he dies in the midst of The Dark Knight hype, in which he also played a clown.

Lord Wiki says that Ledger appears at the end of the film. He plays an orphan clown, and delivers the final lines in the movie.

In 1995, Hazlehurst was in Lizzie's Library. This was an animated children's TV Show about a traveling librarian. That reminds me that I haven't talked much about Play School yet. It's not on the filmography I'm looking at, probably because Hazlehurst played herself on the show. I'm currently looking at the playing-other-characters list.

Here's a scene from Lizzie's Library. Actually, I think it's a whole episode. The episodes are only five minutes long.

In 2000, Hazlehurst was in a TV movie about a maternity ward. It was called Waiting at the Royal, and it brought her another AFI award.

In 2005, Hazlehurst was in the Cate Blanchett druggie movie, Little Fish. Noni won an AFI award for best supporting actress. Really! This woman wins so many awards. Should I assume this means she's a good actress?

Here's the trailer for the film. I think Hazlehurst is the one who plays Blanchett's mother. That Asian guy in the trailer used to be on 21 Jump Street.

While I was on YouTube, Jack had me watch the new video he uploaded. It's of him playing his video game.

From what Lord Wiki says about Little Fish, it seems to be about how difficult it is for people to escape the bad stuff in their past. Cate Blanchett plays a former heroin addict who tries to get back on her feet, but society makes it incredibly difficult.

In 2006, Hazlehurst appeared in another movie with Heath Ledger. This was Candy. And like Little Fish, it was about heroin.

Here's the trailer. Heath Ledger's voice sort of reminds me of Kiefer Sutherland's.

Also in 2006, Hazlehurst starred in a TV romantic-comedy called Stepfather of the Bride. It sounded familar, so I searched through the cast. Katie Ritchie was in it. I might have encountered the movie when I wrote about her.

In 2007, Hazlehurst did a TV biography about John Curtin. She played Elsie Curtin.

In 2008, she was in Bitter and Twisted. The movie earned Hazlehurst another AFI nomination. She's actually been nominated for almost every movie she's been in. I've just been to lazy to mention it. However, she was NOT nominated for the John Curtin movie. I noticed that. Well, it kind of stood out since she was nominated for pretty much everything else.

Here's the trailer for Bitter and Twisted. It looks really good....sad though. That one girl in the film looks like Kirsten Dunst with brown hair. The movie seems to be about a family struggling to survive after the death of one of their sons.

Recently, Hazlehurst has been one of the stars of City Homicide. Oh.... Did I watch that show before? Yes! It's with Shane Bourne. Now I know why Hazlehurst looked vaguely familar. I think she's in the episode I saw...the one where her son was kidnapped. That was so sad. I'm not going to watch any more clips from that show. It makes me too anxious and depressed. I don't handle murder stuff very well. The exception is Medium. I think that's because it pushes the idea that the dead continue to exist in the afterlife. If there's an afterlife, murder is a LITTLE less bad. But still, even some episodes of that show have been too difficult for me.

Well, I'm done with that filmography. Now I'm looking at Play School. Here's a clip of Hazlehurst acting clownish.

The National Archives has a page that talks about Hazlehurst's family. They were part of the assisted migration scheme....the ten pound pom thing. Well, her parents and her brother were. Noni Hazlehurst was born later in Melbourne. Mommy and Daddy Hazlehurst were also performers.

The family came over to Australia in 1951. Their application was approved, with an immigration officer describing them as a good average family. In those days, it was probably also important that they were a WHITE family.

Here's an article in The Age about Hazlehurst. They talk about how she's the type of person who's brave enough to speak up and try to make a change. She did so in her first TV role on The Box. Even though she was a new actress who could probably be easily fired, she fought for some lines of dialogue to be changed.

The article talks about her more recent fight. This one is about mass media and children. They say, She accused the media of bombarding children with a depressing world view and prematurely sexualising them. I think that's true....to a point. I think it's foolish to pinpoint the media though. Some programming on television and the Internet does NOT do that. And sometimes it's the adults in the children's own lives who push the negative values.

Hazlehurst is against reality TV. So I have that in common with her. I think the majority of it is crap.

