Robyn Nevin

Robyn Anne Nevin AM (25 September 1942) is an Australian actress, director and former head of the Sydney Theatre Company.[1]

Robyn Nevin
Robyn Anne Nevin

(1942-09-25) 25 September 1942
Melbourne, Australia
ResidenceSydney, Australia
OccupationActress, director
Spouse(s)Jim McNeil (divorced)
Partner(s)Nicholas Hammond (current)


Early life

Robyn Nevin was born 25 September 1942, in Melbourne, to William George Nevin and Josephine Pauline Casey. She was educated at Genazzano Convent until the age of 11, when she moved with her family moved to Hobart, Tasmania, and was enrolled at the Fahan School, a non-denominational school for girls.[2] While there, she played the lead in the school's production of Snow White at the Theatre Royal. Her parents were conservative and conventional, her father the managing director of Dunlop Australia, her mother a housewife, so to enter the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) at the age of 16 in the very first intake in 1959 was a brave step, in which she was fully supported by her parents.[1]

Professional life

At the outset of her career, she had a variety of roles in radio and television, working mainly at the Australian Broadcasting Commission, including current affairs, music, chat shows and children's shows throughout the early 1960s. With the Old Tote Theatre Company she acted in The Legend of King O'Malley by Bob Ellis and Michael Boddy in 1970. She gravitated back to theatre, where she has been a constant presence for the last 40 years.

Although theatre has been her home ground she has also starred in numerous Australian films and mini-series, landing many credits for strong supporting roles. She made one foray into directing in The More Things Change... (1986).[3]

In 1996 she became Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company, a position which she held with great success, rescuing the company from bankruptcy and leaving it flourishing in 1999, when she took over the position of Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company, where she was Artistic Director until the end of 2007, having created such memorable additions as The Actor's Company, the only professional repertory company in the nation, and the hugely successful Wharf Revue. [4]

Nevin has performed in a range of roles at the Sydney Theatre Company, beginning in 1979 as Miss Docker in A Cheery Soul by Patrick White (reprised in 2001); and also including as Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac in 1981; as Ranyevskaya in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov in 2005; and as Mrs Venable in Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams in 2015.[5]

Awards and honours

Nominated for several awards, Nevin has thrice won the Sydney Critics' Circle Award for her theatre work.

In 1981 she won the TV Logie award in the 'Best Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Telemovie' category for her role as Shasta in Water Under The Bridge on the Ten Network. She had already won Logies as 'Most Popular Female'[6][7] in Tasmania in 1965 and 1967 during her stint at the ABC.

On 8 June 1981, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the performing arts.

In 1999 she was awarded an honorary doctorate[8] from the University of Tasmania.

On 21 January 2004 she gave the Australia Day Address.[9]

Personal life

Nevin has been married twice, most notably in her second marriage to "prison playwright" Jim McNeil (1975–1977).[10] She currently lives with her partner, US-born actor and screenwriter Nicholas Hammond. They met when they starred in Alan Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind at the STC in 1987. From her first marriage to Barry Crook, she has a daughter Emily Russell (born 1968) who is also an actor.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
1973 Libido Sister Caroline Segment, "The Priest"
1976 Caddie Black Eye
The Fourth Wish Connie
1978 The Irishman Jenny Doolan
1979 Temperament Unsuited Anne
1982 Fighting Back Mary
1983 Goodbye Paradise Kate
Careful, He Might Hear You Lila
1984 The Gold and the Glory Robyn Lukas
1988 Emerald City Kate Rogers
1992 Resistance Wiley
Greenkeeping Mum
1994 Lucky Break Anne-Marie LePine
1995 Angel Baby Dr. Norberg
2003 The Matrix Reloaded Councillor Dillard
Bad Eggs Eleanor Poulgrain
The Matrix Revolutions Councillor Dillard
2011 The Eye of the Storm Lal
2013 The Turning Carol Lang Segment, "Reunion"
2015 Ruben Guthrie Susan Guthrie
2016 Gods of Egypt Sharifa
2018 Death in Bloom Mrs. Patterson Short


Year Title Role Notes
1962 Consider Your Verdict Judith Harper "Queen Versus Glandon"
1971 The Comedy Game Kate Sullivan "Our Man in Canberra"
1973 Our Man in the Company Miss Healey "Let Women Go Free"
President Wilson in Paris Mrs. Wilson TV film
1974 Matlock Police Sue Palmer "Dancing Class"
Ryan Susan Davis "Negative Proof"
1978 Father, Dear Father Mrs. Webster "Novel Exercise"
1980 Water Under the Bridge Shasta TV miniseries
A Toast to Melba Nellie Melba TV film
Spring & Fall Mary "The Last Card"
1982 Spring & Fall Anne "Perfect Company"
1983 The Dismissal Lady Kerr TV miniseries
1985 Hanlon Minnie Dean "In Defense of Minnie Dean"
1990 The Ham Funeral Mrs. Goosgog TV film
Shadows of the Heart Mrs. Hanlon TV film
1993 Seven Deadly Sins Sloth TV miniseries
1995-99 Halifax f.p. Angela Halifax "The Feeding", "Cradle and All", "A Murder of Crows"
2013 Top of the Lake Jude Griffin "1.1", "1.3", "1.4", "1.5"
The Broken Shore Cecily Addison "3.5", "3.7"
2013-present Upper Middle Bogan Margaret Denyar Main role
2015 Stories I Wanted to Tell You in Person Anna TV film
2016 Cleverman Jane O'Grady "Containment"
2019 Doctor Doctor Dinah Season 4


  1. "Robyn Nevin: she who must be obeyed". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 February 2006.
  2. Suzannah Pearce, ed. (2007). "Nevin, Robyn". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd.
  3. The More Things Change... on IMDb
  4. "Sydney Theatre Company". Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  5. "STC Magazine Archive: Robyn Nevin". Sydney Theatre Company. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  6. "1962–1965 Logie Awards". Australian Television. 30 October 1998. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  7. "1966–1969 Logie Awards". Australian Television. 30 October 1998. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  8. "Home – Events & Protocol – University of Tasmania, Australia" (PDF). 4 May 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  9. "What's On". Australia Day. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  10. Honeywill, Ross (2010). Wasted: The true story of Jim McNeil, violent criminal and brilliant playwright. Viking. ISBN 9781742531205.
  11. "Memoirs of a mother divided" by Steve Dow, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 2011
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