In June 1986, Oriana Panozzo's father died in a car crash in Italy. Speaking to Southdown Press Oriana made known, "He was only 61, had just retired and had gone to Italy to sell some property and bring the money back. Then he and Mum were going to tour around the world and have a good time together. Thank God Mum wasn't with him. She decided at the last minute not to go. She would have been in the car as well. We could have lost both of them.
"And Mum's been just remarkable. It must be much harder to lose a husband than a father and she married Dad at 17. She's 52 now (in 1986). Any experience in life has that period where it influences your personality, for sure. After losing Dad I became very vulnerable and, in crowds of people in particular, that can be quite frightening. But I feel that each thing that happened had its own lesson. I cope with people and situations better now because I’ve built up my tolerance.
"Generally people who’ve been through the ropes have a much tougher skin and cope better with life. A lot of people allow this to become cynicism and that's a real shame. I don't. I’m still not over that. I'm dreading Christmas when my family is together because that's when we all come back from wherever we are, and he won’t be there. The experiences have aged me in a big way, mentally and a bit physically – I have a few more 'happy' lines here and there. Yeah, I’ve aged.
"I have a traumatic life this past year (back in 1986). Everyone needs time for a bit of self-pity, and to grieve, but if you let it grow inside you it can be very destructive. For me to have to get up there and say: 'Well, I just have to go to work' and have lines to learn and things to distract me.' It obviously pulled me together. At the same time, I was being so brave. I realized I was shutting off a lot and, as Susan (on 'Sons and Daughters'), I was having to do all these emotional scenes and I couldn’t cry.
"I knew that if I let go the flood gate: bang! And so I had a weekend with a really good friend, talked about Dad’s death, had a really good cry and had a chance to say all those things like: 'I'm going to miss him' and got angry at God. Grief is one of the strangest emotions. It's really weird. One day I'd be hysterically funny and everything was just hilarious and the next day I'd be so depressed – everything was so black.
"And then I'd be really quiet, then really cynical and then I went through a 'don't touch me' stage. You realize you need to come to terms with that and say: 'Okay I'm going through a period of grief and now and then, when it's stimulated, it's going to crop up.' As I've tried to explain to my youngest sister, it's okay to be silly for a while." In November 1985, Oriana and Scott McGregor decided to end their 8-year relationship, "We finally had to decide that we were really great friends but were just not meant to be partners and, luckily again, I had work to distract me because I found I went through a great loneliness. But that bond Scotty and I have really helped because it’s very hard to go from lovers back to friends."
Jared Robinson was 17 when he joined the cast of 'Sons and Daughters' in 1986 playing Craig Maxwell. Jared told Garry Shelley, "In this business, where you're constantly on display, the best way to avoid trouble is to be everybody's friend." Through acting, Jared said he had gained more self-control and sensitivity, "It’s certainly helped me a lot in my home life.
"My values have changed inasmuch as I think I've become more sentimental. I hold little things dear to me – and I hold them a bit longer. I'm sort of glad I'm going in that direction." Of the fan mails, Jared observed, "And surprising not all of it is from 15-year-old girls as you'd probably expect, but a lot is from people many years older; both men and women. I've had abusive letters too – but you take no notice of it. I look at it this way: while I'm here I'm going to get what I can out of it – jump in with two feet and see what happens. I wouldn't jump into another part."
Rowena Wallace played Patricia the Terrible on 'Sons and Daughters'. After filming her last scene on the show back in November 1984, Rowena spoke to Garry Shelley, "I'd be mad if I wasn't happy. I think part of the reason for that is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It will be really nice not to have that constant pressure all the time; the monster on my back.
"I'd defy anyone to do one of those shows (such as 'Sons and Daughters') without a sense of humor. You’ve got to laugh. And the minute you start to take yourself so seriously that you can't laugh at yourself, it's time to have a really good think about it. I love to laugh and I love people who can make me laugh, especially a good belly-laugh. I enjoy anecdotes and people who are really funny. But as a teller of jokes I'm hopeless. I can never remember the tags, I get them all screwed up.
"A funny thing happened to me on location when Pat had to come tearing out of the bush after escaping from a kidnapper and lurch on to a road to hail a car. The traffic had been blocked off for the shoot, but all of a sudden this huge semi-trailer came bearing down on me, and you could feel the driver's foot going for the brake as he slowed. Then he must have thought: 'What on earth is this woman doing running on to the road looking quite mad?' The next thing he accelerated. It was so funny."