Neighbours star Stephanie McIntosh almost unrecognisable from TV days

·Contributor
·3-min read

Stephanie McIntosh starred as Sky Mangel in Neighbours for four years from 2003, returning in 2015 and 2020 to reprise the role.

While she wasn't the first to play the role (that honour goes to Miranda Fryer, who played Sky as a child for three years from 1989), Stephanie made it her own.

Former Neighbours star Stephanie McIntosh alone; and with a horse
While former Neighbours star Stephanie and her family spent time in Melbourne during the pandemic, they have since returned to America. Photo: Instagram/@stephiemcintosh

Stephanie had just finished Year 12 when she was offered the role, one too good to refuse.

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Not that Stephanie was a complete stranger to acting and the soap.

Her half-brother Jason Donovan had made a name for himself as Scott Robinson on the show and a former neighbour was Alan Fletcher, who played Dr Karl Kennedy, and took her on a set visit.

 Stephanie McIntosh poses for a photograph at the announcement of the nominees for the 2004 TV Week Logie Awards at the International Passenger Terminal on March 22, 2004 in Sydney, Australia.
Neighbours actress Stephanie McIntosh in Sydney in 2004 after she was nominated for a Logie Award. Photo: Getty Images

Short-lived pop career

Starring as Sky earned Stephanie a Logie nomination for Most Popular New Female Talent but, after four years and 500 episodes, Stephanie left to launch a pop career.

"I’m really happy to make my singing a priority, but I haven't shut [acting] off, that's for sure," she said in an interview, sharing fond memories of the show.

"The whole four years has been amazing for me, it was just such a good place to learn and grow and experience so many different things."

While she signed a multi-album deal with Universal Music Australia, Stephanie's singing career didn't reach the same heights as some of her Neighbours alum.

But she did bond with her brother Jason, staying with him in London when she launched her singing career.

"He's been great... he and his children and his partner are all very supportive, it's just very normal when I go back home at the end of the day," she said.

In 2008, in an attempt to relaunch her acting career, Stephanie moved to Los Angeles, where she had some success and met her partner, landscape designer Pete Hieatt.

They have two daughters, Milla, seven, and Goldie Grace, three.

Stephanie McIntosh in front seat of car with daughters in the back
Stephanie is now a mum to two living in the US. Photo: Instagram/@stephiemcintosh
Stephanie McIntosh with partner Peter Hieatt and daughters Milla and Goldie Grace standing on a ski slope in warm clothing; and at right in jeans and white singlet with long blonde hair worn loose
Stephanie as she is today with partner Peter Hieatt and daughters Milla and Goldie Grace. Photo: Instagram/@stephiemcintosh

Upon returning to Australia in 2015, she made a fleeting appearance as Sky, before returning on a more regular basis to the role in 2020, as a detective looking into Finn Kelly's death.

"I'm in the police, can you believe it?" she told RadioTimes.com about her 2020 return.

"I nearly fell over when they told me she'd become a cop.

"It was definitely the part of bringing her back I was most shocked about, in the best way."

And while Stephanie didn't return for the final episodes of the Aussie soap, as she and her family reside in Texas, she was happy to talk about her time on the soap this week on Studio 10 and will no doubt tune in to see how the show she made her name in ends.

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