Nude Babes of Australia
Birth Date: August 6, 1976
Melissa George was born in Perth, Western Australia. . The second of four children of Pamela, a nurse, and Glenn George, a construction worker. She developed an interest in dancing and began studying jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance at the age of seven and studied at Warwick Senior High School. Her enthusiasm for dance eventually evolved into a passion for artistic roller skating. She is an Australian national roller skating champion and won bronze medals in the National Championships in 1989 and 1990. She won a silver medal at the Junior World Championship in 1991.
By age 16, George had won several awards at various National Rollerskating Championships in Australia, and subsequently began modeling after dropping out of high school. George met a casting agent while doing modeling work, and was given a role on the popular Australian soap opera “Home and Away” (1988); George moved to Sydney and worked on the show for three years until deciding to pursue other projects.
Early work (1992–1998)
Career breakthrough (1999–2007)
Her first starring role in a feature film was Kathy Lutz in the 2005 remake of the 1979 horror film, The Amityville Horror. The film was not well received by critics, but was a major success at the worldwide box office, grossing over $108 million. Despite bad and unfavorable reviews, Film Threat praised George and her co-star Ryan Reynolds’s performances, stating that they “make a striking couple. Both young and extremely attractive” and that she “does an impeccable American accent, but otherwise she is unremarkable as Kathy Lutz. Her physical beauty is sometimes distracting, but not enough to keep the audience awed by her acting.” That same year, she played Deanna Schine in the thriller Derailed, co-starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. In 2006, she filmed the horror-thriller Turistas with Josh Duhamel and Olivia Wilde.
Recent Roles (2008 – present)
George has graced the cover of Vogue, GQ, and recently Anna Wintour, editor of US vogue shot Melissa for both Men’s vogue and American Vogue. George was also invited to sit at the vogue table for the coveted MET gala in NYC.
The year 2011 has been incredibly successful for Melissa, she starred as one of the leads in the British comedy Swinging with the Finkels opposite Martin Freeman. A Lonely Place to Die, released in the UK in September, just took home best film and best direction at the 2011 Action festival in the UK, as well as best film, and direction at the Toronto film festival. In May George finished filming the title role with Julia Stiles in the screen adaptation of the comedy Between Us based on the Broadway play.
George married Chilean film director, Claudio Dabed, on 22 September 2000. She became a naturalized American citizen in 2008. In 2011 she and Dabed announced their intention to divorce and George began dating hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. George is the cousin of the opera singer Taryn Fiebig.
2012 Hunted (TV series)
2011 Bag of Bones (TV mini-series)
2011 The Slap (TV series)
2011 Swinging with the Finkels
2011 A Lonely Place to Die
2010 Lie to Me (TV series)
2010 Second Chances (TV movie)
2009 U.S. Attorney (TV movie)
2008-2009 Grey’s Anatomy (TV series)
2009 Devil’s Eye (short)
2008 The Betrayed
2008 In Treatment (TV series)
2007 30 Days of Night
2007 Home Sick
2007 The Killing Gene
2007 Music Within
2006 Two Twisted (TV series)
2005 The Amityville Horror
2003-2005 Alias (TV series)
2003 Charmed (TV series)
2003 L.A. Confidential (TV movie)
2003 Monk (TV series)
2003 Down with Love
2003 Friends (TV series)
2003 Coupling (TV series)
2002 Lost in Oz (TV movie)
2001 Thieves (TV series)
2001 New Port South
2001 Mulholland Dr.
2001 Sugar & Spice
2000 Tales of the South Seas (TV series)
1999 The Limey
1999 Silk Stalkings (TV series)
1998 Dark City
1998 Hollyweird (TV movie)
1997 Fable (TV movie)
1997 Murder Call (TV series)
1997 Roar (TV series)
1993-1996 Home and Away (TV series)
Birth Date: January 31, 1973
Birth Place: Geelong, VIC Australia
Parents: Barry and Margaret Rogers
Spouse: Ellen DeGeneres (August 2008 – present)
Mel Metcalfe (1996 – 1999) divorced
Height: 5′ 7″ (1.70 m)
Trade Mark: Very long wavy blonde hair
Portia Lee James DeGeneres is an Australian actress, best known for her roles as lawyer Nelle Porter on the television series Ally McBeal and Lindsay Bluth Fünke on the sitcom Arrested Development. She also portrayed Veronica Palmer on the ABC sitcom Better Off Ted and Olivia Lord on Nip/Tuck.
Born Amanda Lee Rogers in Victoria, Australia, she is the daughter of Margaret, a medical receptionist, and Barry Rogers. Her father died when she was nine. She was raised in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong in Victoria, Australia. As a child, she modelled for print and TV commercials. She adopted the name Portia de Rossi at the age of 15, stating in 2005 that she had intended to reinvent herself, using the given name of Portia, a character from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, and an Italian last name.
“When I was 15, I changed it legally. In retrospect, I think it was largely due to my struggle about being gay. Everything just didn’t fit, and I was trying to find things I could identify myself with, and it started with my name. I picked Portia because I was a Shakespeare fan (Portia is the character in The Merchant of Venice). De Rossi because I was Australian and I thought that an exotic Italian name would somehow suit me more than Amanda Rogers. When you live in Australia, Europe is so far away and so fascinating, so stylish and cultured and sophisticated.”
After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Melbourne, and studied law. Although she studied diligently, in 1993, Portia found herself giving special notice to a casting director who had seen her in a commercial.
