Packed to the Rafters is returning in 2020. Here's what the cast has been up to since 2013.

Thanks to the powers that be at Amazon Prime Video, iconic Aussie series, Packed to the Rafters is returning to our screens in 2020.

Newly titled, Back to the Rafters, the show picks up six years since we last left the Rafter family. Dave (Erik Thomson) and Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney) have moved to the country with their young daughter, Ruby, while Rachel Rafter (Jessica Marais), Nathan Rafter (Angus McLaren), Ben Rafter (Hugh Sheridan) and best friend, Nick “Carbo” Karandonis (George Houvardas) are navigating adult life and the struggles that come with it. Grandpa Ted (Michael Caton) is also returning to the series.

Before we welcome the wholesome family back to our screens, this is what the cast has been up to since the show wrapped up in 2013.

Rebecca Gibney – Julie Rafter

Rebecca Gibney played the mother hen of the Rafter clan. However, we can actually blame her and Erik Thomson for the end of Packed to the Rafters in 2013. Despite the show being a ratings hit, both actors wanted to explore other opportunities outside of the family drama.

And the 54-year-old has done just that. In 2014 she picked up the role of Detective Sergeant Eve Winter in the Aussie crime drama, The Killing Field, before reprising her character in the Channel Seven spin-off series, Winter in 2015.

Gibney also played Lola Buckley in the Aussie dramatic series, Wanted. Premiering in 2016, the show finished its third season in October 2018.

Packed to the Rafters cast Rebecca Gibney
Image: Instagram.

Erik Thomson - Dave Rafter

Thomson went from portraying one loveable dad to the next by playing George Turner in the heartfelt family comedy 800 Words. The series follows a widowed father who quits his job at a popular Sydney newspaper to move to a seaside New Zealand town with his two children. The role even earnt him his second Silver Logue for Best Actor in 2016 and another nomination in 2017. Earlier this year, Thomson also appeared alongside fellow Aussie actor, Geoffrey Rush in Storm Boy.


Apart from acting, Thomson is also an ambassador for youth foundation Raise, which provides trained mentors and support to thousands of young Australians.

Packed to the Rafters cast Erik Thomson
Image: Instagram.

Jessica Marais - Rachel Rafter

Since Jessica Marais' Packed to the Rafter days, the 34-year-old has somewhat cemented herself as a rom-com stalwart. Starring in hit series like Love Child and The Wrong Girl, the former of which earned her a Gold Logie nomination in 2017 and the award for 'Most Outstanding Actress'.

The actress has also been extremely candid about her mental health. In 2014, Marais shared with Australian Women's Weekly that she's experienced bipolar episodes since she was 12 and that the condition runs in her family.

“There’s probably one day a month when I am an absolute mess," she said.

Since sharing her experience, she's also candidly spoken about her treatment, including a four-week inpatient program at The Sydney Clinic in 2018. Later that year, Marais was slated to begin production for the TV show Bad Mothers, however, Channel Nine was forced to recast her role after she announced she was halting acting in order to focus on her wellbeing.

“Jessica has decided to step away from acting for the remainder of 2018 to focus on her health and spend time with her family,” said a statement released by Marais’ management company.

“She is disappointed that she will not be a part of the Bad Mothers production with such an incredible cast and team behind it, but knows that it is important to take time out to maintain ongoing balance and wellbeing.”

She shares a seven-year-old daughter with her Packed to the Rafters co-star James Stewart. Although the couple were engaged from 2009 to 2015, they have since amicably split. She is currently dating Sydney-based photographer, Jake Holly.

Packed to the Rafters cast Jessica Marais
Image: Instagram.

Hugh Sheridan - Ben Rafter

The former Play School presenter and ballet dancer has been involved in a number of roles since playing goofy party boy, Ben Rafter.

Career-wise, the 34-year-old is starring as Lachlan Best in Channel 10's drama Five Bedrooms. Sheridan also portrayed INXS guitarist, Garry Gary Beers in INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (2014), and has held roles in Aussie opera series, The Divorce, and Channel Nine comedy, House Husbands.

In August 2019, Sheridan, his brother and his HAIR co-star, Matthew Manahan, were involved in a random glassing attack while outside a theatre in Perth. A 14-year-old and 15-year-old teen were arrested by police and charged over the crime.

He currently spends his time between Australia and his home in Los Angeles. According to New Idea, Sheridan might be involved with Dynasty's Rafael de la Fuente. But neither party has confirmed this.

Packed to the Rafters cast Hugh Sheridan
Image: Instagram.

George Houvardas - Nick “Carbo” Karandonis

After his acting stint on Packed to the Rafters, George Houvardas underwent a career change and moved into his family's restaurant business. Together with his two brothers, and parents, Houvardas owns Mediterranian restaurant, Piato, which is located at Sydney's McMahon's Point.

The 30-year-old made his return to acting in 2018, playing NRL player, Rev, in the comedic drama Chasing Comets. The film is set in Wagga Wagga, NSW, and also stars Isabel Lucas, former Australian Idol winner, Stan Walker and Beau Ryan.

Image: Instagram.

Angus McLaren - Nathan Rafter

Despite his success on Packed to the Rafters, Angus McLaren chose to pursue further study when the show ended in 2013. After travelling in South America and Europe, McLaren undertook a three-year acting course at Perth's prestigious WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2014.

In 2018, he scored himself a recurring role as Summer Bay local, Lance Salisbury, on Home and Away. You can also glimpse McLaren in Stan's mystery series, Bloom, whre he plays Young Frank.

When it comes to his personal life, the 31-year-old is dating fellow actress Anneliese Apps, who he met while studying at WAAPA. Fun fact: Apps happens to be the niece of The Morning Show's Larry Emdur, and the protective uncle made sure to quiz McLaren on his intentions when he appeared on the program in 2018.

Packed to the Rafters cast Angus McLaren
Image: Instagram.

Michael Caton - Ted Taylor

Iconic actor, Michael Caton has kept a relatively low profile since his role as Grandpa Ted in Packed to the Rafters.

Underbelly fans might remember his face in 2018's Underbelly Files: Chopper. Caton played Keith Read, the father of convicted criminal and gang member turned crime writer, Mark "Chopper" Read.

In 2016 the actor went on the ABC's One Plus One and spoke to Jane Hutcheon about his struggles with depression. The 76-year-old said his mental health was the worst prior to landing what would be his breakthrough role as Darryl Kerrigan in the iconic Aussie film, The Castle.

"I've had depression before but I always could see the end of the tunnel," he said.

"At this stage [before The Castle] I couldn't see it."

Michael Caton Packed to the Rafters cast
Caton with his wife, Helen Esakoff at the opening night of HAIR in Sydney, 2019. Image: Getty.

Feature image: Channel 7.

Who was your favourite character on Packed to the Rafters? Tell us in a comment below.

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