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Ian Smith (actor)

Ian Smith (actor)

Australian actor
Ian Smith (actor)
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Australian actor
Is Actor Screenwriter
From Australia
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 19 June 1938, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Age: 82 years
Star sign GeminiGemini
The details


Ian Smith (born 19 June 1938) is an Australian soap opera character actor, television producer (associate) and television screenwriter, best known today for his long-running itinerant role as the caring, kindly coffee shop owner Harold Bishop in the soap opera Neighbours, since 1987, when the series was taken over by Network Ten.


Before appearing on Neighbours, Smith had previously acted in guest roles in drama series such as the Crawford Productions police dramas Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police. He had a regular role in long-running Australian television serial Bellbird, made a guest appearance as a police detective in The Box in 1975, and had a semi-regular role in serial Prisoner. Smith was also script editor of Prisoner for most of its eight-year run. He became Associate Producer of Prisoner late in its run.

Smith featured in Series 11 of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! to set the camp-mates challenges. He did not join the camp-mates.


Smith became best known through his portrayal of Harold Bishop in the soap opera Neighbours from 1987 to 1991, and returning in 1996. He switched to recurring status from 2008 to 2009, becoming one of its longest serving characters.

In 2008, he revealed to the Daily Mail newspaper that his main decision for leaving Neighbours was the ongoing abuse that he received from yobs near his Melbourne home. He claimed that the abuse was so bad, he had to get the police involved. In his final Neighbours storyline, his character was diagnosed with cancer. Harold recovered after treatment and was written out by leaving to travel around Australia. For his portrayal of Harold, Smith received a nomination for a Gold Logie Award in 2009.

In December 2010, Ryan Moloney revealed to TV Week that Smith would be returning to Neighbours in 2011. Smith appeared for six weeks from May 2011. Smith returned to Neighbours in 2015, with former co-star Anne Charleston for the 30th anniversary. He also appeared in a documentary celebrating the anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.

Personal life

Smith was 54 when his mother Connie Smith, realising she had 24 hours to live, finally admitted to him that he had been adopted. After her death, Smith went in search of his natural mother Peg Kline, whom he finally found. According to Kline's story, Smith was conceived when she was fourteen, the product of rape, and was put up for adoption. Kline eventually married and had two children from this marriage. She never told anyone besides her husband about her first son until she was contacted by Smith via a letter. Kline contacted Ian's wife Gail Smith, who mentioned that her husband was a prominent Neighbours actor, to which Kline replied, "I've never seen Neighbours in my life". Smith and Kline were reunited and he has built a strong relationship with his mother and two half-brothers, although Smith says that he doesn't feel a mother–son relationship. He calls Kline "one of my best friends". Peg Kline died in May 2005 after a battle with cancer. Smith was believed to have first told the story to the public in an exclusive interview on the biographical documentary series Australian Story in March 2005. However, he had actually revealed much of this in a BBC interview some years before.


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite Himself Documentary
2011 The British Soap Awards Himself Award Presentation
2011 OK! TV Himself
2011 Loose Women Himself
2010 Underbelly The Golden Mile Ken Wallis
2009 Talkin' Bout Your Generation Himself
The Jesus Spoon Buck Senior
Remembering Nigel Himself
2008 Loose Women Himself
2007 Little Britain Down Under Himself Special Thanks
2005 Australian Story Himself
2002 It Shouldn't Happen To A... Soapstar Himself
2001 The Big Breakfast Himself
2000 Neighbours Revealed Himself
Harold Bishop
1997 The Last Of Ryans Sir Arthur Rylah
1996 The Genie From Down Under Race Judge
1994 Blue Heelers Clive Burton
1993 Body Melt Dr. Carrera
1992 Noel's House Party Himself
1991 Pebble Mill at One Himself
That's Showbusiness Himself
1990 Happy Birthday, Coronation Street Himself
1987–1991, 1996–2009, 2011, 2015 Neighbours Harold Bishop Main Cast
1981 I Can Jump Puddles Mr. Slade
1979–1986 Prisoner Ted Douglas
Rev. Potter
Script Editor
Associate Producer
1978 Chopper Squad Unknown
1977 Glenview High Rocky
Bluey Sen. Det. Davidson
1975 Division 4 Mike Chapman
Matlock Police Barry
Quality of Mercy Unknown
1974 Ryan Unknown
Alpha Scorpio Unknown
1972 Homicide Johnny Reid
1971–1973 Matlock Police Larry Fisher
Rick Cameron
David Wishart
Const. Graham Browning
Estate Agent
John Roberts
Multiple Roles
1971 Homicide Michael Edmunds
1969 Detective Dick Spencer
1967 Belbird Russell Ashwood
1966 Homicide Ray Fox
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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