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Zoe Ventura’s shock departure from Seven’s Packed to the Rafters on Nov. 2 was a ratings boon for the network, as 2.3 million viewers tuned in to see her popular character, nurse Melissa Bannon, killed in a car accident. She caught up with WHO to chat about her departure from the show and the new life she is carving out in LA.
Ventoura had told producers in 2009 she would be leaving the show, so keeping her imminent departure close to her chest made it even harder to leave her TV family behind. “It’s been a tricky couple of months,” the actress concedes. The emotive episode ended weeks of speculation as to who would be leaving the Rafters family fold, and Ventoura approves of its execution. “It’s a beautiful episode, and I think we’ve dealt with it with sensitivity.”
Now staying with friends in LA, Ventoura is on the audition circuit and adapting to Californian life. She has signed up for a yoga class, taken up hiking at Runyan Canyon and enjoys vintage shopping on Robertson Boulevard. “I’m just trying to keep healthy. It’s easy here because it’s so sunny,” she says.
While keeping her relationship with TV vet Chris Brown out of the spotlight, Ventoura is happy to put herself out there on her quest for a Hollywood career. “It just feels like my little time of exploration,” she explains.
For the full interview with Zoe Ventoura, including exclusive photos of her new life in LA, pick up a copy of this week’s WHO magazine, on sale Friday, Nov. 5.
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