Wendy Hughes

Actor, Producer, Screenwriter
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 ... Read more »
Born: 07/29/1952 in Melbourne, Victoria, AU


Actor (35)

Salvation 2009 (Movie)

Gloria (Actor)

The Caterpillar Wish 2006 (Movie)

Elizabeth Roberts (Actor)

The Man Who Sued God 2001 (Movie)

Jules Myers (Actor)

Lust and Revenge 1997 (Movie)

Oliphant's Adviser (Actor)

Paradise Road 1997 (Movie)

Mrs Dickson (Actor)

Snowy River: The McGregor Saga 1993 - 1997 (TV Show)


Princess Caraboo 1994 (Movie)

Mrs Worrall (Actor)

Homicide: Life on the Street 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)


Wild Orchid 2: Two Shades of Blue 1992 (Movie)

Elle (Actor)

The Heist 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


Echoes of Paradise 1989 (Movie)

Maria McEvoy (Actor)

Luigi's Ladies 1989 (Movie)

Sara (Actor)

Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train 1989 (Movie)

The Girl (Actor)

Amerika 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


Boundaries of the Heart 1987 (Movie)

Stella Marsden (Actor)

Happy New Year 1987 (Movie)

Carolyn Benedict (Actor)

An Indecent Obsession 1984 (Movie)

Honour Langtry (Actor)

I Can't Get Started 1984 (Movie)

Margaret (Actor)

My First Wife 1984 (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

Careful, He Might Hear You 1983 (Movie)

Vanessa Scott (Actor)

Hoodwink 1982 (Movie)

Lucy (Actor)

A Dangerous Summer 1981 (Movie)

Sophie (Actor)

Lonely Hearts 1981 (Movie)

Patricia (Actor)

My Brilliant Career 1980 (Movie)

Aunt Helen (Actor)

Partners 1980 (Movie)

Barbara Dunstan (Actor)

Kostas 1979 (Movie)

Cathy (Actor)

Newsfront 1979 (Movie)

Amy McKenzie (Actor)

Touch and Go 1979 (Movie)

Eva Gilmour (Actor)

High Rolling 1977 (Movie)

Barbie (Actor)

Petersen 1974 (Movie)

Patricia Kent (Actor)

Sidecar Racers 1974 (Movie)

Lynn Carson (Actor)

A Woman Named Jackie (TV Show)


Donor (TV Show)


Return to Eden (TV Show)


Salvation (TV Show)

Producer (2)

Luigi's Ladies 1989 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Boundaries of the Heart 1987 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)


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.

The 1980s saw Hughes rise as one of Australia's most prolific and versatile actresses. She was an aspiring croupier who leaves her con artist lover in "Hoodwink" (1981) and caused something of a stir as a doomed insurance investigator in "A Dangerous Summer" (1982), in that audiences didn't expect an actress of her position would be killed off so early in the film. Paul Cox cast her against type as the dowdy, sexually-repressed spinster who finds romance in "Lonely Hearts" in 1982. Despite that triumph, though, Hughes had one of her best screen roles ever as the wealthy Anglophile engaged in a custody battle for her nephew in "Careful, He Might Hear You" (1983), for which she earned the Best Actress prize from the Australian Film Institute. Cox again coaxed a terrific performance from the actress in "My First Wife" (1984), in which she essayed a cheating wife who is caught by her husband. Some felt her one misstep was accepting the part of an incompetent psychiatric nurse in "An Indecent Obsession" (1985). She bounced back with the soap opera-ish role of a woman who becomes disgusted with her philandering husband and finds romance with a folk dancer (John Lone) in "Echoes of Paradise" (1987) and a woman of loose morals in "Boundaries of the Heart" (1988), which also marked her debut as an associate producer. Hughes additionally added screenwriting to her resume with the comedy "Luigi's Ladies" (1989).