Her first significant role was playing a young and impressionable model in the Australian 1994 film Sirens, a low budget comedy, starring Hugh Grant. She was cast in the role of Giddy, one of the three gorgeous models in the movie. “It kind of turned my life upside down,” said Portia de Rossi about landing the part. Indeed, it would soon alter her game plan forever.
While on a 1995 trip to Denver — to attend the Telluride Film Festival — Portia, on impulse, decided to switch her return ticket from Sydney to Los Angeles in the hopes of jump-starting her newly discovered passion. She had guest roles on several TV shows, and a permanent role in Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher. It wasn’t until 1997, however, that Portia at last began to attract real attention. She turned an unforgettable role as Murphy in Scream 2. During this time in the United States, de Rossi worked diligently to replace her native Australian accent with her current General American one.
She attracted international attention when she joined the main cast of the Ally McBeal TV series in 1998, playing the “Ice Queen” lawyer Nelle Porter. For de Rossi, it was the role of a lifetime; she had been following Ally religiously since the show’s 1997 debut. She won raves for her performance on Ally McBeal and even shared the 1999 SAG Award for “Best Ensemble in a Comedy” with her costars. She remained with the show until its end in 2002. “She’s very intelligent and that comes across in her acting,” David E. Kelley once remarked in singing Portia de Rossi’s praises.
She has also worked on such projects as Stigmata (1999), Girl (1998), and The Invisibles (1999), and she has appeared on several magazine covers, including Sharpe. After more than a decade of hard work, Portia is finally beginning to win real recognition, not only for her long golden tresses, but also for her wonderful talent.
In 2001, she starred in Who Is Cletis Tout? with Christian Slater.
From 2003–2006, de Rossi starred as Lindsay Bluth Fünke on Fox Television’s critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning series Arrested Development.
She also portrayed John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, in the made for TV movie America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story in 2003. In 2005 she portrayed a fortune-teller named Zela in the Wes Craven thriller Cursed. From 2007–2008, de Rossi appeared in Nip/Tuck’s fifth season as Julia McNamara’s girlfriend Olivia Lord.
In 2009 and 2010, de Rossi played the high-strung, oversexual, and controlling Veronica Palmer on the ABC show Better Off Ted. De Rossi will reprise her role as Lindsay Bluth Fünke in 2012’s film adaptation of Arrested Development. In 2011 she appeared in Better Off Ted cast member Malcolm Barrett’s music video for “Revenge of the Nerds”, spoofing her character Veronica in a cameo (alongside other cast members of the cancelled series).
She ranked 69th in Stuff’s 100 Sexiest Women, 31 in Femme Fatales’ Sexiest Women of 2003 list, 24 in Maxim’s 100 Sexiest Women List in 2004, and in late 2006, the magazine Blender listed her as one of the hottest women of film and TV. In May 2007, she was featured as one of 100 Most Beautiful in a People magazine special edition. TV Guide included her and Ellen DeGeneres in their Power A-List couples in 2007.
In February 2012 it was announced that ABC had picked up new drama series The Smart One, executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres which would feature Portia de Rossi in a leading role. The actress will star as a “brilliant and successful woman who begrudgingly goes to work for her less-brainy but more popular sister – a former beauty queen, weather girl and now big-city Mayor.”
De Rossi was married to documentary film-maker Mel Metcalfe from 1996 to 1999, initially part of a plan to get a green card, but she did not go through with it. “I married him for a green card. We had a really great, caring relationship; it just obviously wasn`t right for me.”
In a 2010 interview on Good Morning America, she explained that as a young actress, she was fearful of being exposed as a lesbian.
From 2000 to 2004, de Rossi dated singer Francesca Gregorini, the daughter of Barbara Bach and the stepdaughter of Ringo Starr. She said that most of her family and Ally McBeal castmates did not know she was a lesbian until tabloid pictures of the couple were published. She declined to publicly discuss the relationship or her sexual orientation at the time.
De Rossi and Gregorini broke up in late 2004 because de Rossi began dating Ellen DeGeneres, whom she met backstage at an awards show. In 2005, she opened up publicly about her sexual orientation in interviews with Details and The Advocate. She became engaged when DeGeneres proposed with a 3-carat diamond ring. They were married at their Beverly Hills home on 16 August 2008 (during the brief window wherein same-sex marriage was legal in California), witnessed by their mothers and 19 other guests. On 6 August 2010, Portia filed a petition to legally change her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. The petition was granted on 23 September 2010. She became a US citizen in September 2011.
De Rossi struggled with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa for four years while filming Ally McBeal.
In 2010, de Rossi published the autobiography Unbearable Lightness which talks about the turmoil that she has experienced in her life, including suffering from anorexia nervosa and being misdiagnosed with lupus. To promote the book, she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
De Rossi supports a variety of charitable organisations, including Locks of Love, a group that provides human hair wigs (made from donated ponytails) either free of charge or on a sliding scale based on their own guidelines for kids with alopecia and other medical conditions that cause hair loss. She has also supported fundraising efforts for FXB International, an African AIDS relief organisation, and The Art of Elysium, an art foundation for terminally ill children. An avid animal lover, de Rossi also supports Alley Cat Allies, an organisation dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of cats. de Rossi and wife Ellen DeGeneres have also been vegan since 2008, and are strong supporters of the Gentle Barn, a California-based sanctuary for abused animals.
