Ex-Home and Away actor was told to keep quiet about his sexuality

Susannah Alexander
Photo credit: Channel 7

From Digital Spy

Home and Away has seen its fair share of iconic characters over the years, from Sally Fletcher and Alf Stewart to Donald Fisher and Leah Patterson-Baker.

One character who made a real impression on fans during the '90s was truck driver Greg Marshall, whose storylines included his marriage to Bobby Simpson and an affair with Fiona Harris.

But actor Ross Newton, who played Greg between 1991 and 2000, has revealed that he was advised to keep quiet about his sexuality during this time – and that this had a "huge effect" on him.

Photo credit: Channel 7

"It was a very different society," he told Australia's The Morning Show of being gay in the early 1990s.

"I think being an LGBTQI performer in the entertainment industry was totally fine and there aren't a lot actors who would have had a problem with it, I wouldn't think – but I think it was more the perception of society and where society was at the time.

"I think society wasn't really warming to that, it was still taboo. So, I think we've come leaps and bounds – and reflecting on my time on Home and Away, I was told at the time by a producer on the show, who was doing the right thing by me, but he said, 'Look, for your career's sake and for our show, it's best that you just do not talk about this sort of thing'.

"That was normal then. You'd go into a casting and you weren't allowed to tell people who you were. And I found that really challenging. It really had a huge effect," he continued.

"I was constantly on my toes – I was always wondering, is someone going to find out or am I going to get caught out somewhere?"

Although he added that he thinks society has come on "leaps and bounds" since then, Ross also explained that he still thinks that there are "limitations" on actors who are open about their sexuality.

"I still think for actors in the industry, if you are open about who you are, I think there are limitations in terms of the opportunities that are available to you. In terms of the big roles," he said, pointing out Kristen Stewart's recent admission as an example.

"Yes, we're so much more ahead than what we were in the '90s and that's fantastic, but I still think we have to be a bit more diligent in terms of that representation and the opportunities that we should have."

During the interview, the actor also revealed that he looks back on his time on Home and Away with pride, saying it was "amazing" for him to be involved.

"It was a pretty new show at the time – and it was really gaining momentum," he said. "It was a close-knit group of people. We had no idea that it would become what it's now become – and I'm proud to have played a part in it."

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia).

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