Ray Meagher has been a fan of Home and Away for a long time as Summer Bay veteran Alf Stewart, but his real life is very different from that of his fictional character.
Ray does not have any children, despite the fact that Alf has been a father, stepfather, and foster parent. He has previously explained why.
“I feared whether I’d be able to feed myself let alone anyone else when I was younger as a freelance actor,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2018, adding that he chose not to have children owing to the unpredictable nature of acting.
“It’s a strange old career,” he continued, “it’s really precarious, it’s a fairly nasty old profession employment-wise.”
While Ray does not have any children of his own, he is a stepfather to his wife Gilly’s adult daughter Rebecca, and the two keep in touch on a daily basis.
He told the publication, “I have a stepdaughter Rebecca who is in her early 40s.”
“I chat to her at least once a week and meet her for breakfast or brunch whenever the Home and Away schedule allows, which is maybe once every two weeks, which I love.”
After marrying Gilly in 2010, the actor has been married for 12 years and claimed that she loves to keep out of the spotlight.
The 77-year-old defended her absence from the 2018 event by saying, “Gilly would rather swallow a pile of bricks than attend to the Logies.”
“She says, ‘That’s your job, go do it, and don’t worry about me… I don’t know a whole bunch of people,’ so she’s fine with it.”
Gilly, a former nurse, plays a crucial role in Ray’s life, even though she likes to keep in the background.
Ray recognised his wife Gilly as a vital component in his rehabilitation after undergoing life-saving triple-bypass surgery in 2019 and receiving a clean bill of health.
Ray told our sister site New Idea in 2020, “She’s simply great,” and stated that Gilly has always been an incredible support to him.
He mirrored that sentiment shortly after his first heart operation when he told New Idea: “I’m not sure what I would have done if Gilly hadn’t come along.
“Once a nurse, always a nurse,” as the saying goes.
When she isn’t saving his life, Ray credits Gilly with being a fantastic cook, which makes them an ideal match.
“I think it’s fair to say that I eat a fairly balanced diet,” he remarked, “and it’s all owing to Gilly.”
“I can maybe prepare three or four things, but I never go near the kitchen. We’re a natural-born partnership since Gilly adores cooking and I enjoy eating!
“I’m a really fortunate man!”