2011 Revenge of the Nerds (video short)
2009-2010 Better Off Ted (TV series)
2007-2009 Nip/Tuck (TV series)
2009 The Shift (video)
2003-2006 Arrested Development (TV series)
2004 Dead & Breakfast
2003 The Night We Called It a Day
2003 I Witness
2003 Mister Sterling (TV series)
2003 America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story (TV movie)
2003 Two Girls from Lemoore
2002 The Twilight Zone (TV series)
2002 The Glow (TV movie)
1998-2002 Ally McBeal (TV series)
2001 Who Is Cletis Tout?
2001 Women in Film
1999 Ally (TV series)
1999 American Intellectuals
1999 The Invisibles
1998 Perfect Assassins (TV movie)
1998 Astoria (TV movie)
1997 Scream 2
1997 Veronica’s Closet (TV series)
1996-1997 Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher (TV series)
1996 The Woman in the Moon
1995-1996 New York Daze (TV series)
Won Golden Satellite Award
Got nomination for Golden Satellite Award
Screen Actors Guild Awards
Got nomination for Actor Award
Got nomination for Actor Award
Got nomination for Actor Award
Got nomination for Actor Award
Won Actor Award
TV Land Awards
Won Future Classic Award
Birth Date: November 18, 1970
Birth Place: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Parents: Darcy Wilson
Sibling: Rob Wilson
Son: Marlowe Harris
Height: 5′ 10″ (1.78 m)
Peta Gia Wilson is an Australian actress and model. She is best known as Nikita in the television series La Femme Nikita.
Wilson was born in Sydney on 18 November 1970. She is the daughter of the caterer Karlene White Wilson and Darcy Wilson, a former warrant officer in the Australian Army. Being raised in a military family, Wilson’s family moved a dozen times before she was 13. She was raised in Papau, New Guinea. It was there that Peta developed her initial interest in performing, though at the time it was merely for entertainment’s sake, as there was no television or radio in their living quarters.
As she moved around, sports were Wilson’s calling card. In high school, she became the youngest member and “best player” of the Australian national netball team. She was also an accomplished sailor, having been named Australian Champion Trailer Sailors along with her brother and father.
Her mother enrolled her into deportment classes in attempts to discourage the more tomboyish traits that accompanied Wilson’s fondness for sports. It was during these courses that Wilson was spotted by a modeling agent who encouraged her to consider a career on the catwalk.
Wilson worked first as a model in Australia and in Europe. She worked as a model for several years and suffered from an eating disorder; she soon grew tired of modeling and decided to try her hand at acting.
Peta moved to Los Angeles in 1991 to study acting with Arthur Mendoza at the Actors Circle Theatre and with Tom Waits at the TomKat Repertory Group. After some education in acting and after her first role in Fool For Love, an Actors Circle Theater production, Wilson was hired for some small roles in independent films, such as in Loser and in One of Our Own. Then, in 1996, Wilson was preparing to continue her studies at an acting school in New York City, but she decided to audition first for a new television show to be produced for the USA cable TV channel in North America. From a field of just over 200 aspiring actresses who auditioned for the starring role, the new program’s producers chose to offer the job to Wilson, and she accepted. This new show was called La Femme Nikita, based on the French movie Nikita. Each episode was one hour long, and the series was produced by a combination of Canadian and American companies. The show ran for five years and 96 episodes on the USA network. There were 22 episodes per season for four years, and another eight episodes in its fifth and final TV year. Most of the episodes of La Femme Nikita were filmed in and around the city of Toronto, Ontario.
Wilson’s co-stars in this TV series were the actors Roy Dupuis, Don Francks, Alberta Watson and Eugene Robert Glazer, and for her acting in La Femme Nikita, Wilson was nominated twice for the annual Gemini Award for “Best Performance by An Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role”, though she did not win.
With her distinctive voice, ultra-intense eyes and statuesque frame, Peta Wilson probably could have carried La Femme Nikita on looks alone. Such was television in 1997. But when viewers realized that this killer-with-a-killer body could actually act, the show became the highest-rated drama on cable. Indeed “La Femme Nikita” was yet more proof that an inexpensively produced series could bypass the traditional TV networks and still make lots of money if it had something special to offer. In this case, Peta Wilson was that “something special.” Producer Joel Surnow, who later went on to produce “24,” said watching Peta Wilson as “Nikita” was “like watching lightning in a jar.” She beat out 200 actors for the role patterned after the female assassin “Nikita” in the dark French film by Luc Bresson. What set her apart from the pack were her ideas on what the Anglo version of the broody French killer should be like. In order to grab and hold an American television audience for the long term, “Nikita” had to become a very different person, Peta told the production team. Her version of “Nikita,” the drop-dead-gorgeous killer with a heart of gold, not only clicked with viewers but transcended the show and has been copied in film and TV ever since.
Unfortunately, even Wilson could not keep “Nikita” afloat, when changes at USA shifted the network’s attention to more lucrative programming like professional wrestling. The show was unceremoniously cancelled in 2000. A massive fan protest brought “Nikita” back for a truncated season of eight episodes, but Wilson, who had relocated to New York in 1999 with her boyfriend, director Damian Harris, was already planning her next career moves.
The 2000 film “Mercy,” directed by Harris, should have propelled Wilson into the movie major leagues. A steamy erotic thriller with Ellen Barkin as a homicide detective whose investigation into a string of brutal murders brings her in contact with a kinky lesbian domme (Wilson), simply suffered from poor distribution.
In 2001 Wilson took part in the International Film Festival in Moscow, where she met with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who confessed to being a fan of hers.
In the realm of major motion pictures, Wilson collaborated with the Scottish actor Sean Connery in 2002–3 during the production of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. She played the role of the vampire Mina Harker, and Connery played Allan Quatermain. She also portrayed real-life actress Anny Ondra in the television movie “Joe and Max” (2002). “Superman Returns” (2006), “Gardens of the Night” (2008) and “Beautiful” (2009) kept her on track.
