deborraleefurnesspeterhitchener The Nine Network next week launches a modern reinvention of the classic This Is Your Life format.

In the episode to screen Monday, host Eddie McGuire, assembled guests and an audience of over 600 at Melbourne’s Crown Casino celebrate the life of actress, producer and director Deborra-Lee Furness.

Furness (pictured with newsreader Peter Hitchener in 1975) was working at GTV9 before launching an acting career in the mid 1970s with a guest appearance on Division 4, later followed by roles in Prisoner, the short-lived Nine Network drama Kings and early episodes of Neighbours.

It was while working on ABC mini-series Correlli in 1995 that Furness paired up with co-star, a then unknown Hugh Jackman.  They married in 1996.

Other acting credits include television series The Flying Doctors, SeaChange, Halifax fp, Fire, Stark and GP and films Shame, Evil Angels, The Real Macaw and Jindabyne.

mikewillesee_0001 This Is Your Life had been a success in the United States and United Kingdom for many years before an Australian version was first launched on the Seven Network in September 1975.  Mike Willesee (pictured) was the show’s first host, later replaced by Digby Wolfe twelve months later.  Sydney newsreader Roger Climpson continued to front the show from 1977 until the early 1980s.

The Nine Network revisited This Is Your Life in the mid 1990s with a version that ran for several years, hosted by Mike Munro, before returning for a brief run in 2008. 

Source: Herald Sun, TV Week 19 April 1975, TV Week 30 August 1975.

This Is Your Life.  Returns Monday 28 February, 8.30pm.  Nine.

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