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Actor, Cameo & Crew Profiles > Actor Profiles > Natalie Imbruglia

Natalie Imbruglia
Played: Beth Brennan Willis
Appeared: 1992-1993, 1994

Natalie Imbruglia was born in Sydney on February 4 1975, and grew up in Berkeley Vale, New South Wales. At 15, she moved to Sydney with her family and studied ballet, tap and highland dancing, hoping to make a career of it. Natalie appeared in Australian television commercials for Coca-Cola and Twisties and by 16, she left school to start acting.

Natalie was 16 when she auditioned for Neighbours for the role of Beth Brennan, and had to relocate from Sydney to Melbourne for filming. Beth Brennan was initially written into the show for just a few weeks and Natalie had to wait two months to find out whether she would become a permanent cast member. Natalie was told the show’s producers wanted to sign her for a year and she believed the permanent position would allow her to prove herself. However, she found being a celebrity uncomfortable and when she became disappointed by the scripts given to her, she asked the producers to write her out of the show, and she left to move to London in 1994.

In 1994 whilst in London, Natalie met Anne Barret, who became her manager and convinced her to record a demo of four songs; she was then signed to BMG Publishing after a demo of Torn impressed RCA Records. Torn went on to become Natalie’s first single and was an instant hit reaching number two in Australia and the UK, and selling over four million copies worldwide. Her debut album, Left of the Middle sold 7 million copies worldwide. Natalie received an MTV Award for Best New Artist in 1998, and won 6 ARIA awards. In 1999, Natalie was nominated for three Grammys and went on to win two Brit Awards for Best International Newcomer and Best International Female.

Natalie’s next album, White Lilies Island, released in 2001, did not sell as well and it was at this time she became a worldwide spokesperson for L'Oréal. She was a model for many cosmetic products by L'Oréal, particularly mascaras and skincare products. She also appeared in several TV commercials for the company. However by July 2007, her five-year contract with L'Oréal expired and was not renewed.

Natalie also branched into films and made her big screen debut in the 2003 British comedy, Johnny English. Acting alongside Rowan Atkinson, she played a supporting role as Lorna Campbell. The movie did well despite negative reviews from critics, topping box offices in 22 countries and grossing more than $160 million worldwide.

On New Year's Eve 2003, Natalie and her boyfriend of three years, Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, married in a beach ceremony in Port Douglas, Queensland. By 2008 they had announced their divorce claiming they lived too far apart.

In 2005, Natalie returned to the charts with her 3rd album Counting Down The Days, the album went to number 1 on the album charts in the UK and she enjoyed success with the single Shiver. During 2005, Natalie was also approached by Neighbours to return for the show’s 20th anniversary celebrations, but she declined. In mid-2007, her record company released a greatest hits collection of Natalie’s 10 years in music. The only single from the album, Glorious, debuted at number 23 in the UK. The Singles Collection fared better and debuted at number 5 in the UK.

Natalie’s second film appearance was in Closed for Winter, based on Georgia Blain's book of the same name. The movie was filmed in Adelaide and premiered at the 2009 Adelaide Film Festival to generally positive reviews. It was released in Australia in April 2009. Later in 2009, Natalie parted with her music label and ended her association with Brightside Recordings. She proceeded to release an album entitled Come to Life on her self-funded label, Malabar Records. The first single from the album, Want, charted poorly. The album was released soon after, but only in Australia, where it reached number 67 and the UK release was cancelled.

In 2010, Natalie stood in for Dannii Minogue during the Birmingham auditions of the UK The X Factor series. She returned to work alongside Dannii Minogue at the Judges Houses section of the show. Natalie then became a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor in 2010. The following year, she was replaced in the role by another former Neighbours actress, Natalie Bassingthwaighte.

After the poor chart performance of Come to Life and her stint as a judge on the The X Factor, Natalie moved to Los Angeles and hired an acting coach. She appeared in the movies Underdogs (2013); Among Ravens (2014); and Loopers (2015). In April 2014, she made her stage debut in an adaptation of Alan Ayckbourn’s Things We Do For Love at the Theatre Royal, Bath.

In 2015, it was announced that Natalie had signed with Sony Masterworks and planned to make her first album in five years. She will cover famous songs by a range of male artists. The first single is a cover of Instant Crush, originally by Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas. The album is due for release in July 2015.

Profile by Kyle