The Australian model and actor Julian McMahon was born on 27th July 1968 in Sydney, New South Wales, and is known for a number of his TV and film roles including his portrayals of Doctor Doom in the “Fantastic Four” franchise, Cole Turner in “Charmed”, and Christian Troy in “Nip/Tuck”.
Unbeknownst to many casual fans of Julian, the actor comes from a distinguished family, with his father, Sir William McMahon, being a respected Australian politician and former Prime Minister, and his mother, Lady Sonia McMahon, a wealthy heiress and socialite. For many years before Julian’s birth, his father was a high-ranking member in the Liberal Government and a Member of the Australian House of Representatives; in March 1971, he became the country’s 20th Prime Minister.
During that time, Lady McMahon left the couple’s three children – Julian and his sisters Melinda and Deborah – with a nanny while she lived in Canberra with her husband. There was a considerable age gap between William and his children, which Julian once discussed in a 2018 interview. “My dad was born in 1908. That’s a very different time to what it was when he was raising me,” the actor revealed.
Julian followed in his father’s footsteps by studying at Sydney Grammar School, a private, boys-only institution with a number of notable alumni. His childhood dreams involved becoming a professional rugby player or an army cadet; however, he later pursued a law degree at the University of Sydney before dropping out to study economics at the University of Wollongong. Ultimately, he left without his degree and began modelling instead, working in fashion capitals around the globe such as Paris, New York City and Milan.
Julian’s father unexpectedly died while the model was working in Europe. He returned to Australia for the funeral and made the most of the trip back home to film commercials for Levi’s; these would later lead to him landing a coveted role in the Australian soap opera “Home & Away”.
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Julian become something of a household name thanks to his portrayal of Ben Lucini in “Home and Away” from 1989 to 1991. Ben, who was considered a heartthrob by many viewers, was introduced as established character Carly Morris’ new love interest; Andrew Howie, the producer of the series, had already planned their wedding before Ben’s on-screen debut.
An easy-going and honest man, Ben quickly became a fan favorite, as his relationship with Carly was also one of the show’s main storylines. From becoming married and moving into their first home together, to worrying about how they were going to pay the bills and put food on the table, Carly and Ben’s goals and problems just made them more relatable to fans of the soap opera.
From 1996 to 2000, Julian had another recurring role as Detective John Grant in the popular crime drama series “Profiler”. Almost as soon as his role in the show ended, he began playing Cole Turner in “Charmed”, a supernatural series rife with drama, demons, and impossible romances. Cole was born in 1885 to a human father named Benjamin Colerige Turner and a high-ranking demon mother named Elizabeth; shortly after the birth of his son, Benjamin discovered that Elizabeth was a demon and tried to take Cole away from her. However, Elizabeth killed her husband and raised Cole as a single mother.
After being written out of “Charmed”, Julian was cast as Christian Troy in the medical drama “Nip/Tuck” from 2003 to 2010, which is his longest recurring role. Christian was a brash and callous character known for his womanizing ways and good looks; however, he later revealed his vulnerable side, sharing that during his childhood he was molested by his foster father. He later learned from his biological mother that she became pregnant with him after being raped. Understandably, Christian was heartbroken when his biological mother cut off all contact due to him looking just like his father.
Overall, Julian’s unforgettable TV roles have cemented his spot in the entertainment industry. He has also had leading and supporting roles in many popular movies such as the “Premonition”, “Faces in the Crowd”, and “Red”, working with Sandra Bullock and Milla Jovovich amongst others. Overall, most of Julian’s projects have involved him playing damaged characters or villains; his last major recurring role lasted from 2020 to 2022, when he played Jess LaCroix in three seasons of “FBI: Most Wanted”; his last movie was “Monster Party” in 2018, which was directed by Chris von Hoffman.
Julian married singer Danni Minogue in 1994, three years after they met on the set of “Home & Away”. Despite the couple spending most of their marriage apart for work reasons, the death blow to their marriage was the negative relationship between Danni and Lady McMahon, Julian’s mother. After just 18 months, the couple divorced, and went their separate ways.
The “Charmed” star found love again with Brooke Burns of “Baywatch” fame, with the couple marrying in 1999 and having a daughter, but they divorced in 2001 for unspecified reasons; in 2014, Julian settled down for the third time with Kelly Paniagua.
Kelly was born and raised in Australia and celebrated her 45th birthday in December 2022. The actress and children’s author is said to be on good terms with Julian and Brooke’s daughter Madison; so much so, in fact, that Madison penned her a sweet Mother’s Day tribute in 2021. Despite Kelly also being part of the entertainment industry, many details of her life before Julian remain unknown.
Julian is reportedly worth over $16 million thanks to his decades-long career and the timelessness of “Charmed” and his other shows, which are still viewed by many on streaming platforms to this day. The actor, who hasn’t posted on social media since March 2022, appears to be taking things easy on the work front, and has yet to announce any upcoming projects for late 2023 or early 2024.