Noni Hazlehurst

Leonie Elva "Noni" Hazlehurst AM, (17 August 1953) is an Australian actress, director, writer, presenter and broadcaster who has appeared on television and radio, in dramas, mini-series and made for television films, as well also on stage and in feature films since the early 1970s. Hazlehurst has been honoured with numerous awards including Australian Film Institute Awards, ARIA Awards and Logies, including being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Noni Hazlehurst

Noni Hazlehurst on Balance with Deborah Hutton in 2016
Leonie Elva Hazlehurst

(1953-08-17) 17 August 1953
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Actress
  • voice actress
  • director
  • writer
  • presenter
  • broadcaster
Kevin Dobson
(m. 1975; div. 1978)
John Jarrett
(m. 1988; div. 1999)
Partner(s)Ian Marden (2003–2015)

Early life

Hazlehurst was born in Melbourne. After attending St Leonard's College in Brighton East, Victoria, Hazlehurst studied Drama at Flinders University in South Australia from 1971 to 1973, where she resided at Flinders University Hall and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. She has studied ballet, singing, piano, speech and drama. In the 1980s and 1990s, much of her work concentrated on children's television.

Her mother and father were English,[1][2] and migrated to Australia in 1951.[3]

Television work

Along with roles at the ABC, her first television work was in guest lead roles in television serials produced by Crawford Productions. She played the regular role of Sharon Lewis in The Box in 1975 before joining the original cast of The Sullivans as Lil Duggan in late 1976. She was a Play School presenter from 1978 to 2001, and has been a National Ambassador or Patron for many children's events and charities, including Children's Week (1991-2007)[4] and Barnardos.[5] She has worked extensively for children. Hazlehurst has recorded several music and spoken word albums.

Hazlehurst played the lead in miniseries Nancy Wake, The Shiralee, Ride on Stranger and Waterfront in the 1980s.

From 1995-2005 Hazlehurst hosted the Seven Networks Better Homes and Gardens, a lifestyle show which is affiliated with the monthly magazine of the same name.

In 2006, she starred in ABC's telemovie Stepfather of the Bride. From 2007-2011, she played Detective Superintendent Bernice Waverley on Channel Seven crime drama City Homicide. In 2010, she was a guest on The 7pm Project on Network Ten. In July 2011, as part of a rapidly growing internet meme, she read the book Go the Fuck to Sleep to camera in the style she formerly used on Play School. She immediately offered to record a reading of the book after being sent a copy by the publisher.,[6] Since 2013, she appears as Elizabeth Bligh in the 1950s-set Australian melodrama A Place to Call Home on the Seven Network, playing the wealthy matriarch of the family. The show was renewed for a second series which premiered in 2014, following the second series the show was briefly canceled yet the show was unexpectedly commissioned for a third series which came in 2015. The show then went into production for a fourth series which aired in 2016 and a fifth season airing in 2017 with the final sixth season airing in 2018. She also plays the role of Ambrose in ABC TV's The Letdown and will appear as Pamela in a new series The End in 2019.

Film work

Hazlehurst has had starring roles in Australian films since the 1980s, including roles in Fatty Finn, Fran and Australian Dream). Her most prominent role during this decade was as the lead, Nora, in Monkey Grip (1982), based on Helen Garner's novel of the same name. The film, concerning the relationship between a single mother and a heroin addict, was a modest box office success in Australia and received generally favourable reviews from critics. She later starred in Little Fish in 2005, Candy in 2006, and Bitter & Twisted in 2008. Recent film roles include The Mule, Truth, The Broken Shore and Ladies in Black.

Radio work

Hazlehurst is a regular freelance presenter on 774 ABC Melbourne.


