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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Rosemary Daniels Joy Chambers

Rosemary Daniels 1986-1998, 2005, 2010
Parents: Heather Ambrose (biological); Bill and Helen Daniels (adoptive)
Siblings: Anne (adoptive)
Children: Tracey Dawson (adoptive)
Family Tree: Daniels
Occupation: Owner of Lassiter's Hotel, The Daniels Corporation and The Robinson Corporation

Adopted by Bill and Helen Daniels when they found out they were unable to have any more children after the birth of their daughter Anne, Rosemary Daniels was the complete opposite of her sister. While Anne was interested in marriage and children, settling down with Jim Robinson and giving birth to four children, Rosemary wanted to lead an exciting life and see the world. After graduating with honours from university, Rosemary founded a local insurance company, where she fell in love with her business partner, Brian. However, Brian only treated the relationship as a fling, and he finished things with Rosemary just before the business collapsed. Undaunted, Rosemary left Erinsborough behind for the United States. She started out in a firm in New York, gradually working her way up to senior positions until she went out on her own and formed the Daniels Corporation, which dealt with management consultancy, investment packaging and company purchase take-overs.

The corporation was so successful that Rosemary decided to set up an Australian division in 1986. She opted for her home town of Erinsborough as the perfect place to base the Australian end of the company, and offered Helen the position of manager. The offer caused friction in the Robinson household, because Helen's grandchildren were anxious not to lose their gran, who had lived with them since Anne had died giving birth to a daughter, Lucy in 1975. Helen toyed with the idea, but eventually declined Rosemary's offer, instead suggesting Rosemary consider her ambitious nephew, Paul, for the job. Rosemary and Paul had fallen out a few years before, after Rosemary had fired Paul from the insurance firm, when he had worked there during his school holidays. But despite the rift, Rosemary recognised that Paul had a good head for business and the ruthless streak necessary to make a success of the company. She also realised that Paul, while not her biological nephew, shared many of her traits and characteristics, and seeing a lot of herself in him, Rosemary offered him the job. Paul accepted, and took the Daniels Corporation to new levels, making it a huge success in Australia, and overseeing the take-over by the Daniels Corporation of the Lassiter's Hotel chain from Jack Lassiter. Not all of Paul's decisions at the company were approved by Rosemary, however, and she infuriated him by vetoing his plans to knock down the legendary Waterhole pub at the hotel complex and build a new wing for the hotel in its place. Paul eventually bought the Australian end of the company from Rosemary, renaming it the Robinson Corporation, although the two companies remained linked for many years.

A rift developed between Rosemary and Helen when Helen fell for Rosemary's artist lover, Gerard Singer, during a visit to New York. Helen returned to Erinsborough racked with guilt at betraying her daughter in such a way, and her feelings for Gerard were complicated further when he followed her back to Australia. Rosemary was devastated when she discovered the truth after returning home to Erinsborough at the same time and finding some love letters from Gerard to her mother. She fled to Lassiter's to come to terms with the shocking realisation and vowed never to see Helen again. Helen desperately pleaded with Rosemary to forgive her, and after some intervention from Jim, they eventually agreed to put the incident behind them, agreeing that salvaging their own relationship was the most important factor in their troubles.

When an old school friend of Rosemary's died in 1990, Rosemary returned to Erinsborough for the funeral and was shocked to find that her friend had left a request for Rosemary to adopt her daughter, Tracey Dawson. Rosemary had her doubts about being able to combine her hectic work schedule in the Big Apple with being a mother to Tracey. Tracey, too, disliked Rosemary, especially after Rosemary took to shirking her responsibility towards her and leaving her in Helen's care while she dealt with business matters and was therefore determined not to move to New York with her. But as the two got to know each other better, a respect started to grow between them, and after they realised that they both loved a special song Tracey's mum used to sing all the time, they made up. Tracey agreed to return to America with Rosemary, and they have remained inseparable since.

Rosemary caused friction between Helen and her close friend, Dorothy Burke, when Joe Mangel discovered Rosemary in bed with Dorothy's husband, Colin, while cleaning the window of the suite at Lassiter's they were staying in. However, Rosemary had no idea that Colin was married, and assured Helen she would never have become involved with him if she had known. Although Helen was happy with Rosemary's explanation, a tense relationship developed between Rosemary and Dorothy, which wasn't helped when Dorothy accidentally broke an antique plate Rosemary brought for Helen on a subsequent visit. Dorothy was also unhappy when at an auction for the house next door to her, No. 32, Rosemary successfully bid for the property, and it looked like she was going to move in beside her. However, it quickly transpired that Rosemary had been simply bidding on Helen's behalf, who wanted to buy the house as an investment.

