The Info List - Pamela Rabe

Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
(born 30 April 1959) is a Canadian- Australian
actress and theatre director. A graduate from the Playhouse Acting School, in Vancouver, Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and awarded actors.[1] She is best known for her appearances in the films Sirens, Così, Paradise Road and starring as Joan Ferguson in the award winning television series Wentworth.


1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Theatre 2.2 Film 2.3 Television

3 Other work 4 Filmography

4.1 Film 4.2 Television

5 Awards and nominations 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Early life[edit] Rabe was born Pamela June Koropatnick in Oakville, Ontario, Canada in 1959. The seventh of eight children, she graduated from the Playhouse Acting School in Vancouver. Rabe relocated to Australia in 1983 with Australian
director, Roger Hodgman. They were married in 1984. Career[edit] Theatre[edit] Rabe is a prolific contributor to theatrical life in her adopted country in acting and directing, across a wide range of genres - musicals, comedy and drama. With the works of Shakespeare, Moliere, Chekhov, Brecht, Noel Coward, Patrick White
Patrick White
and David Mamet
David Mamet
forming just a part of her theatrical CV, Rabe has played leading roles on the Australian
stage in some of the greatest stage plays of our time. She is a long-standing collaborator with the Sydney Theatre Company and the Melbourne
Theatre Company. Rabe was once described by Melbourne theatre critic Alison Croggon as having the sort of presence that "makes shy people swallow hard and lesser mortals involuntarily bow". [2] Some of her other high-profile acting roles include Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie
at Belvoir, for which she won a Helpmann Award, Nora Boyle in Patrick White's The Season At Sarsaparilla, for which she won a Green Room Award for Best Actress,[3] Richard III in the Sydney Theatre Company production of The War Of The Roses, which also starred Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
as Richard II.[4][5] and Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil in Les Liaisons Dangereuses alongside Hugo Weaving. In 2005 she performed a challenging experimental Croatian play called Woman-Bomb.[6] where she inhabited the body and mind of a suicide bomber. Rabe was the sole performer in a production that lasted eight hours. In 2010 she starred in the Melbourne
stage production of David Mamet's play Boston Marriage.[7] In 2012 Rabe received a Helpmann Award
Helpmann Award
for Best Female Actor in a Musical for her performance in Grey Gardens for The Production Company. In July 2015 she won a second Helpmann Award, this time for Best Female Actor in a Play, for her performance in The Glass Menagerie. In late 2017 Rabe played the roles of Helene Alving in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts for Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre, Mrs. Higgins in the Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
directed revival of My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
(replacing Robyn Nevin), and the role of Mary in Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary, at The Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne. In 2018 Rabe will star in Lucy Kirkwood's play The Children at the Melbourne
Theatre Company.[8] Rabe turned her hand to theatre directing in 2009, and has directed several high-profile plays for Australian
theatre companies, including the Australian
premiere of In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), and Elling
for the Melbourne
Theatre Company. Rabe was nominated for a Green Room Award for best direction on both occasions. In 2012 Rabe was invited to be a member of the guest triumvirate who programmed the Melbourne Theatre Company
Melbourne Theatre Company
season for that year. Film[edit] In 1989, Rabe made her film debut with a minor role in Against the Innocent. Her second role came in 1993 when she was cast in John Duigan's romantic comedy, Sirens with Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant
and Sam Neill. Rabe's first leading role was in the 1995 film Vacant Possession. Following this, she appeared in Così with Toni Collette, Lust and Revenge directed by Paul Cox, and Paradise Road, a film starring Glenn Close set during World War II. In 1997, Rabe was cast in the leading role of 1997 film adaptation, an adaptation of Elizabeth Jolley's novel The Well, for which she received an AFI Award for Best Actress.[1] More recently she appeared in the Jasmila Zbanic
Jasmila Zbanic
drama film For Those Who Can Tell No Tales and she narrated the upcoming 2015 film, Symphony of the Wild. Television[edit] Rabe has appeared on several Australian
television series throughout her career. Her first was in 1990, when she received a guest role in the soap opera A Country Practice. Then she featured in a number of recurring roles including the family series Ocean Girl
Ocean Girl
and The Secret Life of Us and a lead role in the short lived series Mercury. In September 2013 it was announced that Rabe would be cast in the Australian
prison drama series, Wentworth, a reimagining of the classic Network Ten
Network Ten
soap opera Prisoner. She joined Wentworth in Season Two as sadistic prison governor Joan "The Freak" Ferguson, a role originally played by Maggie Kirkpatrick
Maggie Kirkpatrick
in Prisoner. Rabe as Ferguson is seen as intimidating and evil and often uses a clever, non-physical approach in a way to control and manipulate the prisoners and officers alike, with little need for violence, unlike Kirkpatrick's character who mainly resorted to violence. Rabe appeared in both Season Two and Season Three in a leading role, as it was finally discovered that Ferguson is unstable and her crimes are revealed. Rabe returned as Joan Ferguson in the fourth season in 2016, in which she becomes a prisoner at Wentworth and uses strategies to get herself out of prison for good. Rabe reprised her role for the fifth season of Wentworth in 2017, in which Ferguson remains incarcerated for killing inmate Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) at the end of the previous season. It is currently unknown if Rabe will return for the sixth season which will be broadcast in 2018.[9] Other work[edit] Rabe served on the board of the Australian
Film Institute from 1999–2002[10] and is a former member of the Board of Directors of NIDA. Filmography[edit] Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1989 Against the Innocent American Woman