After acting in the apocalyptic ABC miniseries "Amerika" in 1987, Hughes and her family relocated to L.A. to try to pursue a career in Hollywood, but American producers seemed not to know how to use this performer's gifts. She co-starred with Pierce Brosnan in the HBO movie "The Heist" (1989) and proved effective as the mother of the future first lady in "A Woman Called Jackie" (NBC, 1991), but roles with the depth and breadth of those to which she was accustomed in Australia remained elusive. Hollywood cast her as brothel madam in the execrable "Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue" (1992) and she had a one-season (1993-94) recurring role as a medical examiner on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street".

Returning Down Under, Hughes anchored the TV series "Snowy River: The McGregor Saga" (1993-95) and reunited with Paul Cox for a gender-bending turn in "Lust and Revenge" (1996). She went on to play one of the female inmates in "Paradise Road" (1997) and won acclaim for her starring role in the 1997 Australian TV series "State Coroner". In 2001, Hughes reunited with former co-stars Judy Davis and Colin Friels for the romantic comedy "The Man Who Sued God" and returned to the stage playing Mrs. Robinson in the Australian premiere of the stage version of "The Graduate." Hughes continued to work primarily as a stage actress, working occasionally on Australian television and appearing in two films, the indie drama "Salvation" (2008) and the romantic comedy-drama "The View From Greenhaven" (2008). Wendy Hughes died of cancer on March 8, 2014. That night, fellow actor Bryan Brown announced Hughes' death from the stage of the Sydney Theatre Company prior to a performance of the play "Travelling North," eliciting a standing ovation from the audience in her memory.


Charlotte Juillet


Jay Juillet


Patric Juillet

French founded Tra La La Productions


National Institute of Dramatic Arts

LaTrobe High School




Portrayed Mrs. Robinson in the Australian stage adaptation of "The Graduate"


Reunited on screen with Judy Davis and Colin Friels in "The Man Who Sued God"


Cast as one of the female prisoners in "Paradise Road"


Played the lead in the Australian TV series "State Coroner"


Fourth film with Paul Cox, undertook gender-bending role in "Lust and Revenge"


Portrayed the lady of the house in which the title character is welcomed in the comedy "Princess Cariboo"


Starred in the TV series "Snowy River: The McGregor Saga"


Played the title character's mother in the NBC miniseries "A Woman Called Jackie", about former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy


Cast in first US feature, "Wild Orchid 2: Two Shades of Blue"; portrayed a brothel madam


First feature screenplay and debut as executive producer, "Luigi's Ladies"; also had one of the leading roles


Co-starred with Pierce Brosnan in the HBO movie "The Heist"


Relocated with family to USA and settled in Los Angeles (date approximate)


Debut as associate producer with "Boundaries of the Heart", produced by Juillet; also starred


Starred opposite Colin Friels in the quirky romance "Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train", co-produced by husband Patric Juillet


US miniseries debut, "Amerika"


Cast as the incompetent nurse heading a mental ward during WWII in "An Indecent Obsession"


Played an unfaithful spouse in Paul Cox's "My First Wife"


Acted in the Australian miniseries, "Return to Eden"; aired in syndication in the USA


Delivered a stellar turn as the Anglophile aunt battling for custody of her nephew in the feature adaptation of "Careful, He Might Hear You", based on Sumner Locke Elliott's book


Reteamed with Cox for "Lonely Hearts"; cast against type as a dowdy, sexually repressed woman


Cast as a doomed insurance investigator in the mystery "A Dangerous Summer"


Revisited themes similar to her debut feature in "Duet for Four"


Third film with Judy Davis, "Hoodwink"


Made first of four films (to date) with director Paul Cox, "Kostas"


Reunited with Judy Davis (playing her aunt) in "My Brilliant Career"


Co-starred in the acclaimed Australian feature "Newsfront"


Initial film collaboration with Judy Davis, "High Rolling"


Feature debut, "Petersen"


Turned focus towards acting and began appearing in school plays and community theater (date approximate)

Raised in Melbourne, Australia

Returned to Australia

Pursued ballet as a child

After graduating from drama school, spent two years working with the Melbourne Theatre Company

Had recurring role in the first season of the NBC series "Homicide: Life On The Street", playing the medical examiner

Attended the National Institute of Dramatic Arts


Next >