Reference > Erinsborough News > Swing Out Sister!
Annalise is in for a shock when she meets up with the little sister she never knew even existed.
The red-blooded males of Erinsborough are about to get a double helping of the Hartman hot stuff this month when Annalise’s half sister Joanna turns up in Ramsay Street.
Up until now Annalise always thought she was an only child, but little half-sister Joanna is about to change all that. And when gorgeous Jo turns up on Marlene’s doorstep, everybody does a double take – including Annalise – because the resemblance between the two girls is simply uncanny.
But it will take more than blonde hair and the same taste in lipstick, to convince Annalise that Joanna is a relative of hers. The girls share the same father, but Joanna will have to produce some positive proof to doubtful Annalise to convince her that they are sisters.
“She has to produce baby shots and other evidence to prove to Annalise that they definitely share the same father,” says Emma Harrison, who plays Joanna. “She is a young girl from Perth who discovers that she has a half sister of her father’s side and she decides to track her down,” says 21-year-old Emma who herself has an older sister, 26-year-old local radio journalist Nikki.
Emma reckons they get along like a house on fire and by the sounds of it, it’s not long before Joanna and Annalise begin to warn to each other too.
“Eventually they get along really well and Joanna soon moves into Marlene’s house. Neither Annalise or Joanna have ever had a sister or brother before, so it’s very strange for both of them.”
It was just as strange for Emma to get used to being on the hallowed Ramsay Street set. She was originally only drafted in for a four week guest role, but the show’s producers were so pleased with her performances that she was asked back to become a full-time cast member.
And now that actress Kimberley Davies (who plays Annalise) has left the show, it’s up to Emma to fill her strappy sandals! But whatever you do, don’t try telling Emma that she’s going to be the next Kimberley!
“There’s never going to be another Kimberley Davies in Neighbours, just as there could never be another Pamela Anderson in Baywatch,” she insists. “Joanna is a completely different character to Annalise. She is far more naïve and quite conservative. The only similarity between them is that they look a little alike, but that isn’t surprising since we were cast to look like sisters!”
Landing the role in Neighbours was a dream come true for model-turned-actress Emma, and it gave her the chance to make the transition she’d always wanted from catwalk to television. But becoming a Ramsay Street regular did have one unfortunate downside. It meant swapping the sunny shores of her home in the beach resort of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, for the colder, much more wintery climes of Melbourne where Neighbours has always been shot.
“It took me a full five months to settle into the swing of things,” sighs Emma. “The Melbourne winters are a real shock to the system. But I’m really enjoying my work, so I’m happy to stay here for a long time to come.”
This article originally appeared in Inside Soap magazine, dated January 1996, and written by Victoria Ross