Wilson lived with her long-time boyfriend Damian Harris from the mid-1990s until their separation in 2002. They are the parents of one son, Marlowe Harris, who was born in February 2002.
Peta enjoys outdoor activities such as scuba diving, swimming, playing cricket, and gardening, and engages in alternative medicine like yoga and acupuncture.
Peta also funds causes that are important to her; she is presently working on founding a Julliard for disadvantaged children, and is raising money with her company, Psycht, which sells sunglasses, running shoes, watches, and other accessories. Peta has also founded a production company called Sweet Lick Productions.
2012 The Finder (TV series)
2010 CSI: Miami (TV series)
2009 Malibu Shark Attack (TV movie)
2008 Gardens of the Night
2006 Two Twisted (TV series)
2006 Superman Returns
2005 Jonny Zero (TV series)
2004 False Pretenses (TV movie)
2003 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
2002 Joe and Max (TV movie)
1997-2001 La Femme Nikita (TV series)
2001 A Girl Thing (TV movie)
2001 Other People (TV movie)
1998 The Sadness of Sex
1997 Oddville, MTV (TV series)
1997 One of Our Own
1997 Vanishing Point (TV movie)
1996 Highlander (TV series)
1996 Woman Undone (TV movie)
1996 Strangers (TV series)
1995 Naked Jane
Awards and Nominations
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
Got nomination for Saturn Award
Got nomination for Saturn Award
Got nomination for Gemini Award
Got nomination for Gemini Award
Birth Name: Melissa Morrison Higgins
Birth Date: August 19, 1983
Birth Place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Singer-songwriter, musician
Genre: Alternative, Indie, Acoustic
Parents: Christopher and Margaret Higgins
Siblings: Nicola and David Higgins
Melissa “Missy” Morrison Higgins is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician and actress. Her Australian No. 1 albums are The Sound of White (2004), On a Clear Night (2007) and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle (2012), and her most successful singles are “Scar”, “The Special Two”, “Steer” and “Where I Stood”. Higgins was nominated for five ARIA Music Awards in 2004 and won ‘Best Pop Release’ for “Scar”. In 2005, she was nominated for seven more awards and won five. Higgins won her seventh ARIA in 2007. Her third album, The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, was released in Australia in June 2012, and in July 2012 in the U.S.
Alongside her music career, Higgins pursues interests in animal rights and the environment, endeavouring to make her tours carbon neutral. She is also the patron of One in Five, an Australian mental health charity. In 2007, following years of press speculation about her sexual orientation, she came out as bisexual, saying that she prefers interviewers to focus on her music. In 2010 she made her acting debut in the feature film, Bran Nue Dae, and also performed on its soundtrack.
Melissa was born 19 August 1983 in Melbourne, Victoria to Christopher Higgins, an English-Australian general practitioner, and Margaret (née Morrison), an Australian childcare centre operator. Missy is the youngest of three children. Her sister, Nicola is seven years older, and brother, David is six years older. Missy was a quiet child, but very mischievous, and a bit of a tomboy. “By the time my parents had me,” she theorizes, “they couldn’t be bothered to enforce the rules anymore.”
She learned to play classical piano from age six, following in the footsteps of Christopher and David, but realised she wanted to be a singer at about 12 when she appeared in an Armadale Primary School production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Bored with practice, she gave up playing piano at that time. Hoping for more freedom, she urged her parents to send her to Geelong Grammar School, an independent boarding school attended by her siblings. At Geelong she took up the piano again, this time playing jazz including performing with David’s group on weekends. She was introverted and found that piano practice helped her cope with living at boarding school.
At 15, she wrote “All for Believing” for a school music assignment and completed it just hours before the deadline. The assignment earned an A and she performed her song in front of classmates. She approached a Melbourne record company and was told that they wanted more than one song. She wrote more songs and worked with the Kool Skools project, which enables students to record music. In 2001, Nicola entered “All for Believing” on Higgins’ behalf into Unearthed, radio station Triple J’s competition for unsigned artists. The song won the competition and was added to the station’s play list.
After attracting the attention of manager John Watson, she released her first EP with his record label Eleven in November 2003. Her second EP Scar was released in August 2004, debuting at #1 on the Australian charts. Her first album, The Sound of White, was released in September 2004. Many of her songs are based around her performance on the piano and guitar.
2003–2005: The Sound of White
Higgins was the support act on a 2003 Australian tour by folk rock band The Waifs and rock band george. She travelled to the US to work with producer, John Porter, and recorded her first extended play (EP) entitled Missy Higgins, which was released in November and entered the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Singles Chart Top 50 in August 2004.
She toured Australia, supporting both Pete Murray and The John Butler Trio. Her second four-track EP Scar was released in July. The title track “Scar”, co-written with US songwriter, Kevin Griffin, debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Charts. “It’s basically a song about people’s need to pigeonhole things in order to process them”, explains Missy. “It’s about rebelling from the easy path of just going along with everybody else and trying not to stand out. It’s also about realising you’ve trusted the wrong people and finding a way to benefit from the scars they’ve left behind.”
