Justine Clarke (born 09 November 1971) is an Australian actress, singer, musician, author and television host. She has been acting since the age of seven and has appeared in some of Australia's best-known TV shows. She is also a film and stage actor, and won the Best Actress Award at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina in 2006 for her role in independent film Look Both Ways . She has won two ARIA Awards.
Justine Clarke was born in Sydney, New South Wales. At the age of seven, whilst attending Woollahra Public School with other up and coming talents like Mouche Phillips and Deni Hines, she began appearing in television commercials, one of which was Arnott's Humphrey B. Bear biscuits.At eleven she played the role of Brigitta in the stage musical, The Sound of Music .
Clarke's first significant acting role was as the character Anna Goanna in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome . The same year she appeared in the TV series The Maestro's Company and featured in the 1986 mini-series Professor Poopsnaggle's Steam Zeppelin . The following year she made appearances in A Country Practice and Willing and Abel .
In 1988, Clarke began an eighteen months role on the soap opera, Home and Away , as one of 17 original cast members, playing the character of Ruth "Roo" Stewart. The character of Roo was reinstated in the cast list in 2010, portrayed by Georgie Parker, making the character of Roo one of only two remaining original characters in the series (along with Ray Meagher's character of Alf Stewart). Clarke was one of several Home and Away cast-members to star in a stage musical about the soap, which toured the UK in 1991.
Following her departure from Home and Away in 1989, Clarke appeared in the short-lived series Family and Friends before going on to act in several mini-series including Come In Spinner , Golden Fiddles and Tracks of Glory.
Clarke's film Turning April in 1996 was followed by Blackrock with Heath Ledger in 1997. More recently she has starred in the films Danny Deckchair and Look Both Ways . The role of Meryl Lee in Look Both Ways scored Clarke a nomination for an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Lead Actress award in 2005and the award for Best Actress at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
In 1999, Clarke became a presenter on long-running ABC Kids television program, Play School , a role that she maintains to the present day.
The first time I stepped onto that set I felt like I was a child again and I had climbed into the television! I remember feeling slightly nervous about meeting old pros like Jemima and Big Ted, but they were very warm and welcoming and just the same as they are on the show.
After appearing in three episodes of the series Wildside, she played Dr Samantha O'Hara in 21 episodes of All Saints . She also played the leading role in the Australian medical drama The Surgeon and appeared in the third season of the critically acclaimed Australian TV Drama series Love My Way , as Simone, the estranged sister of Asher Keddie's Julia.
2009 saw Clarke star in the Showcase television series Tangle . In 2012, she appeared in Woodley . Other television appearances followed, including playing the role of Bernadette in The Time of Our Lives from 2013–2014;Eve in House Husbands in 2016, and as Noelene Hogan in Hoges; as well as appearances in Rake and Gallipoli .
In 2010, Clarke starred in the short film Peekaboo . She has also provided the voice of Miss Cassandra in the Maya The Bee films.
Clarke created and starred in the popular children's television series The Justine Clarke Show!, which premiered in 2017 on ABC KIDS.
An experienced stage actor, Clarke has worked with the Sydney Theatre Company in productions such as The Man with Five Children, Trelawny of the Wells, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Herbal Bed, Hedda Gabler, Stiffs and Muriel's Wedding, and for Belvoir Company B in Michael Gow's Toy Symphony.
In the 1990s, Clarke performed in a number of bands with fellow Australian thespians, including Loene Carmen and Noah Taylor. These groups included the country and western combo The Honky Tonk Angels; punk band The White Trash Mamas; and the avant-garde Cardboard Box Man.In the late '90s she was a backing vocalist in the Sydney band Automatic Cherry, which also featured The Cruel Sea guitarist James Cruickshank. The band released the album Slow Burner in 1997.
Clarke has released multiple albums through ABC Music and has twice won the ARIA Award for Best Children's Album, in 2013 for A Little Day Out With Justine Clarke and in 2018 for The Justine Clarke Show!.
In 2014, Clarke teamed up with Tex Perkins for series of shows paying tribute to Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra.
