A look at the career of Denise Drysdale

Denise Drysdale is a classic example of a “can do” person in Australian entertainment, which is one of the reasons

Denise Drysdale is a classic example of a “can do” person in Australian entertainment, which is one of the reasons that she is so beloved.

Originally Denise had the dream to dance. She had been dancing since she could remember and by the age of six, she had won numerous competitions. Denise’s career kicked off when she was offered a TV job at the age of 10 as part of the junior ballet on the Tarax Show. She was sacked from the show when she went through puberty. As Denise tells it in a Talking Heads interview from 2006:

“We’d been there about a year and a bit, and on the holidays I had put on weight, but not much, and as you know, if you put someone in a nice tutu, they don’t have bosoms — they have very flat chests. Pete Smith always said, ‘You grew boobs; they had to get rid of you.’ They couldn’t do it today. I’ve suffered to this day. I still stand on the scales six times a day to check whether I’ve put on half a pound or a pound.”

It was an only a minor setback for Denise who quickly became the Girl of the Year in 1964 for Everybody’s Magazine, and at 17 became Australia’s first go-go dancer on the new show Kommotion.

At this time Denise also started to sing, though she didn’t have any previous experience, and went on to perform for the troops in Vietnam with Patti Newton.

In 1974, Denise scored a gig that would win her two Gold Logies and two Silver Logies, the barrel girl on The Ernie Sigley Show. She also had fantastic appearances on The Norman Gunston Show, Celebrity Squares, Young Talent Time, Countdown, and many others.

After some guest hosting for Hey Hey It’s Saturday she got her own program Denise for Channel Seven in 1998. More recently Denise was part of the short-lived program The Circle and has joined Studio 10 as a permanent co-host sharing the spot with Ita Buttrose.

With a career spanning more than 57 years, Denise has proven that if you have a natural talent and work hard, you can make a career legendary.

What was your favourite program of Denise’s? Have you had the chance to see her perform live?

  1. Chris  

    She is well loved and respected and one of my favourites

  2. Chris  

    She is well loved and respected and one of my favourites

    • Yvonne Dimich  

      She’s a beautiful great Lady
      Always fun and full of fun 💐👍🏻

  3. Sandra Scott  

    I have liked Denise Drysdale for a very long time she is a classic

  4. Lorraine Walker  

    I’ve always admired and loved seeing Denise….she is an inspirational woman!

  5. Colleen Bellman  

    She is the star we all wanted to be , I met Denise at the Circle, very talanted

  6. Hamilton  

    Love her. So natural all the time, no falseness whatsoever. Saw Denise and Ernie Sigley in Melbourne about 30 years ago, great pair of performers.
    Keep it up Denise, you are a gem.
    Marilyn Hamilton

  7. Denise, you are awesome, I always wanted to be just like you, but only got the big boobs. After all these years I still want to be just like you.
    Thankyou for being such a wonderful entertainer.

  8. Nancy Rosewall (Long)  

    I also worked on Kommotion when Denise was there, she was amazing.

  9. Colleen Garofolo  

    A true Aussie Gem …. Denise is and always has been down to earth, funny and nothing put on. She is one of those people you feel like you have known all your life. It’s great to have her on Studio Ten putting some life into the show. Love you Ding Dong and so did my Dad (he thought you were wonderful)

  10. Margaret  

    I sat with Denise at a dining table after she had done a show. This very funny lady made a very memorable night for me. My day is always brightened by her presence

  11. She is a beautiful loving sole and has been my favourite TV personality since I was able to watch it. She has a natural talent and use it for the good to everyone. Well done Denis and keep it up.

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