Her first album, The Sound of White, was released in September, and debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Also produced by Porter, it sold over 500,000 copies. She was nominated in five categories at the ARIA Music Awards of 2004 for “Scar”: Best Female Artist’, ‘Single of the Year’, ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Single’ and ‘Best Video’ (directed by Squareyed Films). At the awards ceremony on 17 October she received the award for Best Pop Release, beating Delta Goodrem, The Dissociatives, Kylie Minogue and Pete Murray. This was followed by her first national headline tour. Her second single “Ten Days” was co-written with Jay Clifford (guitarist in US band Jump, Little Children) and was inspired by Higgins’ 2002 break-up with her boyfriend before she travelled to Europe. Released in November, it peaked at No. 12.
On 29 January 2005 Higgins performed with other local musicians including Nick Cave and Powderfinger at the WaveAid fundraising concert in the Sydney Cricket Ground. The concert raised A$2.3 million for four charities supporting the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. In March Higgins performed at the MTV Australia Awards and won the prize for ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’. The following month she released her third single, “The Special Two”, which was a radio hit and reached No. 2. “The Special Two” was released on an EP which included her cover of the Skyhooks song, “You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good In Bed”, recorded for Triple J’s 30th anniversary. The song had been the first track played on Triple J when it launched (as Double J) in 1975. In May, Higgins won the ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Breakthrough’ awards for “Scar” from the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). She continued touring in mid-2005 and released her fourth single, “The Sound of White”, in August. In September she played a sold out performance at the Vanguard in Sydney with the proceeds going to One in Five, her sponsored mental health charity. She was nominated for seven more ARIAs and in October won ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Album’ and ‘Highest Selling Album’ (all for The Sound of White) and ‘Best Female Artist’ (for “Scar”). She teamed up with fellow ARIA award-winning singer Ben Lee in late 2005 for a national tour.
2006–2009: On a Clear Night
During 2006, Higgins lived in Broome, Western Australia for six months, away from the entertainment industry. The relaxed lifestyle helped her focus on writing new material. The landscape made a big impression, “It was the first place I’d ever felt honestly connected with my country, with the physical land of my country” and inspired her to write “Going North”. She then toured the United States and South Africa, writing more material on the road. In September she based herself in Los Angeles to record her second album, On a Clear Night, with producer Mitchell Froom. “Steer” was released as an EP, followed a fortnight later by its album on 28 April 2007, both debuted at No. 1 on their respective charts.
In February, Higgins had contributed a tribute song to the album, Cannot Buy My Soul, for noted indigenous singer, Kev Carmody, singing “Droving Woman” with musician Paul Kelly and group Augie March. On 7 July, she participated in the Live Earth concert in Sydney, performing her own set before joining Carmody, Kelly and vocalist John Butler on stage for the song “From Little Things Big Things Grow”. Emily Dunn in The Sydney Morning Herald wrote “[the song] could have been the event’s anthem”. Rolling Stone‘s Dan Lander pointed out a highlight, when the “whole crowd sung along – all eleven verses.”
Higgins returned to Los Angeles to focus on the US market—she spent September and October touring—where she was still relatively unknown. On 26 October, backed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra, she headlined the annual Legs 11 concert, a breast cancer benefit held in The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Two days later Higgins performed at the 2007 ARIAs where she was nominated for ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Highest Selling Album’ and ‘Highest Selling Single’ (for “Steer”) and won ‘Best Female Artist’ (for On a Clear Night)—her seventh ARIA Music Award. On 31 October, she was a guest at television music channel MAX’s inaugural Concert for the Cure, a private concert for people affected by breast cancer. She sang headline act Powderfinger’s “Sunsets” with front man Bernard Fanning and joined in with the encore of “These Days”. She spent November and December on her For One Night Only Tour, taking in Cairns, Sydney and Perth. You Am I lead singer, Tim Rogers, joined her on some shows.
On a Clear Night, was released in the US on 26 February 2008, supported by a tour in March. Her ten-month stay in Los Angeles during 2008 promoted her songs for films and television shows. Her first US single “Where I Stood” was featured in US series including Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill and So You Think You Can Dance. During 2008, Higgins supported the Indigo Girls and then Ben Folds on their respective US tours. February and March 2009 saw her co-headlining a US tour with Canadian Justin Nozuka. On 31 March she released an EP, More Than This in Australia featuring cover versions of “More Than This” by Roxy Music, “(I’m) In Love Again” by Peggy Lee, “Breakdown” by Tom Petty and “Moses” by Patty Griffin. “Moses” had been included on Triple J’s 2005 compilation album Like a Version: Volume One and “More Than This” was recorded as part of Covered, A Revolution in Sound, a Warner Bros. tribute album also released in March 2009.
2010–present: The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle
Higgins started writing music for her third album in 2009.After about seven years of touring and recording she took a break from the music industry to pursue other interests. In 2010 she enrolled in a course in Aboriginal Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her acting debut was as Annie in 2010 film Bran Nue Dae directed by Rachel Perkins. The film is an adaptation of the 1990 musical, Bran Nue Dae, “Australia’s first Aboriginal musical”. Although Higgins would consider future acting projects she has no plans to actively pursue it as a career.
In July and August 2010, Higgins played several dates of Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair tour in the US. At Lilith Fair, she met Australian musician Butterfly Boucher and they decided to work together. In 2011, Higgins travelled to where Boucher was living in Nashville to record her third album, which is co-produced by Boucher and Brad Jones. Titled The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, the album was released on 1 June 2012. Its first single, “Unashamed Desire”, co-written with Boucher, was released on 23 April. In November 2011, at the ARIA Music Awards, Higgins performed a duet with Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.
“The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle” album debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart the week of 12 June 2012. It is now Higgins’ 3rd straight number one album. Higgins now ties Delta Goodrem, Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue for the 2nd most Australian number one albums by an Australian female artist. Only Kasey Chambers has done better at 4 number one ARIA albums.
