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Home and Away John Palmer actor kept relationship with co-star secret for years

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Both Shane Withington and his co-star declined to disclose their relationship to others.

Renowned for his role as John Palmer in Home and Away, the 65-year-old got to know Anne Tenney while working on the set of A Country Practice in the 1980s. On the Australian soap drama, their characters, Brendan and Molly Jones, later tied the knot.

Fans were unaware, though, that their affection extended beyond the screen. And they were so secretive about their connection that Emily Nicol, their on-screen daughter, was unaware of it.

Shane revealed their reasons for trying to hide their relationship, saying they were afraid of “cheapening” their love. The actor clarified to Starts at 60, saying, “We kept it under our hats; nobody really knew.”

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“We wanted to keep it out of the hands of the media. We didn’t want to cheapen our relationship by including a magazine cover that said, “We found love on a soap opera,” so we kept it a secret for years.”

He continued: “We valued our relationship more than that, it’s a private thing and we’ve kept it that way ever since.” After a fight with leukaemia, Molly passed away in 1985, leaving fans of the programme devastated.

On Home and Away, Shane’s character has also experienced a good deal of heartbreak. After falling in love, he wed Gina Palmer (Sonia Todd), but in 2013 she passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm.

With Marilyn Chambers (Emily Symons), John fell in love once more, but they broke up in 2020. He is now concentrating on the Surf Club and its unidentified contributor.

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