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Guest Character Profiles > Jack Lassiter Alan Hopgood

Jack Lassiter 1986, 2013
Marital Status: Adeline 'Addie' (?-1985; died), Andrea Townsend (1986-??)
Occupation: Gold Prospector, Owner of Lassiter's Hotel
Died: 2013

Eccentric Jack Lassiter made his money in gold prospecting out in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia and moved to Erinsborough with his wife, Addie. He took over a local hotel, naming it Lassiter’s, and created The Waterhole pub, an exact replica of his local pub back in W.A. Despite being the owner, Jack refused to live inside the hotel, instead setting up his caravan by the lake. Jack was often mistaken for famous gold prospector Lewis Lasseter, which he used to drum up business for the hotel on the odd occasion. When Addie died, Jack retreated into himself slightly, with many hotel guests mistaking him for the odd-job man.

Paul Robinson was anxious to buy Lassiter’s from Jack, but the owner seemed like he didn’t want to budge for the time being. When Paul noticed that Jack had taken quite a shine to Andrea Townsend, he paid her to try and convince Jack to sell. Jack quickly cottoned on to the plan and he decided to get his own back on Paul. He went to the Daniels Corporation office and told Paul that he’d decided to sell up. Paul was thrilled, but a week later, Jack changed his mind and Paul realised that he’d been on the receiving end of some of his own ruthless treatment. Meanwhile, Jack and Andrea were growing closer. After tiptoeing around each other for a while, Andrea asked him over for dinner. It quickly became obvious, however, that Andrea’s son, Bradley, wasn’t keen on the blossoming relationship, as he told Jack that he was too old for his mum and that their kissing was disgusting. Noticing that Andrea didn’t even reprimand Bradley for his behaviour, Jack smacked him and found himself thrown out of the house.

Jack later returned and apologised and he also managed to have a quiet word with Bradley, explaining that he wouldn’t come between him and his mother. It looked like the damage had been done, though, until one evening when Jack was having dinner with the Ramsay family, by way of Madge apologising since her brother, Tom, had been trying to set the two of them up with each other. Throughout the evening, Jack could only think, and talk, about Andrea. He decided to go over and see her, putting his feelings on the line. Andrea was happy with this development, but became subdued when Des announced his engagement to Daphne, as she realised that she and Bradley would have to move out. Jack took the opportunity to propose to her and she accepted, but first warned him that she cared deeply for him but didn’t love him. Jack realised that this could be his final chance at happiness and told her that he’d settle for just being liked. He then announced his plans to sell the hotel and move away from Erinsborough to the outback. Andrea was unhappy about this and Jack realised it, so, at the last minute, he told her that their plans had changed and they’d be leaving for Paris after the wedding in Perth.

Before leaving, Jack told Paul that he wasn’t quite ready to sell the hotel. He gave Paul first refusal, however, asking him to manage the place for the six months he was away. When that time was up, Jack contacted the Daniels Corporation from Europe, where he’d decided to extend his tour, and announced that he would happily sell his business on to Paul and Rosemary.

In 2013, over 27 years after he'd last been in Erinsborough, Jack returned and checked himself into the hotel, with no warning and little fanfare. Terese Willis, the manager of Erinsborough's branch of the Lassiter's chain, was a little starstruck as she realised who he was, and Paul, who owned the hotel again after time away from the area, was also pleased to have Jack back in town. Jack was also happy to see Paul, and found that his business persona had grown even more ruthless over the years. Paul was now happily living alone, in a penthouse apartment above the hotel, but Jack tried to make it clear that he would end up very unhappy if he continued to sacrifice love, family and friends for the sake of money.

Beginning to feel very nostalgic after returning to Erinsborough, Jack decided that he wanted to give something back to the local community. After arranging to invest some of his money in the old PirateNet radio station, so that the school could reopen it, he then helped Josh Willis to arrange a local treasure hunt, to help publicise the station's new broadcasts. The plan worked, with many people in the community getting involved in the search, and eventually Lou Carpenter and Sheila Canning finding the treasure, and sharing their $10,000 winnings between them. Jack was delighted to see everyone having so much fun, and quickly arranged another treasure hunt.

Meanwhile, Jack continued to try to make Paul see that he was putting money and business ahead of family, and would never be truly happy unless he stopped. When Paul failed to win an auction to buy 32 Ramsay Street, as it was cancelled at the last minute, Jack pointed out that Paul needed to stop trying to recreated the happiness he felt growing up on that street, and find something new to make him happy in the present day. Paul then went out and bought himself a Ferrari, and Jack wondered if he was now having a midlife crisis, pointing out that when he was Paul's age - rapidly approaching 50 - he'd married Andrea, which had proved to be a mistake and he hadn't heard from her in years. It seemed that Jack's words might finally be getting through to Paul, but it also looked like Jack's time in Erinsborough was about to come to an end - having walked back to Charlie's bar, after looking at Erinsborough's history wall, Jack suddenly suffered a heart attack and collapsed.

After a couple of days, he was released and returned to the hotel, where Paul told him that his credit card had been declined. Jack explained that he'd been deliberately giving away his millions, as he'd found out six months ago that he had an inoperable brain aneurysm, that could rupture and kill him at any moment - the heart attack had been a side effect of the medication. Paul was upset with Jack keeping such a big secret, and with him being so shortsighted and ending up with nothing, but Jack explained that he had nobody to leave the money to, as he'd pushed away everyone close to him, and it had given him a lot of happiness to see the way his money had helped so many people. With no way of knowing how much longer he'd be around for, and no way of paying his bills, Jack decided to tell Paul where the final $10,000 of the treasure hunt was buried, explaining that he could dig it up and use it to pay for the hotel room. Later, as Jack said his final goodbyes and prepared to leave Erinsborough, Paul caught up with him and said that he'd found the money, used it to pay for the hotel and put the rest into Jack's bank account. Jack said that he'd been past the place where the money was buried already, and he knew that there'd been no digging there. He explained that this had been one final test, to see if Paul would put family ahead of money again, and he was delighted that Paul had passed. Paul then gave Jack a hug and sent him on his way - and Paul's method of paying Jack's hotel bill was then explained too, when Terese passed by and asked him about the whereabouts of his new Ferrari - and he said that he'd decided to sell it, as he wasn't happy with the colour.

Three weeks later, Paul was devastated to learn that Jack had died, and had been found in his room at Lassiter's Darwin, by one of the housekeeping staff. As Terese got in touch with Gaby Willis, the manager of the Darwin branch, to find out about funeral arrangements, Paul started to write a eulogy, and Jack's words finally started to hit home with him, as he decided that he was going to make some changes to his life, and start giving back to his community.

Trivia Notes
• Alan Hopgood later worked as a Neighbours scriptwriter
• Alan holds the record for the longest gap between Neighbours appearances, playing the same character, with 6432 episodes having passed between his 1986 and 2013 guest stints
• As Paul was writing Jack's eulogy, his year of birth was given as 1937
• Alan Hopgood was credited as playing Jack in episode 6746, but was only shown in flashbacks

Episodes Featured
228, 231, 232, 238, 240, 241, 243, 245, 250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 263, 265, 266, 269, 270, 271, 273, 275, 279, 282, 283, 284, 285, 6717, 6718, 6719, 6723, 6724, 6725, 6728, 6729, 6731, 6746

Biography by Steve