Musical Influences and Technique
Higgins grew up in the 1980s and 1990s listening to artists that her older siblings liked—Nicola played Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, while David favoured Queen and Kiss. Departing for boarding school at age 13, she was exposed to alternative artists like Nirvana and Courtney Love and started teaching herself guitar and writing her own music. She also began singing with David’s jazz group on weekends. As an adult she prefers Nina Simone and Ray Charles to “poppy dance music”. She has cited Patty Griffin, Ron Sexsmith, Rufus Wainwright, Paul Kelly and Sarah McLachlan as influences. Material from her third album is influenced by ambient music from Low, Jon Hopkins, Icelandic band Sigur Rós and Estonian classical composer Arvo Pärt.
Higgins’ song writing grew out of a desire to express her emotions when she was at school and her lyrics describe her feelings about her own life and relationships. The piano was the first instrument she learned to play, and she continues to use it as well as digital pianos including a Roland RD-300SX, RD-700 and KR-15. She also uses guitars extensively in her music particularly when touring, due to their portable nature and favours the Australian brand, Maton. On occasion she plays keytar, xylophone and melodica during performances.
On 7 September 2012, Higgins recorded a cover version of Gotye’s “Heart’s A Mess” for the “Like a Version” segment, explaining “on-air” that the song is her favourite Gotye composition. Higgins had traveled with Gotye previously and referred to him as “an incredible singer” in the interview prior to the rendition.
As a vegetarian, Higgins promoted the health benefits of not eating meat in a 2005 advertising campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); and has supported their anti-fur stance. She is interested in environmental issues and is involved with the Sierra Club, a grassroots organisation based in California. She has protested against the proposed industrialisation of the Kimberley region of Western Australia and donated the royalties from her 2009 EP More Than This. Since early 2007, Higgins has tried to make her tours carbon neutral, she purchases green energy to power venues, uses hybrid cars where possible and purchases carbon offsets.
On 5 October 2012, Higgins performed alongside The John Butler Trio and Clare Bowditch at the Save the Kimberley concert held at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. In relation to the Kimberley region and campaign, Higgins stated:
Apparently scientists are still discovering hundreds of new plant and animal species there every year, which goes to show that there is still so much we don’t know about the region. I just fell in love with it; it gets under your skin. Woodside Petroleum are planning to build one of the world’s biggest LNG (liquified natural gas) processing plants on the Kimberley coast, just north of Broome. They would be drilling for the gas out at sea and bringing it onshore at this plant, which would just be devastating for the region. The question everyone is asking is, why not process it offshore or pipe it to one of the mining towns down south that already have the infrastructure in place? Why ruin the Kimberley if there’s an alternative?
As of 2012, Higgins is one of numerous publicly known advocates for the ‘Oscar’s Law’ campaign. The campaign, launched in 2010, protests the existence of “puppy factories” in Australia, whereby animals are factory farmed. One of the campaign’s slogans is “Break the Puppy Trade—Don’t buy puppies from pet shops” and the list of notable advocates includes Paul Dempsey (musician), Kate Ceberano (singer) and Mick Molloy (comedian).
From 2004 to 2007, Higgins’ sexual orientation was the subject of media speculation based partly on interpretations of her lyrics and her interviews. In an October 2007 interview with Australian lesbian magazine Cherrie, she was asked if she fell under the moniker of “not-so-straight” girls. She replied “Um, yeah, definitely. … I think sexuality is a fluid thing and it’s becoming increasingly more acceptable to admit that you’re that way.” In November her MySpace page reported, “I’ve been in relationships with both men and women so I guess I fall most easily under the category ‘Bisexual'”. She went on to say that she wanted future interviews to focus on her music rather than her sexuality. In a March 2008 interview with AfterEllen.com, Higgins said that her song “Secret” was written about an ex-girlfriend who was not comfortable, at first, about going public with their relationship; “I was so head over heels in love with her I kind of wanted to shout it out to the world, so it was just a song about keeping something under the covers … keeping it away locked in a little room.”
Higgins has been a patron of Australian mental health charity One in Five since 2003. She described her younger self as “a bit of a depressed child” and “introverted”, and that she had “experienced various degrees of depression”. Prescribed antidepressant medication while in high school, she learned to channel low moods into song writing, calling music her “emotional outlet”. In a 2006 interview she said that her songs were “coming from more of a happier place”. While recording her second album she discovered a passion for rock climbing, as a “meditative pursuit” and that, “It’s the first thing I’ve had—other than music—that I’m passionate about.”
2009 Bran Nue Dae
Awards and Nominations
APRA Music Awards
ARIA Music Awards
MTV Australia Video Music Awards
Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards
Birth Name: Rebecca Rawlings
Nickname: Bec, Rowdy
Birth Date: February 11, 1989
Birth Place: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Spouse: Dan Hyatt
Children: Zake and Enson Hyatt
Rebecca “Bec” Hyatt (née Rawlings) is an Australian professional MMA fighter born on February 11, 1989 at Launceston, Tasmania, and grew up playing basketball and participating in gymnastics. She is currently based in Brisbane, Queensland. Hyatt is the very first ever Australian to be signed by the world’s premier female fighting organization, North America’s Invicta Fighting Championships, and sports a professional MMA record of 4 wins and 1 loss. She originally started training in order to get active and lose weight. Hyatt is married to Australian lightweight fighter and promoter Dan “The Riot” Hyatt, and is also a mother of two.