1993 Sirens Rose Lindsay

1995 Vacant Possession Tessa

1996 Così Ruth

1996 Lust and Revenge Obnoxious Woman

1997 Paradise Road Mrs. Tippler

1997 The Well Hester

2004 The Boy Who Feeds Cats Narrator Voice; short film

2013 For Those Who Can Tell No Tales Mum

2015 Symphony of the Wild Narrator Voice


Year Title Role Notes

1985 A Single Life Margaret Bennett Television film

1987 Nancy Wake Madeleine Miniseries

1990 A Country Practice Marnie Rose Season 10 - "My Sister's Keeper" (Parts 1 & 2)

1993 Seven Deadly Sins Greed Miniseries

1995 Ocean Girl Commander Byrne Recurring role; Season 2 - 13 episodes

1996 Mercury Claire Bannister Leading role; Season 1 - 13 episodes

1996 The Bite Samira Nazib Miniseries

1997 Frontier Rosa Campbell Praed Miniseries

2001 Stingers Eve Reisner Episode: "True Colours"

2003 The Secret Life of Us Luciana Recurring role; Season 3 - 9 episodes

2003 CrashBurn Andy Episode: "Seven Letters or Less"

2005 Holly's Heroes Mrs. Rocacelli 3 episodes

2014–present Wentworth Joan Ferguson Leading role; Season 2– (48 episodes)

Awards and nominations[edit] This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Year Format Association Category Nominated work Result

1988 Theatre Green Room Award Actress in a Leading Role (Drama)[11] Gertrude Stein and a Companion Won

1991 Theatre Green Room Award Female Actor in a Featured Role (Music Theatre) The Wizard of Oz Won

1993 Theatre Green Room Award Actress in a Leading Role (Drama)[12] Lost in Yonkers Won

1997 Theatre Green Room Award Female Actor in a Featured Role (Music Theatre) A Little Night Music Nominated

1997 Film AACTA Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Well Won

1997 Film Stockholm International Film Festival Best Actress Won

1998 Film Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards Best Actor - Female Nominated

2002 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Musical The Wizard of Oz Nominated

2002 Theatre Green Room Award Female Actor in a Featured Role (Music Theatre) Nominated

2005 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Play Dinner Nominated

2007 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Play Mother Courage and Her Children Nominated

2008 Theatre Green Room Award Best Female Performer - Theatre (Companies) The Season At Sarsaparilla Won

2009 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Play War of the Roses Nominated

2011 Theatre Green Room Award Direction - Theatre (Companies) In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) Nominated

2011 Theatre Green Room Award Female Artist Leading Role - Music Theatre Grey Gardens Won

2012 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Musical Won

2012 Theatre Green Room Award Direction - Theatre (Companies) Elling Nominated

2015 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Play The Glass Menagerie Won

2015 Theatre Helpmann Award Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role – Play Beckett Triptych Footfalls Nominated

2015 Television Astra Award Most Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor Wentworth (Season Two) Nominated

2015 Television AACTA Awards Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Wentworth (Season Three) Won

2016 Television Logie Awards Most Outstanding Actress Wentworth (Season Three) Nominated

2016 Television AACTA Awards Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Wentworth (Season Four) Nominated

2017 Television AACTA Awards Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Wentworth (Season Five) Nominated

See also[edit]

