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What the Packed to the Rafters cast are up to, 8 years after the iconic show ended.

It's been eight years since Packed to the Rafters ended, but thanks to Amazon Prime Video, the iconic series will return to our screens soon. 

Back to the Rafters picks up six years after we left the Rafter family

Dave (Erik Thomson) and Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney) have moved to the country with their young daughter, Ruby, while Rachel Rafter (now played by Georgina Haig), Nathan Rafter (Angus McLaren), Ben Rafter (Hugh Sheridan) and best friend, Nick “Carbo” Karandonis (George Houvardas) are navigating adult life and the struggles that come with it. Grandpa Ted (Michael Caton) is also returning to the series.

This is what the cast has been up to since the show originally wrapped up in 2013.

Hugh Sheridan - Ben Rafter

The former Play School presenter and ballet dancer has been pretty busy since playing goofy party boy, Ben Rafter. 

On Friday, the 35-year-old proposed to his boyfriend Kurt Roberts during his opening night performance at the Adelaide Fringe.

The actor got down on one knee and popped the question to Roberts who was sitting in the front row during his show 'Hughman'.

"I just got engaged!" Sheridan told the audience, according to The Advertiser.

Sheridan and Roberts' friends later congratulated the couple on Instagram.

"It's not every day one of your besties proposes to the love of his life," Sarah Abbott wrote on Instagram.

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The pair have kept their relationship relatively private but are believed to have been dating since December last year. 

In January, Roberts shared a photo of himself and Sheridan on Instagram with the caption "2021’s off to a good start".

Last October, Sheridan spoke openly about his sexuality for the first time in a powerful essay for Stellar, where he came out as "human". 

In the essay, the actor explained that when he was first started in the industry, he was encouraged not to be open about his sexuality, as women wouldn't watch a TV show if they thought the leading man wouldn't be interested in them romantically. 

"Figuring out that I connected with the same sex the way I did the opposite sex was almost a relief, so that advice was confusing," he said. 

"The way it was explained to me was that women wouldn’t want to pay to see a movie or TV show if they knew they couldn’t have sex with the leading man. And it made me angry."

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Career-wise, Sheridan recently starred as Lachlan Best in Channel 10's drama Five Bedrooms. He also portrayed INXS guitarist, Garry Gary Beers in INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (2014), and has held roles in Aussie opera series, The Divorce, and Channel Nine comedy, House Husbands.

In August 2019, Sheridan, his brother and his HAIR co-star, Matthew Monahan, were involved in a random glassing attack while outside a theatre in Perth. A 14-year-old and 15-year-old teen were arrested by police and charged over the crime.

Before coronavirus hit, he spent his time between Australia and his home in Los Angeles.

Rebecca Gibney – Julie Rafter

Rebecca Gibney played the mother hen of the Rafter clan. However, we can actually blame her and Erik Thomson for the end of Packed to the Rafters in 2013. Despite the show being a ratings hit, both actors wanted to explore other opportunities outside of the family drama.

And the 56-year-old has done just that. In 2014, she picked up the role of Detective Sergeant Eve Winter in the Aussie crime drama, The Killing Field, before reprising her character in the Channel Seven spin-off series, Winter, in 2015.

Gibney also played Lola Buckley in the Aussie dramatic series, Wanted. Premiering in 2016, the show finished its third season in October 2018.

Packed to the Rafters cast Rebecca Gibney
Image: Instagram.

The actress, who lives in New Zealand, had to quarantine last year when she flew back to Australia to resume filming on Back to the Rafters.

She told Nine that she binge-watched Fleabag to pass the time, as well as Dirty John 2 and The Great, with Harvest Snaps Baked Pea Crisps as her go-to snack.

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Taking note...

Erik Thomson - Dave Rafter

Thomson went from portraying one loveable dad to the next by playing George Turner in the heartfelt family comedy 800 Words

The series follows a widowed father who quits his job at a popular Sydney newspaper to move to a seaside New Zealand town with his two children. The role even earnt him his second Silver Logie for Best Actor in 2016 and another nomination in 2017. 

In 2019, Thomson appeared alongside fellow Aussie actor, Geoffrey Rush in Storm Boy.

