Wendy Hughes left The Man from Snowy River as the story ended

Wendy Hughes, who played Kathleen O’Neil on The Man from Snowy River, departed from the show, leaving fans to speculate about the reasons for her exit.

All about The Man from Snowy River

The Man from Snowy River is an Australian drama adventure television series, based on a Banjo Paterson poem of the same name.

The poem has inspired three films, a television series, and a spectacular musical performed in arenas:

  1. The Man from Snowy River (1920 film)
  2. The Man from Snowy River (1982 film)
  3. The Man from Snowy River II (1988 film) – the sequel to the 1982 film (US title: Return to Snowy River / UK title: The Untamed)
  4. The Man from Snowy River (1994 – 1996 TV series) – set 25 years after the famous ride, also known as Snowy River: The McGregor Saga
  5. The Man from Snowy River: Arena Spectacular – a stage musical

Debuting in 1994 and concluding in 1996, the series was later released in both the United States and the United Kingdom under the title Snowy River: The McGregor Saga.

You can read the poem The Man from Snowy River by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson in full here.

Wendy Hughes as Kathleen O’Neill

Snowy River: The McGregor Saga follows cattle rancher Matt McGregor, along with his family and his neighbours in the township of Paterson’s ridge, located in the snowy mountains of Australia.

Kathleen traveled to Ireland with her son Michael, fulfilling his desire to meet his grandfather, as mentioned at the end of Season three.

Season four begins without Kathleen and Michael, explaining that they are in Ireland.

Throughout the season, references are made to assure viewers that Kathleen and Matt are still together, indicating her eventual return.

While fans of the show missed Kathleen, her absence allowed the introduction of Jessie McClusky, a character who, viewers believe, wouldn’t have been featured if Kathleen were still in the storyline, thus avoiding the redundancy of two strong women characters of the same age.

Some believe she simply left the show in 1996, as the story had come to an end.

Wendy Hughes, the actress

Hughes was an award-winning actress known for her work in television, theatre and film. She was described as one of Australia’s finest, and most prolific actors as her career spanned for over 40 years.

The Melbourne-born actress is reported to have succumbed to cancer in the early hours of Saturday, March 8, 2014.

Bryan Brown, a fellow industry friend, announced her death to the audience of the Sydney Theatre during the show, Traveling North. He invited the audience to honour the late actress, with a standing ovation.

Her death was later confirmed by her agency, Marquee Management, who released a statement on Facebook.

The agency stated, “We would like to extend our heartfelt thoughts to the family and friends of our dear client, Wendy Hughes. We will miss her greatly, and our industry has lost a great actress.”

Wendy had a son with restaurateur, Patric Julliet, and a daughter with actor Chris Haywood. Hughes was also married to actor Sean Scully for some time.

She was survived by her two siblings, two children and three grandchildren. Hughes’ family later revealed that she passed away from cancer at the age of 61.

Along with The Man from Snowy River, Wendy Hughes also appeared in Happy New Year, Homicide: Life on the Street, Paradise Road and State Coroner.