Bec earned the nickname ‘Rowdy’ because of her willingness to say what’s on her mind and to stand out from the crowd.
An avid video game player in her spare time, Hyatt is already arguably the most successful female combatant in Australian MMA history, despite only beginning her martial arts journey less than three years ago. With a fan base of over 23,000 people worldwide throughout social media, and having already appeared over 100 times on or in television, newspapers, magazines, radio or internet articles, Hyatt is quickly rising as one of the most recognizable figures in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts today!
Mixed Martial Arts Career
Known for her aggressive fighting style, unique look and quirky personality, Hyatt began her mixed martial arts journey in Launceston, Tasmania in 2010 before relocating to Brisbane, Australia to further her opportunities and experience in early 2011. A mere ten months after giving birth to her second son, Enson, Hyatt made her professional MMA debut on 15 October 2011 at Brace For War 12 in Hobart, Tasmania. Due to a lack of fight opportunities, and despite her suited weight class being strawweight, Hyatt fought at bantamweight in her debut against a more experienced Rhiannon Thompson. In what was declared “fight of the night” by the promotion, Hyatt lost her debut fight by way of a highlight reel head kick knockout.
Bouncing back and publicly rallying within the Australian MMA circuit for more fight opportunities at her suited weight class, Hyatt secured consecutive victories over Sarah Morrison, Daniela Marjanovic, Rachel Sheridan and Christina Tatnell en route to a perfect 2012 and a four-fight winning streak. This streak, coupled with a noticeable lack of legitimate Australian opponents for Hyatt, caught North America’s Invicta Fighting Championships’ attention in late 2012.
Invicta Fighting Championships
In November 2012, Hyatt signed a three-fight contract with Invicta Fighting Championships, which is regarded as the premier all-women’s promotion in the world, to compete in their strawweight division. She was originally scheduled to fight Joanne Calderwood on the undercard of Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Gadelha, but an injury to Claudia Gadelha resulted in Hyatt being pushed up to a title fight in the main event against Carla Esparza. Hyatt lost the fight via unanimous decision but won over many new fans in the process.
Her first fight outside of Australia, combined with her personality, gave her a lot of coverage in the Australian media. This led Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp to say that she had never seen anything like it, and at the 2012 Women’s Mixed Martial Arts Awards she was voted 2012 Favourite Female Fighter with 265 votes by WMMA fans, 70 more than Ronda Rousey. Hyatt’s next fight within Invicta Fighting Championships is still to be announced.
Hyatt was raised in the smallest state of Australia, the island of Tasmania, and frequently played sports such as basketball, gymnastics and athletics during her pre-teens. From her youth, she was used to getting picked on as the youngest of four children and the only blonde-haired, blue-eyed sibling among them. As a teenager, Hyatt experienced rapid weight gain and suffered from a lack of motivation before turning to the sport of mixed martial arts as a way to battle her issues in 2010. This is where she met her husband and fellow Australian professional MMA fighter Dan Hyatt and decided that she wanted to become a prize fighter.
Hyatt has two children: Zake (aged four) and Enson (aged two), who is named after MMA legend Enson Inoue.
Professional MMA Record
6 Fights, 4 Wins, 2 Losses
Rounds Fought: 8
Time In Cage: 16 Minutes, 8 Seconds
Debut: Oct. 15th, 2011
LOSS / January 5th, 2013 / Carla Esparza / 52kg (115lbs / Title Fight)
Birth Date: February 3, 1986
Birth Place: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Siblings: Liberty, Ryot, Annachi
Rebel Wilson is an Australian actress, writer, and stand-up comedian. She began appearing as Toula in the SBS comedy series Pizza from 2003 and made several appearances in the sketch comedy series The Wedge. In 2008, Wilson wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride. The following year, she won the Tropfest Best Actress award for her role in Bargain and made a guest appearance in City Homicide. Shortly after moving to the United States, Wilson was cast as Brynn in the feature film Bridesmaids. The actress went on to star in A Few Best Men, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Struck by Lightning, leading Variety to name her one of their “Top Ten Comics To Watch for 2011”. Wilson also appeared as Becky in Bachelorette and became the first actress to be cast in Pitch Perfect. Her role as Fat Amy earned her three award nominations. Wilson is writing a comedy called Super Fun Night for the ABC network.
Early and Personal Life
Wilson was born on February 3, 1986 and raised in Sydney, Australia. Rebel is her real name. Her parents named her after a girl who sang at their wedding. Wilson has three siblings; Liberty, Ryot and Annachi. Liberty and Ryot appeared on the first season of The Amazing Race Australia. Her parents were professional dog handlers, so Rebel grew up going to dog shows every weekend. She helped out her parents by being a junior handler.
Throughout high school Wilson’s first career choice was mathematics. Wilson told The Sydney Morning Herald, “I was very academic at high school and was always good with numbers.” Wilson attended the University of New South Wales, where she studied Law and Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies). She is a former Rotary International Youth Ambassador for Australia and was based in South Africa for one year, where she contracted malaria. Wilson had hallucinations in which she saw herself as an actress who had won an Oscar. This then convinced her to pursue an acting career.
In July 2011, Wilson became a spokesperson for weight loss and nutrition company Jenny Craig in Australia. In January 2012, Wilson revealed to James Wigney and Elle Halliwell of The Daily Telegraph that she had lost 10 kilograms (22 lb) since signing up to the program. She also revealed the producers of Pitch Perfect had refused to let her lose any more weight during filming, as her contract stated she must stay the same size. Wilson said once her film commitments were over, she would start her diet again to reach her target weight of 80 kilograms (180 lb).