Credits include The Man from Mukinupin, On Our Selection, Traitors, Hamlet, No Names, No Packdrill, Cut and Thrust, Frankie & Johnny in the Claire De Lune, for the STC: Navigating (Dir: Marin Potts) The Breath of Life, Woman in Mind, for the MTC: Grace, (Dir: Marion Potts), Madagascar, (Dir: Sam Strong) and The Heretic, (Dir: Matt Scholten). In 2014 she appeared in a critically acclaimed production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Dir: Declan Eames) for the Kin Collective at 45 Downstairs. In 2015 and 2016 Noni performed in a one-woman play, Mother, (Dir: Matt Scholten), written for her by Daniel Keene, on a national tour produced by If Theatre & Regional Arts Victoria. Mother received two Helpmann Awards nominations for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Play and Best Regional Touring Production for If Theatre. Mother was performed at Belvoir Street Theatre in early 2018 and was presented at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in August 2018.

Awards and nominations

ARIA Awards

  • 1989: Nominated - Best Children's Album (for Shout and Whisper)
  • 1990: Nominated - Best Children's Album (for Peter and the Wolf/Carnival of the Animals)
  • 1992: Nominated - Best Children's Album (for Noni Sings Day and Night Songs and Rhymes from Playschool)

Australian Film Critics Association Awards

  • 2015 Nominated — Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for The Mule)

Australian Film Institute Awards

  • 1981: Nominated — Best Actress in a Lead Role (for Fatty Finn)
  • 1982: Won — Best Actress in a Lead Role (for Monkey Grip)
  • 1985: Won — Best Actress in a Lead Role (for Fran)
  • 2000: Won — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Telefeature or Mini-Series (for Waiting at the Royal)
  • 2005: Won — Best Supporting Actress (for Little Fish)
  • 2006: Nominated — Best Supporting Actress (for Candy)
  • 2008: Nominated — Best Actress (for Bitter & Twisted)
  • 2018: Nominated - Best Supporting Actress ( for Ladies in Black)

Equity Awards

  • 2014 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast: Drama Series (for Redfern Now)

Logie Awards

  • 1980 Best Supporting Actress in a Series (for Ride on Stranger)
  • 1985 Best Supporting Actress in a Single Series (for Waterfront)
  • 1989 Nominated Most Popular Actress in a Miniseries/Telemovie (for The Shiralee)
  • Logie Hall of Fame 2016

Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards

  • 2005 Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for Little Fish)
  • 2006 Nominated Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for Candy)
  • 2009 Best Actress (for Bitter & Twisted)
  • 2018 Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for Ladies in Black)

Helpmann Awards

  • 2015 Nominated — Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Play (for Mother)

The Matilda Awards

  • 2018 Best Female Actor in a Leading Role (for Mother)

Variety Club of Australia

  • 1991 'Top Hat' Achievement Award

National Honours

Hazlehurst has also been an ambassador for Barnardo's Mother of the Year, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by her alma mater Flinders University in 2007.[8]

Cultural references

In 1994 a painting of Hazlehurst by artist Rosemary Valadon titled Noni Hazlehurst — Summer '94 Waiting Again was a finalist in the Archibald Prize.

Personal life

Hazlehurst married director Kevin Dobson,[9] and she subsequently married John Jarratt in circa 1987. She and Jarratt have two sons, Charlie and William. After separating from Jarratt in August 1999,[10][4] she dated cameraman Ian Marden.[11]

Her son, William, is the former vocalist for Melbourne death pop band Storm The Sky.[12]

Select credits


  2. Connolly, Paul (4 October 2015). "What I know about men". Daily Life. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  3. Trzcinski, Joanne (31 January 2009). "Noni Hazlehurst, performer". The Sunday Times. p. 39.
  4. Hogan, Christine (26 March 2000). "Time of her life". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 4.
  5. Hutchinson, Jane (27 September 2009). "Noni Hazlehurst". Sunday Herald Sun Magazine. p. 13.
  6. "Noni Hazlehurst reads expletive-ridden 'children's' book". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 July 2011.
  7. "New, events and notices". Flinders University. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  8. VIP mum Noni Hazlehurst
  10. Lee Lewes, Jacqueline (21 October 1999). "Bana gets into the act". Daily Telegraph.
  11. "Some things you might not know about our Noni". The Courier Mail. 30 June 2018. p. 10.
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