Byron Bay is a long way from the sleepy rural town with a meatworks and some surf. It is not unusual to see famous people blend in to the local scene. One of the attractions may be that Byron people think they are too cool to hassle them for autographs or selfies. I lived in Possum Creek, just up the road from Paul Hogan when he got married in the late 80s. That was probably the start of the slow celebrity invasion. I have seen Cate Blanchette at the Byronian, Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant in Jonson Street and actor Val Kilmer on Wategos Beach.
Lets have a quick look who else is part of the Byron Scene …
Gemma Ward, Suffolk Park
International model Gemma Ward has purchased in Suffolk Park. The unpretentious Alcorn St beachfront property was bought for $1.6M.
Not being a dedicated follower of fashion (though I love Zoolander), I asked myself, “Who the hell is Gemma Ward”. I still did not know so I had to ask Google. Married to photographer David Letts and with a two-year old daughter born in Hawaii called Naia. The family divide their time between Australia, LA and New York.
Ms Ward was the youngest model at 15 to ever appear on the American edition of Vogue. She has worked for Prada, Country Road, Ellery and even once for Calvin Klein showing an androgynous side. Forbes rates her as the 11th highest paid model in the world.
I suggest the tradies at the Suffolk Tavern tuck their blue singlets in from now on.
Chris Hemsworth, Broken Head
Also – at the same end of the beach and as reported in the BPS Facebook page last month: Mega ozzie actor Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Huntsman, In the Heart of the Sea) is sick of the paparazzi and is moving with family and Spanish wife back to his $7M bolt hole at 7 Mile Beach, Broken Head.
”We can walk straight down the beach, we can have a normal existence and the kids have a hell of a lot more fun there than they did back in the States,” Hemsworth says.
Simon Baker, Nashua
Ex Ballina boy Simon Baker has purchased in Nashua. He is the star of the successful US TV series “The Mentalist” as well a string of feature films. One of which is one of my favourite recent films – “Margin Call” – the behind the scenes story of Wall Street meltdown in 2008.
Kerry O’Brien, Brooklet
Highly respected journalist and TV presenter for the ABC, Kerry O’Brien has called Byron home for a couple of years. He commuted to Sydney while still presenting ABC current affairs program Four Corners. He has taken community events very well and has MC’d and hosted a number of local events and panels like the Byron Writers Festival.
Iggy Azalea, “Get me outta here!”
One gone the other way is pop/rap sensation, Iggy Azalea. Iggy grew up in Azalea Street, Mullumbimby (her dog was called Iggy for those interested in how you get a porn star name). She said of her home town – “Mullumbimby is where dreams go to die”. She did not visit her birth town for all those fond memories during her recent visit to Oz.
Michael Murray of Byron Property Search, contact 0428 555501