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Gina Riley (born 6 May 1961) is an Australian actress, writer, singer and comedian.

Gina Riley
Gina Riley at Kath & Kimderella movie premiere.jpg
Gina Riley in character as Kim Craig at the Kath & Kimderella film premiere in August 2012
Born (1961-05-06) 6 May 1961 (age 58)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Rick McKenna

Television and filmEdit

Riley became a popular television performer in the sketch shows Fast Forward, its successor Full Frontal, Big Girl's Blouse and Something Stupid.[1] In the latter she was also a producer and writer. On Fast Forward, Gina Riley sent-up such singers as Tina Arena, Paula Abdul, Bette Midler, Sinéad O'Connor and Dannii Minogue as well as Australian personalities Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Jacki MacDonald. She later appeared in The Games, a spoof behind-the-scenes look at the organising committee of the Sydney Olympics.[2]

She has enjoyed great success as Kim Craig and Trude in Kath & Kim, written, produced and created by Riley and her long-time writing partner and friend Jane Turner. Riley also works frequently with Magda Szubanski.[3]

In contrast to the rest of her cast (such as Glenn Robbins, Peter Rowsthorn and Magda Szubanski), Riley makes relatively few public appearances as herself. Most of the time she appears in character as Kim, with Jane Turner. One notable exception was on Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, where she and Turner both appeared as themselves.[4]

Riley starred as Kim in the Kath and Kim feature film Kath & Kimderella. The film opened in Australia on 6 September 2012 and despite negative reviews from critics it was a box office success having grossed $6,150,771.


In 1987, she played the part of 'Chrissie' (loosely based on rock singer Chrissy Amphlett) in Phil Motherwell's musical play 'Fitzroy Crossing' which enjoyed successful seasons and rave reviews at LaMama Theatre, in Carlton, Victoria. The music for the play was composed by Joe Dolce.

Riley has also had some roles in musical theatre.[5] In 1992 and 1993, she appeared on stage as Janet in The New Rocky Horror Show; she is included on the cast album. In 1994, she played Trina in Sydney Theatre Company's production of Falsettos, winning a Green Room Award for its Melbourne season. In 1998, she played The Baker's Wife in a Melbourne Theatre Company production of Into the Woods. In 2009, she played Matron "Mama" Morton in a production of Chicago.[6]

In 2019, Riley starred as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opposite Anthony Warlow. [7]

Personal lifeEdit

Riley is married to Rick McKenna and they have a daughter named Maggie (born 1996),[8] who is also an actress,[9] and who, as of 2018, is starring as Zoe Murphy in the Dear Evan Hansen US National Tour.[10]

In March 2013, Riley revealed she was being treated for breast cancer, following the discovery of a tumour during a yearly check-up late in 2012. However she reported that it was found early enough to be easily treated.[11]


  1. ^ Turner, Tonya: Gina Riley leaves Kim for a spell in Chicago, The Courier-Mail, 5 December 2008.
  2. ^ Games Management Team, The Games (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
  3. ^ Quinn, Karl: The Magda carta, The Age, 14 September 2003.
  4. ^ Jane Turner and Gina Riley (Kath and Kim), Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, ABC TV, 28 July 2003.
  5. ^ AusStage - Gina Riley AusStage. Retrieved 22 February 2015
  6. ^ "Gina Riley takes on Chicago role". The Courier-Mail.
  7. ^ "TEG Life Like Company – Sweeney Todd starring Anthony Warlow & Gina Riley". Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  8. ^ Minchin, Nel (director) (26 November 2017). Making Muriel (Television production). Event occurs at 37:40. I was... born in 1996.
  9. ^ Fortescue, Elizabeth (14 June 2017). "Kath and Kim star Gina Riley's daughter Maggie McKenna lands dorky role in Muriel's Wedding". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Australia's Maggie McKenna Completes Cast of DEAR EVAN HANSEN Tour Taking on the Role of Zoe".
  11. ^ "Kath & Kim star battling cancer". 3 News NZ. 19 March 2013.

External linksEdit