We saw her in Summer Bay and behind the bar in Emmerdale - but whatever happened to Emily Symons?

Emily Symons, 46, is most famous for her role as ditzy Marilyn Chambers in Home And Away, who married twice-her-age Summer Bay principal Donald Fisher. She also played barmaid Louise Appleton in Emmerdale.

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How did Emily get her big break?

Emily left school before finishing her exams to launch herself into the acting world. For nearly a year, she worked in shops before getting her big break in a post office training video. That led to her first big role in Aussie soap Richmond Hill and in 1989 she beat Dannii Minogue to the role of Marilyn in Home And Away, staying in the soap for three years. She quit in 1992 to marry musician Nick Lipscombe, but after they split she returned for another stint, from 1995 to 1999.

So how did an Aussie end up in Emmerdale?

Emily moved to London after quitting Home And Away. Despite a few panto appearances, she was struggling to get an agent, when she was asked to join Emmerdale. The producers were looking for an Australian to play their ‘sassy new Woolpack barmaid’ Louise – and were so keen to have her she didn’t even need to audition.

Is she married now?

In 2003 she tied the knot with Lorenzo Smith, son of Viscount Hambleden and descendant of stationery tycoon WH Smith. But they split after two years, with Emily later admitting that their struggle to have children, including having IVF ‘killed’ the marriage. She later dated her Emmerdale co-star Matt Healey, who played Matthew King, but they split in 2007.

What happened next?

After appearing on Dancing On Ice the same year, she headed home to Oz and resumed the role of Marilyn, who she’s still playing now.

Emily and her partner Paul Jackson, 45, also welcomed a longed-for baby boy a week before her birthday, on 3 August. Aww!