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Played: Paul Robinson
Appeared: 1985-1992, 1993, 2004-
Born 30th October 1958 in Tawonga, Victoria, Australia, Stefan Raymond John Dennis spent most of his early life on Queensland’s Gold Coast as his family moved there when he was young. By the age of 7, Stefan had begun to show interest in music and acting, and by 11 he’d started working in amateur theatre and was performing in a vocal duo with his brother.
At 16, Dennis had decided to leave school and was determined to follow a career in the entertainment industry, but he’d also decided it would be sensible to get a trade behind him and trained as a chef. After completing his culinary training he moved to Melbourne where he began building up an impressive TV CV.
After a succession of small parts in programmes such as Prisoner: Cell Block H, Young Ramsay, Five Mile Creek, The Flying Doctors and The Henderson Kids, Stefan Dennis won the role that made him famous to millions around the world. New soap Neighbours was still in embryonic form when Stefan auditioned for the role of Shane Ramsay, but ended up getting the part of the eldest Robinson child Paul. He went on to become one of the soap's most popular characters and, when he decided to leave in 1992, was the third longest serving actor. He topped up his tenure with a reappearance in 1993 to celebrate the 2000th episode.
During his time on the show Dennis followed many of his co-stars into the world of music by releasing the single Don’t It Make You Feel Good in 1989, which was followed in the same year by This Love Affair. Neither track performed particularly well in the charts and Stefan hasn’t released a pop record since but this limited discography has gone on to gain a cult following among fans. Another path trod by Neighbours stars is the one into British pantomime, and Dennis has been no exception as he’s starred in successive Christmas shows from 1990 to 1994/5, again in 1998, and in Aladdin in Aberdeen during the 2007/8 festive season. Stefan has also had success in theatre with lead roles in Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Blood Brothers and Point Of Death. He’s also shown further abilities by working as associate producer on the 2004 film The Truth About Love.
After Neighbours, more television work followed through the 90s with Blue Heelers, Good Guys Bad Guys and Stingers. In the new century, Dennis moved to the UK and had parts in dramas River City, Casualty and The Bill but by 2004 he was back in Australia. In that year, Stefan had been visiting the Neighbours set when talks got underway for a come back for Paul Robinson with a surprise cameo in the season finale. Initially it had been intended to be a few months stint to celebrate the 20th anniversary, but due to Paul’s huge popularity, he was soon made a permanent character once again. At the end of 2006, Paul Robinson came third in our poll for the 50 Greatest Neighbours.
Away from the media industry, Stefan is a keen environmentalist and has shown his support for the EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency). He’s been married twice; firstly to Roz Roy, from 1979 until their divorce in 1989, and secondly to Gail Easdale from 2000 to the present. Stefan and Gail have two children; Cameron, born January 2002, and Declan, born August 2005. In 1995 Dennis was part of a team of four that set the world record for 24 hour endurance outdoor karting. They covered 1664.7km on a 1.3km track at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey, UK. Stefan has in the past been called “Steffy” by Neighbours cast and crew, but he prefers it to be used only by his family. From “Steffy”, he’s gained the nickname “Stiffy”.
"Room Service Think I'm Mad!"
Profile by David