Apart from acting, Thomson is also an ambassador for youth foundation Raise, which provides trained mentors and support to thousands of young Australians.

Packed to the Rafters cast Erik Thomson
Image: Instagram.

Jessica Marais - Rachel Rafter

Since Jessica Marais' Packed to the Rafter days, the 36-year-old has somewhat cemented herself as a rom-com stalwart. Starring in hit series like Love Child and The Wrong Girl, the former of which earned her a Gold Logie nomination in 2017 and the award for 'Most Outstanding Actress'.

The actress has also been candid about her mental health. In 2014, Marais shared with Australian Women's Weekly that she's experienced bipolar episodes since she was 12 and that the condition runs in her family.

“There’s probably one day a month when I am an absolute mess," she said.

Since sharing her experience, she's also candidly spoken about her treatment, including a four-week inpatient program at The Sydney Clinic in 2018. 

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Later that year, Marais was set to begin production for the TV show Bad Mothers, however, Channel Nine was forced to recast her role after she announced she was halting acting to focus on her wellbeing.

“Jessica has decided to step away from acting for the rest of 2018 to focus on her health and spend time with her family,” said a statement released by Marais’ management company.

“She is disappointed that she will not be a part of the Bad Mothers production with such an incredible cast and team behind it, but knows that it is important to take time out to maintain ongoing balance and wellbeing.”

Marais was also originally set to reprise her role of Rachel Rafter in the Packed to the Rafters reboot, however, in February 2020, she announced she would be pulling out of the series due to “personal reasons”.

She shares a seven-year-old daughter with her former Packed to the Rafters co-star James Stewart. Although the couple were engaged from 2009 to 2015, they have since amicably split.

Packed to the Rafters cast Jessica Marais
Image: Instagram.

George Houvardas - Nick “Carbo” Karandonis

After his acting stint on Packed to the Rafters, George Houvardas underwent a career change and moved into his family's restaurant business. Together with his two brothers, and parents, Houvardas owns Mediterranean restaurant, Piato, which is located at Sydney's McMahon's Point.

Houvardas made his return to acting in 2018, playing NRL player, Rev, in the comedic drama Chasing Comets. The film is set in Wagga Wagga, NSW, and also stars Isabel Lucas, former Australian Idol winner, Stan Walker and Beau Ryan.

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Image: Instagram.

Angus McLaren - Nathan Rafter

Despite his success on Packed to the Rafters, Angus McLaren pursued further study when the show ended in 2013. After travelling in South America and Europe, McLaren undertook a three-year acting course at Perth's prestigious WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2014.

In 2018, he scored himself a recurring role as Summer Bay local, Lance Salisbury, on Home and Away. You can also glimpse McLaren in Stan's mystery series, Bloom, where he plays Young Frank.

The 32-year-old is dating fellow actress Anneliese Apps, who he met while studying at WAAPA. Fun fact: Apps is the niece of The Morning Show's Larry Emdur, and the protective uncle made sure to quiz McLaren on his intentions when he appeared on the program in 2018.

Packed to the Rafters cast Angus McLaren
Image: Instagram.
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Michael Caton - Ted Taylor

Iconic actor, Michael Caton, has kept a relatively low profile since his role as Grandpa Ted in Packed to the Rafters.

Underbelly fans might remember his face in 2018's Underbelly Files: Chopper. Caton played Keith Read, the father of convicted criminal and gang member turned crime writer, Mark "Chopper" Read.

In 2016, the actor went on the ABC's One Plus One and spoke to Jane Hutcheon about his struggles with depression. The 77-year-old said his mental health was the worst prior to landing what would be his breakthrough role as Daryl Kerrigan in the iconic Aussie film, The Castle.

"I've had depression before but I always could see the end of the tunnel," he said.

"At this stage [before The Castle] I couldn't see it."

Michael Caton Packed to the Rafters cast
Caton with his wife, Helen Esakoff at the opening night of HAIR in Sydney, 2019. Image: Getty.

Who was your favourite character on Packed to the Rafters? Tell us in a comment below.

Feature Image: Channel Seven.