Debra Byrne is one our Australia’s most well known performers spanning a career of over 50 years in all areas of the Entertainment Industry in Recording, Stage, Cabaret, Film and Television .
At the age of 10 Debra began her career as a member of Brian and the Juniors where she became one of the six original members of Young Talent Time where within the first year became the favourite of the show winning a Logie and the Queen of Pop awards two years running.
Debra’s transition into adulthood saw her as a guest on about every TV drama or variety special, including her own 7-week series with John Farnham on ABC TV series Farnham and Byrne.
Debra starred with Matt Dillon in the movie Rebel, directed by Michael Jenkins and choregraphed by her friend and mentor, Ross Coleman. Together they worked on Farnham and Byrne, Jerry’s Girls, The ABC Follies series, and other glamorous events.
Debra made her professional debut into Musical Theatre with the smash hit Cats when it came to Australia and was cast to play the iconic role of Grizabella. She had the amazing opportunity of working with the London creative team including Trevor Nunn, Gillian Lynne along with Cameron Mackintosh himself.
Debra performed next in Jerrys Girls and then had the wonderful opportunity to play Fantine in the original production of Les Miserables. Debra went on to singing the role on the World Symphonic Recording - winning a Grammy award.
From Les Miserables Debra took a break from theatre to record her album Caught in the Act with arranger and producer Graeme Lyall.
When The Highwaymen toured Australia they chose Debra and her band of country loving musicians to support them. This remains an absolute highlight of Debra’s career.
For the next few years Debra performed in Cabaret, wrote songs for her next album Sleeping Child and played roles in Australian drama series, Law of the Land, ABC’s GP, Police Rescue and ABC’s The Naked Series with Graeme Blundell.
When Sleeping Child was released Debra toured Australia for two years. Returning to the stage when David Atkins invited her to take on the role of April in Hot Shoe Shuffle in New Zealand, Japan, and Sydney Australia.
In 1997 Sunset Boulevard opened at the newly refurbished Regent Theatre Melbourne, starring Debra Byrne as Norma Desmond and Hugh Jackman as Joe.
Other stage highlights include the role of The Nurse in Minefields and Miniskirts at the Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, Follies playing Sally Durrant, Little Me as Belle Portine with Mitchell Butel and Muzzie in Thoroughly Modern Millie and the role of Sue in the world premiere of Metro Street which subsequently toured to South Korea.
Debra played the iconic role of the Bird Woman in the original Australian production of Mary Poppins in both Melbourne and Sydney and won the role of The Beggar Woman in the Australian production of Sweeney Todd along with Anthony Warlow and Gina Riley.
Debra’s more recent Television appearances include the role of Claire Christie in Ch 9’s Tricky Business, playing the role of Judy Moran in the infamous crime biography TV series Fat Tony and Co. as well as a guest role as Susie in Upper Middle Bogan.