Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ian Smith (actor)
Ian Smith (Born 1939) is an Australian Soap opera character actor and television scriptwriter, best known today for his long-running role as the short-tempered coffee shop owner, Harold Bishop, in Network Ten's long running serial, Neighbours. He had previously acted in Prisoner and Bellbird, and was script editor of Prisoner for most of its eight year run.
Smith was 54 when his mother, Connie Smith, realising she had twenty-four hours to live, finally admitted to him that he had been adopted. After her death, Smith went in search of his natural mother, Peg Kline, whom he finally found.
According to her story, Smith was conceived when she was 13, the product of rape, and was put up for adoption. Kline eventually married and had two children from this marriage. She never told anyone besides her husband about her first son until she was contacted by Smith, via a written letter.
She contacted his wife, Gail Smith, who mentioned that her son was a prominent Neighbours actor, to which Kline replied, "I've never seen Neighbours in my life." Smith and Kline were reunited and he has built a strong relationship with his mother and two half-brothers, although Smith says that he doesn't feel a mother-son relationship, he calls Kline "one of my best friends."
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