Cinema of Australia


^ a b "Pamela Rabe". 16th Street. Archived from the original on 23 February 2011.  ^ http://theatrenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2004/08/dinner.html ^ "Sarsaparilla steals the Melbourne
Limelight". Sydney
Morning Herald. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 19 December 2009.  ^ "Richard III, thy name is woman". Sydney
Morning Herald. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2010.  ^ Lalak, Alex (19 January 2009). "Review: The War Of The Roses, starring Cate Blanchett". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2010.  ^ Womb with a view ^ Croggon, Alison (11 June 2010). " Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
on a roll as a woman behaving badly". The Australian. Retrieved 24 August 2010.  ^ http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/sarah-peirse-in-mtcs-the-children-a-nightmare-vision-of-the-quake-to-come-20180118-h0k624.html ^ Adams, Cameron (21 June 2017). "Wentworth spoiler warning: will The Freak escape being buried alive?". News.com.au. Retrieved 27 June 2017.  ^ "National Institute of Dramatic Art". 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.  ^ "Promptings". Saturday Extra. The Age. 27 February 1988. p. 9.  ^ "Playbox tops stage awards". The Age. 18 February 1993. p. 14. 

Further reading[edit]

Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
in Melbourne
Magazine, 30 July 2010 A Woman of Substance, The Age, 23 April 1994

External links[edit]

Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
on IMDb

Awards for Pamela Rabe

v t e

AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Monica Maughan (1971) Jacki Weaver
Jacki Weaver
(1972) Judy Morris (1973) Julie Dawson (1974/1995) Helen Morse (1976) Pat Bishop (1977) Angela Punch McGregor (1978) Michele Fawdon (1979) Tracy Mann (1980) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1981) Noni Hazlehurst (1982) Wendy Hughes (1983) Angela Punch McGregor (1984) Noni Hazlehurst (1985) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1986) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1987) Nadine Garner
Nadine Garner
(1988) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1989) Catherine McClements
Catherine McClements
(1990) Sheila Florance
Sheila Florance
(1991) Lisa Harrow (1992) Holly Hunter
Holly Hunter
(1993) Toni Collette
Toni Collette
(1994) Jacqueline McKenzie
Jacqueline McKenzie
(1995) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1996) Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
(1997) Deborah Mailman
Deborah Mailman
(1998) Sacha Horler
Sacha Horler
(1999) Pia Miranda
Pia Miranda
(2000) Kerry Armstrong (2001) Maria Theodorakis (2002) Toni Collette
Toni Collette
(2003) Abbie Cornish
Abbie Cornish
(2004) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2005) Emily Barclay
Emily Barclay
(2006) Joan Chen
Joan Chen
(2007) Monic Hendrickx (2008) Frances O'Connor (2009) Jacki Weaver
Jacki Weaver
(2010) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(2011) Deborah Mailman
Deborah Mailman
(2012) Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne
(2013) Sarah Snook
Sarah Snook
(2014) Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
(2015) Odessa Young
Odessa Young
(2016) Emma Booth (2017)

v t e

Helpmann Award
Helpmann Award
for Best Female Actor in a Musical

Sharon Millerchip (2001) Judi Connelli (2002) Tamsin Carroll (2003) Kate Hoolihan (2004) Chloe Dallimore
Chloe Dallimore
(2005) Tamsin Carroll (2006) Laurie Cadevida (2007) Genevieve Lemon (2008) Sharon Millerchip (2009) Michala Banas (2010) Verity Hunt-Ballard (2011) Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
(2012) Lucy Durack
Lucy Durack
(2013) Verity Hunt-Ballard (2014) Caroline O'Connor (2015) Molly Barwick, Dusty Bursill, Tiana Mirra, Alannah Parfett, Sasha Rose, Georgia Taplin, Bella Thomas and Ingrid Torelli (2016) Anna O'Byrne (2017)

v t e

Helpmann Award
Helpmann Award
for Best Female Actor in a Play

Caroline O'Connor (2001) Amanda Muggleton
Amanda Muggleton
(2002) Rachel Griffiths
Rachel Griffiths
(2003) Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(2004) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2005) Caroline O'Connor (2006) Ursula Yovich (2007) Leah Purcell
Leah Purcell
(2008) Robyn Nevin (2009) Julie Forsyth (2010) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2011) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2012) Alison Bell (2013) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2014) Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
(2015) Paula Arundell (2016) Kate Mulvany (2017)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 53939137 LCCN: