H&a pippa 1993

(pictured 1993) Debra Lawrence, in her early days as Pippa Fletcher, then known as Pippa Ross

Phillipa "Pippa" Ross (nee King, previously Fletcher) [1] (OAM) is a character in Home And Away from Episode 0 (Episode Pilot) (17 January 1988) to 1998 followed by a short return in 1999. Pippa, also known as Pip was one of the mainstays of the show and was married to Tom Fletcher until 1990. She married Michael Ross in 1991. Pippa was played by Vanessa Downing from 1988 to 1990 and by Debra Lawrence from 1990 to 2009. The quick recasting of Pippa has become quite iconic in itself due to Vanessa and Debra not looking anything like each other. Former Prisoner star Jackie Woodburne auditioned for the role of "Pippa", she went on instead to become long-running character Susan Kennedy in Neighbours. One more little known fact is that Carol Willesse played Pippa in the 1987 pilot of the show but quit the role and Vanessa won the role.Pippa was awarded the ORDER OF AUSRALIA [2] for services to foster parenting, and is one of the few fictional characters to be awarded such an honour



Pippa King was born in September 1950 in Sydney, the daughter of Bert King and Coral King, their youngest child. Pippa had an older brother who was a Vietnam War veteran Danny King who was 4 years older than her, and having sustained war injuries was in a wheelchair. In the late 1960s Pippa King met Tom Fletcher and they married in 1969. Pippa and Tom lived in Sydney and fostered children.


In January 1988, upon Tom's redundancy, he and Pippa
H&a vanners downing

The original Pippa, played by Vanessa Downing in 1988.

moved to Summer Bay and moved into Summer Bay House. Tom and Pippa were proud foster parents, having their foster son Frank and began fostering several teenagers of troubled backgrounds such as Sally Fletcher, Steven Matheson, Carly Morris and Lynn Davenport. Pippa became pregnant and had a son Christopher Fletcher in September 1988.


In April 1990 Pippa was devastated when Tom died at the wheel after a heart attack. Pippa later met Michael Ross and they soon married. They carried on the tradition of fostering wayward teens. They later had a son Dale Ross but Dale sadly died of cot death in 1993.


Memorable infoEdit

Date of birth: 30 September 1950

Full Name: Phillipa "Pippa" Ross (Later Fletcher, nee King)

First Line "We never thought it would be easy." (to Mr Jarvis)

Last Line "Oh, it's always my pleasure, any time. Bye-bye." (to Leah)

Pippa is 3 weeks younger than friend Ailsa Stewart who died in 2000.

Carol Willesse played Pippa in the pilot scenes in July 1987 but would not commit to the show full time due to the hours so Vanessa won the role. The scenes were re filmed just days after Carol left. It is not known if the Carol scenes were kept or wiped.

In 1990, future Neighbours star Jackie Woodburne was shortlised for the recast role again, after her unsuccessful attempt in 1987. Yet again she lost out, this time to Debra Lawrence, ironically, Woodburne and Lawrence were in Prisoner together.


Pippa is very nurturing and friendly, taking in wayward foster children from Steven Matheson to Jack Wilson


Father Bert King

Mother Coral King

Siblings Danny King

Spouse Tom Fletcher (1969-1990), Michael Ross (1991-1996)

Children Christopher Fletcher, Dale Ross, Sally Fletcher (adoptive)

See alsoEdit