Judy Nunn

Judith Anne Nunn[1] (AM) (born 1945 in Perth, Western Australia), (also published under the pen name of Judy Bernard-Waite), is an Australian fiction author, former theatre and television actress and radio and television screenwriter. Nunn was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2015 Australia Day Honours for her service to the performing arts as a scriptwriter and actor of stage and screen, and to literature as an author.[2]

Judy Nunn

Judy Nunn (cropped).jpg
Nunn in 2010
Judith Anne Nunn

1945 (age 75–76)
Other namesJudy Nunn
Judy Bernard-Waite (pen name)
  • Actress
  • author
  • radio and television screenwriter
Notable work
The Box (1974–77)
Sons and Daughters (1984–86)
Home and Away (1988–2000, 03)
Spouse(s)Bruce Venables (m. 1988)

Acting careerEdit

Early stage and TV careerEdit

After many years as a leading stage actress, starting in 1964[3] her breakout television role was as the scheming bisexual reporter Vicky Stafford in the risque soap opera The Box. Her character became a popular cult figure in the series. Nunn continued in the role for the show's entire 1974–77 run and appeared in the feature film version in 1975. In 1979 she briefly played Joyce Martin in the Australian TV series Prisoner and after that had a lengthy spell as Dr. Irene Fisher in television serial Sons and Daughters from 1984 until 1986.

Home and AwayEdit

Her role as original character Ailsa Stewart in the soap opera Home and Away, from 1988 until the character was killed off in 2000 after decided to leave series to devote more time with novels, is probably Nunn's most famous role. In 2002 she returned in a guest role playing the same character - it transpired this was an hallucination of her former on-screen husband, Alf Stewart, caused by a brain tumour.

Personal lifeEdit

Nunn attended Presbyterian Ladies' College, Perth. She married her husband, actor and writer and former New Zealand police officer Bruce Venables, the same week in which she filmed her character Ailsa's marriage to Alf (Ray Meagher) in Home and Away in 1988. Formerly long-time residents of Bondi, New South Wales, Nunn and her husband now reside on the Central Coast, New South Wales. They have a grandchild, Molly Venables.

Literary careerEdit

Nunn is a screenwriter of radio and television and author. She has written scripts for programme's Neighbours and Possession. In the 1980s she decided to turn her hand to prose. The result was two adventure novels for children, Eye in the Storm and Eye in the City, which remain popular in Australia and Europe. Embarking on adult fiction in the early 1990s, Judy's three novels, The Glitter Game, Centre Stage and Araluen, set respectively in the worlds of television, theatre and film, became bestsellers. A specialist in Australian period fiction, other books she has written include Kal, Beneath the Southern Cross, Territory, Pacific, Heritage, Floodtide, Maralinga, Tiger Men in 2011, Elianne in 2013 and Spirits of the Ghan in 2015.


Year Title Role Notes
The Onedin Line Woman Season 1, Episode 12 − "Cry of the Blackbird"
The Befrienders Mother Season 1, Episode 7 − "Lots of Friends in the Big City"
Matlock Police Stella Davis Episode − "The Prowler"
The Box Vicki Stafford Seasons 1–6 (206 episodes)
The Box Vicki Stafford Feature film adaptation of the series
Bit Part Jo Television film
The Newman Shame Veronica Television film
Skyways Bessie Langhurst "The Return of Bessie Langhurst": Parts 1 & 2 (2 episodes)
Prisoner Joyce Martin Season 1 (9 episodes)
Holiday Island Unknown/unnamed role Unknown episode(s)
A Country Practice Nancy Brewer Season 2, Episodes 23 & 24 − "Shootin' Through": Parts 1 & 2 (2 episodes)
David Copperfield (voice) Animated television film
Hostage Mrs. Lewis Feature film
Sherlock Holmes and the Valley of Fear (voice) Animated film
Sherlock Holmes and a Study in Scarlet (voice) Animated film
Crime of the Decade Rolly's Mother Television film
Sons and Daughters Irene Fisher Seasons 3–5 (150 episodes)
The Pickwick Papers (voice) Animated television film
1988–2000, 2002–03
Home and Away Ailsa Stewart (née Hogan) Seasons 1–13 (main), Seasons 15–16 (recurring) (1313 episodes)
Self appearances
Year Title Role Notes
2001–02 Beauty and the Beast Herself Panel show
1997 Surprise Surprise Herself Light entertainment show (1 episode)
2002 The Best of Aussie Drama Herself Documentary
2006 It Takes Two Herself Music competition show (3 episodes)
2012 First Tuesday Book Club Herself Panel Show (1 episode)
2018 Endless Summer: 30 Years of Home and Away Herself Documentary
Additional credits
Year Title As Notes
1985 Neighbours Writer Season 1 (3 episodes)


Children’s fictionEdit

  • The Riddle of the Trumpalar (1981, as Judy Bernard-Waite) with Patricia Bernard and Fiona Waite
  • Challenge of the Trumpalar (1986, as Judy Bernard-Waite) with Patricia Bernard and Fiona Waite
  • Eye in the Storm (1988)
  • Eye in the City (1991)

Adult fictionEdit

  • The Glitter Game (1991)
  • Center Stage (1994)
  • Araluen (1994)
  • Kal (1996)
  • Beneath the Southern Cross (1999)
  • Territory (2002)
  • Pacific (2004)
  • Heritage (2005)
  • Floodtide (2008)
  • Maralinga (2009)
  • Tiger Men (2011)
  • Elianne (2013)
  • Spirits of the Ghan (2015)
  • Sanctuary (2017)
  • Khaki Town (2019)


  1. ^ {itsanhonour.gov.au}
  2. ^ Northover, Kylie (23 January 2015). "Australia Day honours: Judy Nunn, actress and author, awarded AM". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ "Judy Nunn theatre credits". AusStage.
  • Nunn, Judy (27 November 2004). "Prime time for peeping Toms". The Weekend Australian. p. 21.

External linksEdit