This page uses content from the Rowena Wallace biography page on the English version of Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. This list of authors can be seen in the page history. Rotten Tomatoes disclaims any and all warranties as to the accuracy or reliability of the content.
Rowena Wallace is an Australian actress. She was born on August 23, 1947 in Coventry, England.
Wallace an only child, moved to Australia when she was five with her parents; initially she grew up in Cairns and later moved to Brisbane at the age of 12 years. Here she attended Kedron State High School and was taken by her mother to dancing lessons and also persuaded to join the Twelfth Night Theatre in Bowen Hills.
At age sixteen, Wallace left school and attended a business college (a request insisted upon by her parents when she decided to become an actress) and also joined an advertising agency while still performing in the theatre at night. She then joined television in Brisbane as an entertainer on the variety show called Theatre Royal, and she also hosted the afternoon news and weather and a children's show. At the age of nineteen, Wallace was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) - a condition which persists to this day.
Wallace was working in television in Brisbane when Barry Creyton persuaded the producers of a new series to fly Rowena down to Sydney to audition for the lead role in their show; as a result Wallace won the role of Margie Harris in You Can't See Round Corners and moved to Sydney.
After completing Corners, she went on to star as the juvenile lead in the hit comedy stage production with renowned performers John McCallum and Googie Withers. The show, Relatively Speaking, played to packed audiences in Melbourne.
On February 12, 1970, the film Squeeze A Flower had its world premiere in Sydney. Wallace starred in the movie as the female lead opposite international film veteran, Walter Chiari. Later in the 1970s she appeared frequently in Australian television, with an on-going role in soap opera Number 96 in 1975-1976, followed by a regular role in police drama Cop Shop playing policeman's wife Pamela Taylor. After leaving that series she played mentally unbalanced remand prisoner Anne Griffin in Prisoner for several weeks in late 1980.
Wallace's most famous role was in the soap opera Sons and Daughters where she played Patricia Dunne Hamilton Palmer starting in 1982. Nicknamed Pat the Rat the character became an immensely popular bitch figure in the series and its most famous character.
In 1985 Wallace won a Gold Logie for the portrayal during an era when Gold Logies were usually won by major television personalities and hosts but not actors. She was the first woman to win the award since it was opened up to Most Popular Australian Personality.
Wallace also received Silver Logies for:
Wallace left Sons and Daughters after three years, with her final scenes going to air in early 1985 just after her Gold Logie win. The popularity of her character led to it being recast, with Belinda Giblin assuming the role of a returning Patricia after extensive cosmetic surgery had altered her facial features. Late in the show's run, with ratings in decline, Wallace was returned to the series in an attempt to boost the show's popularity. With Giblin remaining in the show Wallace now played a new character, that of Patricia's long-lost identical twin sister Pamela. Her return lasted ten weeks but did little to halt the show's dwindling ratings, and it was cancelled shortly afterwards.
In October 2005, Wallace was charged with social security fraud, and sentenced to six months imprisonment, yet she was released immediately. Between July 1999 and November 2003, Wallace was collecting a disability support pension, despite being actively employed by television series such as Water Rats, Beauty and the Beast, and Good Morning Australia.
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