Jane Clifton is the genuine show-business all-rounder. Actress, singer and, more recently, published crime novelist, Jane is often asked if there is anything she can’t do, to which she simply replies ‘Ballet and making money.’
A B.A.(1972) graduate from Monash University’s halcyon days of sex and demos and rock ‘n roll, Jane was momentarily distracted from a promising career as an English teacher (she promised her parents she’d become one) by Melbourne’s burgeoning, alternative theatre and music scene.
The dim lights of Carlton’s La Mama, the Pram Factory, the Flying Trapeze, T.F.Much Ballroom and the Last Laugh Theatre Restaurant beckoned. While the allure of singing in bands with names like Scumbag, Toads and Lipp and the Double Dekker Brothers proved irresistible. Form 6 at Shepparton High would have to wait.
Despite these arty beginnings, Jane has managed to carve out a four decade-long, show-business career. Including
- a string of minor roles in numerous early Australian TV shows from Division 4, Homicide, Ryan, Bluey and even Holiday Island,
- fronting the ground-breaking feminists-on-Countdown band STILETTO,
- being part of the smash-hit stage shows MUM’S THE WORD and – MENOPAUSE – THE MUSICAL
- her top 10 pop singles GIRL ON THE WALL and TAXI MARY (with Jo Jo Zep).
- Two published novels – Half Past Dead (Text 2002), A Hand in the Bush (Text 2005) – and one unpublished, Flush.
- Jane’s solo CD The Marriage of Style (April 2003).
Despite all of the above, Jane will always be most well-known for a role she played over 25 years ago: MARGO in Prisoner/Cell-Block H.
Well-travelled, urbane and witty, passionate Essendon Football Club supporter, solver of cryptic crosswords and mother of two, Jane is in constant demand as an MC, guest speaker, debater and trivia quiz mistress.
Jane’s memoir, The Address Book will be published by Penguin on May 30th 2011.