Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Simmone Jade Mackinnon

Simmone Jade Mackinnon

Former Baywatch babe in bush

FORMER Baywatch babe Simmone Jade Mackinnon will star in Channel 9's top-rating local drama McLeod's Daughters.

The producers of McLeod's are hoping Mackinnon will fill the void that will be left by Gold Logie nominee Lisa Chappell, who has decided to quit the show so she can spend more time with husband Chris Taylor.

Mt Isa-born Mackinnon, 30, will appear this year, shortly before Chappell leaves the role of Claire McLeod.

Mackinnon will play gun-toting Stevie Hall, an old friend of Claire. Mackinnon's theatre credits include touring with Cats through Australia and Asia during the mid-1990s.

In 1999 she scored the role of Allie Reese in Baywatch.

Back in Australia after three years in the US, Mackinnon was pleased when Baywatch was dropped.

It freed her to appear in the mini-series Attila, based on the story of Attila the Hun, which was filmed in Lithuania.

By Darren Devlyn
May 05, 2003
The Herald Sun

Simone Mackinnon

Welcome to Drovers, Stevie

She's definitely not the new Claire McLeod—but Stevie is set to win hearts.

Simmone Jade Mackinnon has starred in Baywatch Hawaii and the US miniseries Attila, but she's thrilled to be returning to Australia to play Stevie Hall in McLeod's Daughters. "I think she's the coolest character I've ever had," Simmone says.

Stevie, who will be seen in the show from October, is a friend of Claire's (Lisa Chappell) from her teenage years, when they both competed in rodeos. "She's just wild and crazy," Simmone says. "She gets herself into trouble all the time. But not because she's meaning to—it just happens."

Although Simmone will be filling the hole left by Lisa's departure, she says Stevie isn't the new Claire. "Probably nearly opposite! Claire hasn't always been the way she was," she says. "She did have a wilder side when she was younger, and I just haven't lost mine."

So how did an ex-Baywatch babe end up at Drovers Run? Simmone, who was born in the outback Queensland town of Mt Isa, says she and her mother share a love of horses, and her mum would call when she was living in LA and talk to her about McLeod's Daughters.

"My mum loved the show and would say, 'Why can't you come back home? There's such a wonderful show on TV and you'd be great for it,'" she remembers. "I'd say, 'It doesn't work that way, Mum.'"

But it did work that way. The sister of the wife of McLeod's star Aaron Jeffery was talking to Simmone's sister, and mentioned they were looking for a new cast member. Within a matter of weeks, Simmone had won the role.

Simmone, who owned three horses when she was growing up, is loving the chance to ride again in the top-rating Nine Network rural drama. "If I could, I'd be out on them morning, noon and night," she says.

And, despite her Baywatch background, she says you won't see her in a swimsuit. "Oh my God, no! I think McLeod's Daughters is a bit more casual," she laughs. "Baggy, comfortable clothes."

McLeod's Daughters screens on the Nine Network on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

May 2003
TV Week