The feeling of sand between his toes is enough to give Hugh Sheridan a wave of childhood flashbacks. The Australian actor, musician and television presenter spends most of his life jet-setting around the globe but grew up in South Australia and remembers his childhood fondly.
“We lived in Millswood, off Goodwood Road,” he says during a trip to Adelaide to perform with the California Crooners Club. “It was the other side of the tracks, not the posh part. It’s all pretty nice now.” Hugh’s family was part of the community church. “The Goodwood Parish had four shacks that are still there at Aldinga. They bought them for something like 10 pounds each and they sleep 10.” Each shack had three rooms so it was a bit of a squeeze. “I was number six of seven kids so it was a really cheap holiday. We didn’t go anywhere fancy, we just went to Aldinga Beach.” At the time, the holiday shacks cost the family $50 for 10 people. “That was the cool thing about it. Now it’s like $200 and I’m like, ‘That’s ridiculous!’” He laughs. “There is nothing more beautiful than that coastline. It is by far, out of anywhere in the world (and I mean anywhere – including the French Riviera), the best. I swear to God. You drive in and see the hills, the water, the cliffs, and the colours and it’s totally breathtaking. There’s nothing more natural and stunning than that part of the world. I really believe that.”
The Packed To The Rafters star (Hugh played the role of Ben Rafter) and three-time Logie Award winner is a dapper chap (see him rocking his locally made Blakesby Hats fedora in LA on Instagram @hugh_sheridan).
The creative bug bit early. He grew up under the musical influence of his dad, jazz musician Denis Sheridan. He started acting classes at Unley Youth Theatre when he was five and is now a patron. He went on to study an advanced diploma in dance at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. He also studied opera part time at the Victorian College of Arts under Monique Brunelle and worked with The Paris Opera Ballet, The English National Ballet and The Australian Ballet. At 18, he was accepted into a fulltime bachelor of arts in acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. He was always destined to be a star. In 2014 Hugh played the role of bass guitarist Garry Gary Beers in Channel 7’s Never Tear Us Apart, a two-part drama about the untold story of INXS.
The former Adelaide Fringe ambassador doesn’t get to visit as much as he’d like but he’s always here in spirit. “It’s so divine. Incredible. You know when you do meditation and they tell you think of a place where you’re completely free? Immediately I’m at Aldinga Beach and I’m a kid. It’s been that way since I left Adelaide. The beach is long but the width of it from the sand dunes to the water is a really long distance.” The childhood memories are vivid. “When I was a kid it was so hot on your feet. Your feet would burn the whole way down. We’d never wear thongs. The bitumen was boiling and then you’d get onto the beach and the sand is so hot you’d run as fast as you could. The hot wind would be whipping your legs and when you’d get to the water it was the best feeling. It is the best ocean ever.”
He also adores Second Valley. “The bay where you can do the cliff jumping… I also love McLaren Vale, The Star Of Greece restaurant at Port Willunga, Carrickalinga, the Adelaide Hills, Grange and the Barossa.”
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