When the "New Australian Film" movement began in the late 1970s and early 80s, several actresses rose to prominence including Helen Morse and Judy Davis (who went on to earn international fame). Among the most talented was Wendy Hughes, an attractive, elegant-looking brunette who originally intended to pursue a career in dance. When she hit her teens, though, Hughes switched interests to acting and went on to train at the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and hone her craft on stage with the Melbourne Theatre Company. She moved to features in 1974 with "Petersen," playing the wife of a college professor who takes an interest in a married student. Hughes first reached American audiences as a woman involved with an ambitious newsreel photographer in Philip Noyce's "Newsfront" (1978), a role that brought her the first of seven (to date) nominations for the Australian Film Institute award. The following year, she earned plaudits as the maternal figure to aspiring writer Sybylla Melvyn (Judy Davis) in "My Brilliant Career" and initiated a collaboration with director Paul Cox with "Kostas," in which she portrayed a genteel divorcee romantically pursued by a Greek journalist.