Oh, but I don't like this. Hazlehurst labels the media as child abuse. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. We throw that word around way too much.

Hazlehurst does like some television....well, of course. She's on it. She thinks her homicide TV show is of quality. Another show she supports is The Simpsons. She says, I think The Simpsons is a wonderful program because the basic message is love. It sends out messages that are socially responsible in many instances and points out people's strengths and weaknesses and that they ultimately deserve our love and affection.

Tim, Jack, and I are all fans of The Simpsons. I agree with Hazlehurst. The show does have a lot of love. It's very biting at times, but there's a nice balance.

This is interesting. Hazlehurst suggests there is a conspiracy in the media to make people afraid to leave their home. Why? If they're afraid, they'll stay home and watch more TV. Wow. I never thought about that before. TV IS definitely full of scary stories. There's so much emphasis on the negative. I guess I always thought it was because they know it's in our nature to be attracted to the macabre. Didn't hangings always attract a large crowd?

My feeling is that it's not a conspiracy. I think it's more about being irresponsible. The media reports headlines without any sense of social responsibility. They scare people without asking, do we really need to be shouting this out?

In one parenting magazine I used to read, there was some kind of regular feature where mothers would describe a horror story that happened to them. The purpose was to warn the rest of us parents, so it wouldn't happen to us. Now I think SOME of these stories are important. A lot of kids drown, so we SHOULD be scared of swimming pools and bathtubs. We should be terrified and careful. Car accidents happen fairly frequently, so we should worry. But if a child is injured (or dies) in a freak accident, do we really need to be bombarded with dire warnings?

The funny thing is I just wrote out about three or four paragraphs with examples of dire warnings and how they have affected my little brain. I just deleted them because I realized if I kept them in, I'd be doing exactly what I'm accusing the media of doing. Sometimes we pass on information that shouldn't be passed on. We don't mean to hurt or disturb anyone. My intentions were good. But I'm glad I stopped and realized I need to edit myself. Although the irony cracks me up a bit. If I kept it in, I wonder if anyone would have pointed it out.

The Sydney Morning Herald also has an article about Hazlehurst's crusade. She says she believes children's imaginations are dying. I don't think that's true at all. Jack's imagination is incredible. Okay, that's only one child. But his friends seem to have good imaginations as well. Is there solid proof that imagination has decreased? And if it has decreased, why do we assume the media is to blame? Why not the schools? The kids are there for six hours a day. Could that situation be hurting imagination?

Hazlehurst says, Why is it that we seem to be concerned about regulating the food available through tuckshops or advertised on TV, but unwilling or unable to tackle the lack of quality sustenance for their minds and spirits?

I think she's very wrong here. I think there's plenty of quality on TV for children. Jack has been fans of some great stuff: Miss Spider, Charlie and Lola, Arthur, The Koala Brothers, The Wiggles, Jo Jo Circus, Little Bill, The Electric Company, Little Bear, The Upside Down Show, Phineas and Ferb.....

There's plenty of crap as well, but I think adults are the target audience. If a child is watching too much of it, that's sad. But that's the fault of the parents, not the media.

Hazlehurst says, Kids are suffering midlife crises in their teen years because they're being forced to cope with too much, too soon. We are failing our children on a grand scale.

I am totally not with her on this. The media is the cause of all this stress? No, I don't think so. I'm betting most stress that kids experience is related to a) school b) peers c) family problems.

Children get too much homework. They're cruelly bullied by their classmates. They see their parents fighting and worry about divorce. And these are probably the more fortunate kids! The others are also dealing with gangs, drugs, domestic abuse, homelessness, etc.

Well, I admire Hazlehurst for having a crusade. I just can't say I fully agree with it. I feel it's a bit confusing and misguided.


  1. Finally a name that I haven't seen before!


  2. "For a moment, I thought he/she was saying this type of movie is rare. I was thinking, what planet is he from?"
    You're too funny.

    there, I read your post. are you happy? They're so long!
    well have a good day. I'm glad you finally wrote about someone I haven't already seen on this page before.. (i.e. people's names all sounding the same =D )


  3. btw- that's very compassionate of you to worry about the moms you mentioned. Not everyone would think of that. Life IS about sacrifice (and moms are great at that, are we not? at least there's plenty of opportunity for that in motherhood) but we like time to ourselves, etc, etc, etc, too!
    Very nice.

