The Melbourne born actor first stepped on Ramsay Street in 1994 as an inquisitive 15-year-old in a feature extra’s role, which led onto being cast as an occasional guest character Jarrod ‘Toadie” Rebecchi. A year later after winning over fans and the producers, Toadie became a permanent resident. Two decades on, Ryan is one of the most recognized faces on Neighbours and adored by viewers globally.
To coincide with Ryan’s 20th one of his character’s biggest and most heart-wrenching story lines has begun. After injuring himself trying to rescue his daughter, Toadie has to face the devastating news that he may not be able to walk again.
“It’s been truly amazing playing Toadie and when the writers told me to mark the occasion we’re going to put you in hospital/wheelchair, I knew it was a term of endearment,” joked Ryan. “I feel very special.”
Ryan joins a select few Australian performers who have literally grown up on the television screen. Neighbours’ legends Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne who play matriarchs Karl and Susan Kennedy, have witnessed Ryan sprout from a teen to a young man.
“I'm so proud of Ryan. Over 20 years I've had the pleasure of watching him grow from a boisterous kid with a huge heart and appetite for life, into a thoughtful and generous man. He's a great husband and father and brings so much enthusiasm and energy to the set, even after 20 years. I’m proud to know him as an actor and a friend. He truly is a classic,” said Jackie Woodburne.
Alan Fletcher added; “To put it simply Ryan is a funny guy and that makes working with him a joy. He is always first to find a quirky, amusing angle on playing scenes that keeps the work fresh and engaging. This quality alone has ensured made him a household favourite the world over.”
Returning to comfort Toadie in the coming months is his on-screen mother Lesley Baker who plays the irrepressible Angie Rebecchi and larrikin brother Stonefish played by Anthony Engleman.