Magda Szubanski
Szubanski in 2012


Magdalene Mary Szubanski
April 12, 1961
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, UK


Television Presenter
Radio Host

Years Active


Known For

Fast Forward
Kath & Kim
Open Slather

Magdalene Mary "Magda" Szubanski (born April 12, 1961) is an English-born Australian actress, comedian, television presenter, radio host and author.

Szubanski's career began while she was studying at university and she progressed to television sketch comedy, as both a writer and performer. She has performed in the comedy programs The D-Generation and Fast Forward; more recently, she stars as Sharon Strzelecki in the television comedy show Kath & Kim.

Szubanski portrayed Esme Hoggett in the film Babe and its sequel Babe: Pig in the City, and played the recurring character of Furlow on the television series Farscape.
Sharon Strzelecki Kimderella

Sharon Strzelecki was one of Szubanski's most developed characters, she also created this character herself.

Early LifeEdit

Szubanski was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. Her father, Zbigniew Szubanski, came from a well-off Polish family and was, according to Magda, an assassin in a counter-intelligence branch of the Polish resistance movement in World War II. She immigrated to Australia in 1965 with her brother, sister and parents. She attended high school at Siena College, Melbourne, and later studied Arts/Law at the University of Melbourne.

In 1976, as a year 10 pupil, she captained a team on the television quiz It's Academic.


In 1985, while performing in a University of Melbourne revue of Too Cool for Sandals, with Michael Veitch and Tom Gleisner, Szubanski was talent-spotted by producers from the ABC network, who convinced her to join up with some other university friends in creating the television sketch comedy show, The D-Generation.

Szubanski was part of the team that created the television sketch comedy Fast Forward for the Seven Network, in which she played various characters, including Pixie-Anne Wheatley, Chenille, Sharon Strzelecki (Kath & Kim), Mary MacGregor, Joan Kirner and Lynne Postlethwaite, and other characters. In 1995, she wrote, produced and starred in Big Girl's Blouse. She had a starring role in the 1995 international hit film Babe as Esme Hoggett. She reprised her role in the 1998 sequel Babe: Pig in the City.

Szubanski starred as Margaret O'Halloran in the Dogwoman series of TV films in 2000. She began her role on Kath & Kim as Sharon in 2002 and she continued in the subsequent seasons, including the special Da Kath & Kim Code. In 2006, Szubanski hosted a five-part series on the Nine Network, called Magda's Funny Bits, which showed 'never-before-seen' footage of some of her most famous characters from the comedy show Fast Forward. Branded as 'no frills', it attracted insufficient ratings, and thus did not continue. She had a similar short-lived result as host of the Network Ten clip show The Spearman Experiment in 2009.
Magda weight loss

Szubanski in 2009, after losing 36kg

In 2007, she had a minor role as the house maid in The Golden Compass to Lyra Belacqua. She also voiced the character Miss Viola from the Academy Award-winning animated feature Happy Feet. In 2007, Szubanski played the part of William Barfee in the musical called The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In 2008, she played the role of Big Jule in the major stage production Guys and Dolls. In 2010 she appeared in the film Bran Nue Dae as Roadhouse Betty.

Other projectsEdit

Szubanski became a spokesperson for the dieting company Jenny Craig in November 2008. Szubanski joined Jenny Craig weighing 110 kg, and had been diagnosed with sleep apnoea. By July 2009, she had lost 36 kg to weigh 85 kg. She later regained weight, then was dropped as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. However, subsequent weight loss led to her being re-signed as their spokesperson. She was later again dropped from Jenny Craig. She was also featured in commercials for Telstra in 2014.

Personal lifeEdit

On 14 February 2012, Szubanski came out, hinting that she was gay in a statement supporting same-sex marriage timed to coincide with Valentine's Day. Later that day, she stated that she "absolutely identifies as gay" in an interview with Australian TV current affairs programme The Project. Szubanski also spoke at the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras after party, wearing a shirt featuring her newly coined slogan "If there was a tablet that cured gayness… I wouldn’t take it."

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