  4. HappyOrganist:

    I'm glad I finally provided a name that didn't look like all the other names!!

    I don't think it was that compassionate of me to think about other moms...since I AM a mom. It would have been much more noble if I came up with the idea BEFORE becoming a mother.

    I think parenthood must involve sacrifice, but we're still important. I think it's sad/funny that people talk about the mental health of mothers only in terms of how it will effect their children. We can't have depressed mothers because it's not healthy for the children. But it's also not fun for the mother.

    I think parents should feel okay about taking care of themselves...and NOT just for the sake of their children. But for their own sake as well.

    I guess maybe the for-the-children's-sake can be used for parents who are VERY self-sacrificing. Maybe they'll never do anything for themselves if it's not going to directly bring benefits to their child.

  5. I've had more than one doctor tell me "you have to learn healthier ways of dealing with stress so that you won't screw up your children." They were a tidge more diplomatic than that, but not too much.
    I wasn't really offended, but I was kind of annoyed.
    First of all - parents always pass all kinds of crap onto their kids. It just happens. And secondly, my habits are not all that bad compared to some.

  6. Noni is wonderful. I believe she left Queensland quite a while ago, sometime after she separated from her actor husband John Jarrett. She was a fill in host on our local ABC radio station over our summer.

  7. HappyOrganist: We're all screwed up. Our parents are screwed up, and our kids will be screwed up too. There's no way around it. The more we feel guilty about it, the worse it becomes.

    Andrew: Cool. I wonder where she lives now? Melbourne?

  8. G'day :)
    I just discovered your blog while looking up Hamish Blake, who I am in love with. Haha, I've been enjoying reading your posts - thanks for taking such a massive interest in my wonderful country! (I hail from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, by the way.) You ever been to Australia?
    Have a good one!

  9. You MUST read "Monkey Grip"! It's one of my favourite books of all-time. And Nonie is AWESOME in the film.

    She's one of my fave stage actresses as well. We see her often in Sydney Theatre Company performances.


  10. Jay: Thank you!! I have been to Australia, but not Queensland yet. I'm betting The Sunshine Coast is beautiful. We talked about going there because we had wanted to see Steve Irwin's zoo.

    Fe: Okay. Cool. I'll look out for it (the book). I bet I'll like it.

  11. found your blog by RSS, seeing a familiar name I had to click on it.

    "Hazlehurst was another one of the Play School presenters. She was on the show from 1978-2001. That's a pretty long time."

    It is a long time, most people around my age (30) grew up with Noni, Big Ted and Little Ted. She practically raised a whole generation or 2 of Aussie kids

  12. Byrone,

    Hi! Thanks for reading.

    I can understand how Hazlehurst would be loved by many of your age group. Well, it would probably be my age group too....if I was Australian!

  13. it seems funny to think,pple have never heard of Noni when we grew up with her! lol

    monkey grip..is that the film where she was very pregnant with her son and did the scene in the creek naked? i was still in school and I remember there was a huge controversy about it.

  14. Iwasntbloggedyesterday:

    It does seem funny. It's really weird coming in and learning a whole new culture...all these TV shows, movies, music, politicians, events, etc. that Australians take for granted. And for me, it's all new.

    But now that I know a few things, it feels weird sometimes when I talk to Americans. For example, it's so bizarre to me that my parents have no idea who Gough Whitlam is. They're fairly educated people, but they know very little about Australia. Most Americans don't.

    But there are so many countries out there. Each has an elaborate culture. We may know bits and pieces about various countries, but there's so much we don't know.

    I think, in general, Australians know a lot about America, so they can't really relate to America's ignorance about Australia. But they likely have the same type of ignorance towards other countries. Say Iceland...or Belgium.

    I will say it's great fun obsessively researching a country you once knew hardly anything about. It feels like a whole new world is opening up to you.