Mystery dad arrives in Summer Bay
CAMERON Daddo was a household name in the early '90s in Australia, but since returning after more than 25 years in Hollywood, he's had to introduce himself again to audiences in his beloved home country.
Daddo, 55, who will be seen on long-running soap Home And Away tonight, made a name for himself when he replaced Greg Evans as the host of popular dating game Perfect Match in the late 1980s.
He went on to star in a range of local productions and picked up a Logie for his work on the miniseries Golden Fiddles in 1992.
It was that same year that he and wife, model Alison Brahe, packed their bags and joined the growing list of Aussies trying to make their mark in Hollywood. While he never soared to the heights he dreamt of in the US, work was constant and he appeared on shows such as Models Inc, The West Wing and Monk over the decades.
He and Brahe also started their family while living in LA, with daughters Lotus and Bodhi and son River all born while they were there.
In 2016 they made the decision to bring their family back home to Australia (after embarking on a final tour of the States), settling back into Sydney's northern beaches.
But when Daddo returned, he found that much time had passed and, despite his successes both here and abroad, he virtually had to start from scratch.
"It took a while to have people know that we were here and trust we weren't going to zip off any second," he tells Insider. "It took a while for that to happen and for things to build up, it was like starting over again really."
It was a difficult adjustment to make, but one that Daddo completely understood given the length of time he had been out of the Australian spotlight.
"I'd rather not have to start again but I understand why I needed to because generations have passed since I left," he says. "We were gone 25 years so there's a whole lot of people who have no clue who I am.
"And there's a whole lot of people who remember me, but because I'm 25 years older, I look different. I am different. I'm a 50-year-old man now."
Despite the hurdles, there is no doubt the decision to put his family on that plane back to Sydney was the right one.
"Without a doubt it was the best move we could have made," he says. "Just seeing the joy on my parents' faces, my in-laws, seeing them with the kids and with Ali, and getting to hang out with my brothers and my sister."
Family is now at the centre of everything for Daddo, who along with his acting has also hosted a nightly show on Smooth FM for more than six years. The demands of a jobbing actor in Hollywood meant he could be filming for long periods of time thousands of miles from his kids. It was something he wasn't willing to continue doing when he realised what he was missing.
"I spent so much time away from my kids in the early years due to travelling and doing my job," he says. "It was a constant wrestle, a constant wrestle. I said no to lots of work because I was going to be away from the kids so that's the constant battle of an actor."
Daddo is looking forward to heading to Summer Bay. His character plays the singer-songwriting father of one of the show's popular regulars who wasn't expecting to ever meet him. A huge bonus for the familiar face was that he got the opportunity to play his own songs on the show. Music is a massive part of Daddo's life and career and he is planning to release an album shortly.
He says he needed no more convincing than working with the likes of Georgie Parker, Ray Meagher and Emily Symonds.
"They're too good not to, they're too good to do that and they don't need to do it. I trust that part of it. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me."
HOME AND AWAY, CHANNEL 7, WEEKNIGHTS 7PM
Originally published as Mystery dad arrives in Summer Bay