Geelong is a breeding ground for exceptional talent, just take a look at this list.
1 – Portia De Rossi
Portia de Rossi was born and raised in Geelong and attended Belmont High School. She was born Mandy Rogers but she changed her name to Portia at 15, because if you want to make it big in Hollywood it’s better your name sounds like a sports car as opposed to Mandy.
2 – Chrissy Amphlett
Another Geelong Gal. Again Chrissy was a Belmont High attendee, wow. Belmont is a breeding ground for fame!? Chrissy, who sadly left us in 2013 (RIP), travelled the world and rarely had the chance to return to Sunny G-town. However, she remained a Cats fan and would keep up with how her Cats were going from her home in New York.
3 – Daryl Somers
Was born Daryl Schulz on 6 August 1951 in… yep you guessed it… Geelong. That’s right, without Geelong there is no ‘Hey Hey it’s Saturday!’ Daryl would go on to be a triple Gold Logie winner and to be one of the most recognisable faces in Australia.
4 – Esther Anderson
Another Stunner from the Gunner, Esther Jackie Anderson – actress and model – was born and raised in Geelong. She is best known for her role as Charlie Buckton on the Australian soap opera Home and Away, and has since landed roles in a range of projects including TV series Glow and films Apple Seed and Madness in the Method.
5 – Barry Crocker
That’s right without Geelong there would be no saying ‘That was a Barry Crocker’, you would actually just have to say, ‘That was a shocker’. Barry Hugh Crocker is best known for his entertaining singing and theatre performance, and like every other Australian personality he was on Neighbours too. He also bought a Gold Logie back to Corio Bay! And – who could forget his song ‘Come on the Cats?’ which was widely described as a …. ‘Barry Crocker’.
6 – Ben Cousins
That’s right, this AFL bad boy was born in Belmont. His father Brian was playing for the Cats at the time and he was only here until the age of two, however we’re still claiming him. Though I am not sure we want to claim him anymore? Do we? He’s only just popped up in the media yet again following a recent arrest.
7 – Barry Jones
Labour stalwart and forward-thinking lefty Barry Jones was born in Geelong. He, like many others we are covering during this exercise, bailed out of Geelong pretty quickly, which seems to be a bit of a theme here. Bazza would go on to represent Labor in both the upper and lower houses of parliament.
8 – Darryn Lyons
Will they? Won’t they? Of course, they bloody will! Darryn Lyons is one of Geelong’s most recognisable faces and he was born in Herne Hill. He earned his fortune taking photos of celebrities and etched his name into the walls of fame on reality TV shows. He held his position of Mayor and fearless leader of Geelong from 2013 and 2016. Love him or hate him, it’s because of Lyons that we have free parking on the weekends and the Floating Christmas Tree which brings millions of dollars into the city each year. We’re betting the inclusion of this one will ruffle a few feathers.
9 – Kristian Schmid
Did you know that Kristian Schmid was born in Geelong? As an actor he cut his teeth on the set of……… wait for it….. yep… you know it, Neighbours (he played Todd Landers). He also starred in Sea Patrol and Scooby-Doo, and scored the role of Mick Jennings on Home and Away back in 2016.
10 – Guy Pearce
He mightn’t have been born here, but Guy Pearce has spent much of his early years in Geelong after moving here when he was three (his mother ran a deer farm) and went on to study at Geelong College and become a member of the GSODA Junior Players. He’s now a highly successful actor and musician, starring in films such as Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo, The King’s Speech, Prometheus and Iron Man 3.
Side note: he was also a Neighbours cast member… because of course.