Penny McNamee’s character on Home and Away couldn’t seem to get away from all the drama. But, based by the family images she provides with her supporters, she couldn’t be more different in real life.
In 2016, the actress blew out on Australian screens with her immaculate portrayal of Tori Morgan, the head of a troubled family under witness protection.
Penny’s cool, calm, and collected demeanour has helped her go through some very terrible and wild twists and turns before departing Summer Bay in September 2021, and despite her real life being far less dramatic, she seems to exude the same elegance and grace she portrays on screen.
Penny has to be commended for balancing parenting with a highly successful acting and singing career like a true pro.
The 38-year-old is a fan favourite of Home and Away fans, with over 227,000 Instagram followers who get regular glimpses into her family life with five-year-old Jack, three-year-old Neve, and partner Matt Tooker.
Penny mentioned in an interview with New Idea that she enjoys taking her children on adventures.
“I’m bad at staying at home with the kids — we need to go on an adventure all the time. Because both of my children are so active, having them outside and running around is a must “she stated
She also informed the publication that her chronic illness made it difficult for her to start a family.
“Matt and I struggled to have children, so we feel very, very blessed to have the little two that we have,” shared Penny.
When Penny and her family finished their 10-day COVID isolation, they packed their belongings and headed to the river for a sun-soaked bath to relieve their cabin fever.
She celebrated returning to life outside the four corners of their house by captioning her river-side snaps, “After 10 days at home with Covid, freezing, muddy, river water has never felt so good! ⛰💦🐟.”(Image: Instagram)
And just like that, Neve is no longer a young girl! The McNamee’s celebrated their youngest child’s third birthday with a beautiful handcrafted pink three-shaped cake topped with horse candles.
Penny commemorated the event by posting a family photo with the cake as well as a sweet moment she had with her daughter while teaching her dance.
“This is 3!!!” wrote the actor. (Image: Instagram)
The McNamee household is an arty one! Penny shared this picture of her children bonding over an art project, which she captioned, “Crafty morning.”
The family posed for this joyful Christmas snap, which Penny captioned, “Tooker’s wearing a shirt with a motif. It’s a Christmas miracle. 💫.”Instagram
Penny and her mini-me!! The actor captioned this moment with a barb at her husband’s expense.
“But the best performance of the night goes to @matt_tooker, who after 39 years, took a good photo. (He has other gifts),” she joked.Instagram
Neve and Penny garden together! The toddler is so precious helping in her rain boots.
The mother and daughter combo went to the beach as summer finally broke through the winter chill. Instagram
Penny’s kids will always have one other’s backs, as evidenced by her adorable Instagram story of Jack hugging and giggling with Neve.
“Love bugs,” wrote Penny.Instagram
Mum hugs are the best kind of hugs – and Jack certainly knows it.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, the actress got serious, writing: “Listen, I’m whatever the polar opposite of a doomsayer is. So I’ve been thinking… one positive outcome of difficult circumstances is the sharpening of one’s priorities. It’s overrated to have skinny thighs and spotless floors. Cuddles, on the other hand, are fantastic.”
Baby Neve’s cheeky little look has officially melted our hearts – and, by the likes of it, Penny’s as well. In the player below, you can see what was going on behind the camera…
Some seriously slick shoes there, Neve!(Instagram)
Family snap! To honour Neve’s first birthday, Penny shared a gorgeous snap of the whole family.(Instagram)
And then she one-upped it with this ridiculously adorable moment. That smile! (Instagram)
A family that goes on coastal walks together… couldn’t look any sweeter if they tried. This stunning sunset snap was shared by Penny back in November 2019. (Instagram)
“Just making sure you’re still there…” – Neve and mum Penny are two peas in a pod.
Seriously, could these two be any cuter? The matching hats are sending us! (Instagram)
Heartwarming: Jack and Neve’s bond was forged from the very start. (Instagram)
Moments like these… aren’t always as they seem – Penny is all about keeping things real, sharing this sweet snap with a refreshing caption: “Honestly, taking a baby to the beach is like moving house… the amount of stuff you need to take! But whenever I do it, I never regret it. The salt, the breeze, the sand… it’s messy and chaotic and glorious! Just like parenthood. This year, I’m committed to doing more of this.”(Instagram)
A big brother-to-be – Penny and Jack enjoy a quiet moment before welcoming a very special addition to their family.(Instagram)
Thick as thieves, Penny and Jack are big fans of the great outdoors.(Instagram)
“The Dance of the Nutella Apple Plum Fairy”. A 3-Act Ballet,” Penny wrote on Instagram.(Instagram)
Babycinos are life, according to one very satisfied young Jack…(Instagram)
Penny has high hopes. “Jack Pablo Picasso: abstract painter and paint taste-tester. 🎨,” she comically quipped.(Instagram)
There is no such thing as too much family time!(Instagram)
“A lot has changed since I was a kid… but Dad’s winter bonfires remain a staple,” Penny reminisces in the caption for this photo.(Instagram)
This sweet snap was taken by Penny’s dear friend Kate who has gone from photographing the star on a night out to capturing her family.(Instagram)
“Not even the knuckle-puck could get past this dynamic duo! 💥” wrote Penny with this pic.(Instagram)
Swinging through life all together.(Instagram)
Will Neve grow up to be a performer like her mum? (Instagram)
Penny and her min-me! (Instagram)
Penny and her family explore rural Australia.Instagram
Penny and Neve enjoying some bonding time over the Easter holidays. (Instagram)
A little artist in the making.(Instagram)