Zoe Ventoura on motherhood, work and growing up with a Greek musician father

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When people hear the name Zoe Ventoura they typically think of her time playing Melissa Bannon in the popular Seven TV series, Packed to the Rafters. In 2011, she was nominated for a Logie Award for Most Popular Actress for the role, but at the end of her three-year contract, Zoe decided to pursue acting opportunities in Los Angeles instead.

A few years later, Zoe returned to Australia and won her next major role as a lead in another Seven series, Wild Boys, where she met her co-star and future husband, Daniel MacPherson.

Although Daniel and her are no longer together, they have a one-year-old son Austin and Zoe tells The Sydney Morning Herald how she managed to keep her pregnancy and birth a secret.

Zoe with her ex-husband, Daniel MacPherson, and their son, Austin.

“It wasn’t that I was hiding it. If someone had gone, ‘Oh god, she’s pregnant’ I would have been ‘yeah,’ but it never came out…” Zoe tells the media outlet.

“I’ve always been a private person. I just feel that there are some things that are worth protecting, that I want to keep for myself and for my family and my close friends.”

Throughout Zoe’s interview, it’s clear family has always been a priority for her. Growing up in Perth, she describes her formative years as “idyllic” and says she had an “uneventful childhood in a lovely way.”

Her Greek father, Terry Ventoura, is a musician and plays bass guitar. Terry met Zoe’s mother, Ruth Osborne, on a cruise ship where she was working as a choreographer and he was in a band.

Zoe was a fan-favourite on Packed to the Rafters.

“Most people assume that my dad was strict, but it’s actually not like that at all. As a kid, I remember I used to hide under tables when Dad was sound-checking before a show,” Zoe told the SMH back in 2017.

“I was always backstage or at a rehearsal with him. He also used to play guitar at home and sing me to sleep when I was young.”

Her mum, Ruth, ran a dance school in Perth, and as Zoe says, “obviously I had to go to that school.” So was it “dance mum” pressure that led Zoe to a career in the arts?

“It was quite the opposite, I can tell you. They actively encouraged us to get more stable vocations. ‘Have you thought about being a lawyer?‘, they’d say. They were very much ‘Please, please don’t do this! Go get yourself a stable life!’” Zoe says in her most recent interview.

Zoe Ventoura grew up with a Greek father.

But it was too late – Zoe was already hooked. 

After six or seven years of touring the country in various stage musicals, Zoe made her transition to the small and big screen. While best known for the television roles mentioned above, she has also appeared in US films such as See No Evil (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).

Her latest role in season five of Doctor Doctor sees Zoe playing Kassie, a young, terminally ill mother. It’s her first time playing the role of a mother since becoming one herself and we’re sure she’s not going to disappoint.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

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