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Character Profiles > Jen Handley Alyce Platt

Jen Handley 1995-1996
Lived: 26, 30 Ramsay Street
Born: 1965
Siblings: Luke and Morgan
Family Tree: Handley
Occupation: Medical student, artist, barmaid

When Cody Willis began attending Eden University to study medicine, she met Jen Handley, a young woman in her early thirties. Jen revealed to Cody that she'd decided to turn her life to medicine after her younger sister, Morgan, had died from a-plastic anemia. As little was known about the disease, Jen made it her duty to find out herself and make sure nobody else had to suffer the way her sister did.

As soon as Jen met Philip Martin, she immediately felt attracted to him, but it was a long path to romance. Phil took Jen to the youth centre market - this marked the beginning of their relationship, although Phil didn't realise this and joined a dating agency. The girlfriend of Jen's uni friend Vince Hayworth thought something was going on between Jen and Vince, so Jen asked Philip to be her date for a dinner between the medical school group to prove to Vince's girlfriend nothing was going on between her and Vince. However, Philip was already involved in the dating agency at that time, and Jen had to take Luke to the date instead. As luck would have it, Phil was at the same restaurant on a date with Melissa Sidebottom, and Jen and Cody were forced to rescue him from her amorous advances and invited him to join them. After one more date with Cecily Hilltop, Phil decided he was leaving the dating agency, finally realising that the woman for him was in front of him all along - Jen. On their first date, they doubled with Sam and Cody, who ended up leaving Phil and Jen alone after seeing how into each other they were.

However, Phil began to feel the pressure of dating a younger woman, especially so soon after Julie's death. He desperately wanted the relationship to survive, even trying to convince Jen to move in with him, but she was not ready for such a big step. It all became too much for Jen, who was afraid of losing her independence and identity and the couple split up. However, when Phil promised to relax a bit and take Jen's feelings into consideration, they got back together. Jen also became close to Philip's young daughter, Hannah, who saw Jen more as a best friend than as a replacement for her mother. Jen even bought Hannah her first bra.

Not long after, Jen's younger brother Luke moved into Number 30 Ramsay Street, strengthening her ties with the neighbourhood. Meanwhile, Jen was busy trying to find a record to break for the university committee. She attempted to eat as many dim sims as possible and also tried building the tallest tower of playing cards.

However, Phil and Jen's relationship was once again suffering. In an attempt to be helpful to his girlfriend, Phil interfered in another of Jen's hobbies ' sculpture. He decided to finish off a sculpture she was working on when she had creative block and she was devastated as it was to be the centrepiece of her exhibition. Things got worse when Jen's ex-boyfriend Brook Allen arrived in town. As he was the same age as Jen, Phil began to notice the age difference even more. Jen was shocked that Brook would want her back, while Phil began trying to update his image so Jen wouldn't run off with Brook. Jen told Phil she didn't want him to change and Brook left town soon after.

When Marlene found out about a pair of earrings that Phil was planning to give Jen for her birthday, she started the rumour that Phil was going to propose. This soon got back to Jen, who nervously opened the box, but was pleasantly surprised to realise that she wouldn't have to turn him down after all.

After these tests, Jen decided it was time to move in with Phil and brought with her a rare animal bone collection, something that terrified Hannah. Jen's rare sheep skull even ended up in the bush outside Number 26 after Hannah threw it out.

When Jen heard from her cousin Sarah that she needed a bone marrow transplant, Jen was naturally nervous. She explained to Phil that she suffered from an allergy to general anaesthetic and that this operation could kill her. Jen was found to be a match for Sarah and it was decided that the operation would be performed under local anaesthetic, and all went smoothly. Soon after, Jen developed another strange habit to add to the list - sleepwalking. It took a while for anyone to work out what was going on and it was only when Jen was almost hit by Kev Rebecchi's truck that she realised something had to be done. Jen was advised that she was under too much stress, what with exams, and that she should take some of the day to relax. This was when she began watching daytime soap opera Stairwells of Time. Jen quickly became obsessed with the show, recording all the episodes and even trying to win a competition to visit the set. However, after driving around town with a giant Stairwells of Time banner on top of her car, she still lost to a man named Pete Webb, who had changed his name to that of the lead character in the show. After seeing Pete on TV, Jen realised how tragic she'd become and quickly ended her obsession.

Jen's relationship with Phil was also beginning to go off course. She began being moody and distant and even decided to quit her degree as she was already failing, having recently frozen when her friend Hamish Dwyer had suffered a heart attack. When she heard that Luke, who had moved to Japan with Ren a few months earlier, had gone missing on his way back to Australia, she decided to search for him. Phil realised she was walking away from the relationship and gave her an ultimatum - if she were to go, their relationship would no longer exist when she came back. She went anyway.

When Jen contacted them to say she'd found Luke and was staying with him, Phil was confused - Luke had already been found in Erinsborough. It seemed that Jen was simply trying to avoid coming back. Upon her return, she moved her things out of Number 26 and broke Hannah's heart in the process. She moved across to Number 30 and also scored a job as a barmaid at Chez Chez.

Jen had a brief romance with Sam Kratz's old mate, James Grimmer. For a time, Jen felt liberated, but when Hannah caught them kissing, her reaction made Jen see sense. As the opportunity for an art scholarship in the Northern Territories came up, Jen applied and was thrilled to be accepted and finally be able to follow her dream. She even managed to patch things up with Phil, as he gave her a lift out of Ramsay Street one final time.


Magic Moments
Episode 2563: Jen's Departure

Biography by Steve