In 2016, Clarke collaborated with singer-songwriter Josh Pyke on 'Words Make The World Go Around', a song to celebrate, promote and raise funds for the work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation
Clarke's first-ever, career-spanning greatest hits collection, Everybody Roar! The Best of Justine Clarke, was released in November 2019. In 2019, she released her first ever original Christmas song, "Here Comes a Merry Christmas", written with longtime collaborators Peter Dasent and Arthur Baysting.
Clarke is also a jazz vocalist and cabaret singer, popular on the Sydney club circuit.
|I Like to Sing|
|Songs to Make You Smile|
|Carnival of the Animals|
(with Jay Laga'aia & Georgie Parker)
|Great Big World|
|A Little Day Out with Justine Clarke|
|The Justine Clarke Show|
|Everybody Roar! The Best of Justine Clarke|
Clarke has three children named Josef, Nina and Max with her husband, actor Jack Finsterer and resides in Sydney.
|1985||Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome||Anna Goanna|
|2003||Danny Deckchair||Trudy Dunphy|
|2005||Look Both Ways||Meryl Lee|
|2008||8||Mother||Segment: "The Water Diary"|
|2009||In Her Skin||Irene|
|2013||The Humble Beginnings of the Balloon||Narrator (voice)||Short|
|2014||Maya the Bee||Miss Cassandra (voice)||English version|
|2015||A Month of Sundays||Wendy|
|2016||Red Dog: True Blue||Diane Carter|
|2018||Maya the Bee: The Honey Games||Queen (voice)||English version|
|1984||The Maestro's Company||Tina||TV series|
|1986||Professor Poopsnagle's Steam Zeppelin||Carmen||TV series|
|1987||A Country Practice||Nicki Simpson||Guest role (5 episodes)|
|1988||Princess Kate||Kate McLelland||TV film|
|1988–89||Home and Away||Roo Stewart||Regular role|
|1990||Come In Spinner||Monnie Malone||TV film|
|1990||Family and Friends||Cheryl Brooks||TV film|
|1994||Golden Fiddles||Liddy Powell||TV miniseries|
|1994||Tracks of Glory||Kate O'Brien||TV miniseries|
|1998||Wildside||Jessie Roscoe / Jessie Armstrong||"1.11", "1.12", "1.32"|
|1998||Never Tell Me Never||Anna||TV film|
|1998–99||All Saints||Dr. Samantha O'Hara||Recurring role (series 1-2)|
|1999-||Play School||Presenter||TV series|
|2001||Head Start||Julia Hunter||"Seeing Is Believing"|
|2004||Go Big||Gina Katz||TV film|
|2004||The Brush-Off||Salina||TV film|
|2005||The Surgeon||Dr. Eve Agius||Main role|
|2007||Love My Way||Simone||Recurring role|
|2007||Bastard Boys||Janine McSwain||TV miniseries|
|2007||Chandon Pictures||Samantha||"Back to School"|
|2009–2012||Tangle||Ally Kovac||Main role|
|2013–14||The Time of Our Lives||Bernadette Flynn||Main role|
|2014||It's a Date||Amy||"What's the Worst Thing That Can Happen on a Date?"|
|2015||Gallipoli||Mrs. Johnson||TV miniseries|
|2015||House Husbands||Eve||Main role (series 4)|
|2016||Have You Been Paying Attention?||Herself||Guest Quiz Master|
|2017||Hoges||Noelene Hogan||TV miniseries|
|2017||The Justine Clarke Show||Herself||TV longseries|
|2018||Who Do You Think You Are?||Herself||Series 9, Episode 5|
|2020||Australia Come Fly With Me||Presenter||Documentary on Australian civil aviation (three-part series)|
The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. Clarke has won two awards from six nominations.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2006||I Like to Sing||ARIA Award for Best Children's Album||Nominated|
|2008||Songs to Make You Smile||Nominated|
|2010||Great Big World||Nominated|
|2013||A Little Day Out with Justine Clarke||Won|
|2018||The Justine Clarke Show!||Won|
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