Wilson studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). In 2003, she went to New York after winning the ATYP International scholarship to train with The Second City. Wilson is a writer, producer and stand-up comedian, and has appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company and performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She first came to the public’s attention with her stage musical The Westie Monologues which she wrote, starred in and produced in Sydney. Her follow-up stage productions which she wrote, produced and starred in include Spunks and Confessions of an Exchange Student.
In Australia, Wilson is most known for her roles as Toula on SBS comedy series Pizza and as various characters including Lucy, Fat Mandi and Karla Bangs on the sketch comedy series The Wedge. Wilson played an Australian Idol mad schoolgirl in a series of Telstra advertisements shown during Australian Idol from 2004 to 2005. She also had roles in the feature films Fat Pizza and Ghost Rider. In 2008, Wilson created, wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride on SBS One and also starred in the improvisational Nine Network series Monster House. In 2009, Wilson won the Tropfest Best Actress award for her role in the film Bargain. She has made appearances on the improvisational comedy show Thank God You’re Here and the comedy game show Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. She also performed stand-up on the television special The Breast Darn Show In Town. Wilson guest starred in the Seven Network drama City Homicide and performed improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.
Upon moving to the United States, Wilson signed to talent and literary agents William Morris Endeavor. American audiences first became acquainted with the Australian actress, thanks to her breakout role as the interloping sister of Kristen Wiig’s roommate in the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids.”
Wilson then appeared in the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement and on the Comedy Central series, Workaholics. She co-hosted the 2010 ARIA Music Awards and performed at the inaugural Variety’s Power of Comedy event in Los Angeles with Lucas and Russell Brand. In early 2011, Wilson filmed A Few Best Men at Fox Studios Australia. She also filmed a role in Small Apartments. On 11 July 2011, it was announced Wilson had joined the ensemble comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting as Janice. She has also joined the upcoming Indie film, Struck By Lightning. Wilson was named one of Variety magazine’s “Top Ten Comics To Watch for 2011.”
On 19 August 2011, Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter reported Wilson had replaced Casey Wilson in Bachelorette. Borys also reported Wilson has become the first person to be cast in the romantic comedy Pitch Perfect and she would voice a character in Ice Age: Continental Drift. For her performance as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect, Wilson received various award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress from the San Diego Film Critics Society and Best Actress in a Comedy from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
In January 2012, Michael Ausiello of TVLine announced Wilson would be writing and starring in Super Fun Night, a comedy which follows three friends on a quest to have fun every Friday night. The pilot was picked up by CBS and Conan O’Brien became one of the executive producers. The pilot was later turned down by CBS, but Nellie Andreeva of Deadline.com reported that the ABC network was close to a deal to re-pilot the project. Andreeva revealed Super Fun Night would become a single-camera set up instead of multi-camera. On 27 March 2012, Adam B. Vary of Entertainment Weekly reported Wilson had joined the cast of Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain as Ramona Eldridge. Wilson will host the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.
2012 Pitch Perfect
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift
2012 What to Expect When You’re Expecting
2012 Struck by Lightning
2012 Small Apartments
2011 A Few Best Men
2011 Workaholics (TV series)
2010 Rules of Engagement (TV series)
2009 City Homicide (TV series)
2009 Bargain! (short)
2008 Bogan Pride (TV series)
2008 Monster House (TV series)
2006-2007 The Wedge (TV series)
2003-2007 Pizza (TV series)
2007 Ghost Rider
2006 World Record Pizza (TV series)
2003 Fat Pizza
Birth Date: August 10, 1982
Birth Place: Loxton, South Australia
Positions: Wing Attack, Centre, Goal Attack
Lauren Nourse is one of Australia’s top netballer, who plays for the Australian national netball team.
Born on August 10, 1982 at Loxton, South Australia, young Lauren loved playing netball in their yard and throwing the ball with her older sister who used to throw the ball at her pretty hard. Lauren learned to catch the ball quickly to avoid the ball hitting her head.
The dynamic wing-attack first rose to prominence in 2003, when she made her debut in the Australian National Netball League for the AIS Canberra Darters. Nourse’s talent blossomed under coach Norma Plummer. Nourse made her debut with the Firebirds in 2004 and has been a stalwart of the team since then.
After leaving the AIS, Nourse went on to join the struggling Queensland Firebirds, where she failed to reach the heights she had in the previous season. The Firebirds were competition cellar-dwellers in 2004 and 2005, until former Australian great, Vicki Wilson, took over the coaching of the side in 2006, and turned their fortunes around remarkably, leading them to the finals for the first ever time. This also turned Nourse’s career around, as she was re-selected for the Australian squad at the end of 2006.
She quickly made a name for herself as an outstanding mid-court player. Nourse has played with the Firebirds since 2004, amounting 104 games with the team, playing 25 Test Caps, as well as captaining the side since 2010.
Nourse was called into the Australian open team in July 2007, as a replacement for injured defender Mo’onia Gerrard. She made her debut against New Zealand on 21 July 2007, and performed admirably. This performance was enough to see her retained in the Australian team for the 2007 World Championships, which Australia successfully reclaimed in November 2007.
She played nine seasons for the Mission Queensland Firebirds and was the team’s captain when they went through the trans-Tasman competition undefeated in 2011, but missed the finals and the 2011 world championships due to a knee reconstruction.
And after nine seasons playing with the Firebirds, Nourse has made the decision to retire.
Nourse is a full-time teacher at St. Peter’s Lutheran College and is also involved in coaching netball there.