Rosemary's next visit to Ramsay Street was to be a tragic one, when she found Jim's lifeless body on the floor of the Robinson kitchen. Rosemary wasn't actually the first one to discover Jim's body, because his new lover, the scheming Fiona Hartman had been with him at the Robinson house when he suffered the fatal heart attack. After realising Jim was dead, Fiona embarked on an elaborate plan to transfer all of Jim's funds into her name before his death was discovered. Rosemary arrived on the doorstep of No. 26 just as Fiona was leaving for the bank, and she resisted Rosemary's attempts at getting past the front door, directing her to No. 32 instead, where Helen was staying with granddaughter Julie and her family. Rosemary was puzzled by Fiona's strange behaviour, and also shocked to hear Helen had apparently moved out. After making her way to No. 32, Helen and Julie explained to Rosemary that Helen had been forced to stay with Julie and Philip because of a fall-out with Jim over his new love interest. Rosemary was disgusted with the way her mother had effectively been thrown out of her home by Fiona, and called upon her again later. By that point, Fiona had successfully transferred all of Jim's money into her name, and was ready for Jim's body to be discovered. Once in the door of the Robinson house, Fiona left Rosemary to go into the kitchen first, and Rosemary was horrified to find her brother-in-law was dead. Rosemary was then faced with the difficult task of informing Helen and the rest of the family of Jim's death, and the Robinson family was thrown into mourning. It was only a few days after the funeral that the family started to have their doubts about Fiona's side of the story, with Rosemary and Julie's husband Philip particularly suspicious. Just as they had begun to realise that a lot of Jim's stocks and shares had vanished, Fiona fled Erinsborough, proving to the Robinsons that she had stolen Jim's money in the wake of his death. However, Rosemary's prime concern was the well being of her family, and she was particularly worried about Helen. Helen and Jim had lived together at No. 26 for 20 years and Rosemary invited Helen to stay with her in New York rather than be all alone in the Robinson house. But Helen was determined to stay in Erinsborough, and Rosemary reluctantly returned to the States.

When Helen and Gaby Willis went into business together with Outback Artists Tours, Helen asked Rosemary to help finance the project after Gaby showed signs of wanting to take total control of the idea. After jetting in to Erinsborough, Rosemary quickly agreed to be part of the business venture, but also showed signs of having another agenda when she told Gaby that Philip - who had been managing the Robinson Corporation and Lassiter's since Paul left for Brazil and sold the company to Cheryl Stark - had asked her to take care of some business at the offices. Demonstrating her ruthless side when it comes to business, Rosemary persuaded Gaby to give her the passwords to access classified files. When Philip caught wind of Rosemary's request, he began to suspect her of plotting a take-over of the company, and he alerted Cheryl, who was in hospital at the time in the latter stages of a troubled pregnancy. Helen confronted Rosemary about her plans for Lassiter's, but was pleasantly surprised when Rosemary revealed she was actually planning to buy the entire company back into the family. Having already secured the bank's shares in the company, Rosemary got Helen to agree to sell her her shares and thus use the equity to finance her Outback Artists Tours as a subsidiary of Lassiter's, in the way Helen's limousine service Home James used to be. However, Rosemary was less successful in convincing Cheryl to sell her shares in the company, with Cheryl refusing to ever consider selling up. When Helen mentioned how much the Waterhole meant to Cheryl, Rosemary cunningly planned her next move. She told a shocked Annalise Hartman that she was putting the Waterhole up for sale to make way for a cocktail bar in the hotel, and Annalise immediately went down to tell Cheryl at the hospital. Cheryl was enraged when she heard of Rosemary's latest plans, and came up with a way to keep the pub in her hands. Cheryl offered to sell her shares in Lassiter's on the condition that she could buy the Waterhole outright for herself. Rosemary agreed to the deal, making it look like she was unhappy with the outcome to Cheryl, but was actually thrilled and celebrated successfully bringing the hotel back into the family with Helen that evening. Rosemary also began making plans to launch a new branch of Lassiter's in Darwin, and offered the job of manager to Gaby. Aside from her business dealings, Rosemary proved to be of enormous support to Julie and Philip's troubled daughter Debbie during her stay. Debbie had gone through a rough patch after a bout of bulimia, and Rosemary invited her to come and live in New York with her and Tracey, as a way of putting her problems behind her. Debbie was thrilled with the offer, and after the tragic death of Julie a few months later, she joined Rosemary for a fresh start in the States.

A few months after regaining control of the company, Rosemary decided to concentrate on the Robinson Corporation's interests in the hotel industry and reverse their 1980s policy of dealing in other areas of the market, meaning the Lassiter's Arcade - which housed the newsagents, florists and boutique and incorporated the Coffee Shop and medical practice - was being put up for sale. Rosemary gave each of the tenants first refusal on their shops, but none were able to afford buying the premises from Rosemary, leading to Cheryl Stark stepping in and buying the whole arcade from her. However, within months, Cheryl found herself in severe financial difficulty, and had to eventually ask Rosemary if she was interested in buying the retail arm of the hotel complex back. Cheryl was disgusted by the offer Rosemary gave her for the arcade, and she refused to even consider selling for what amounted to half of the original price. But Rosemary refused to budge on the price, insisting it was her only offer - forcing Cheryl to have to rethink her options and reluctantly sell to Rosemary.

Meanwhile, Rosemary's handsome young personal assistant, Joel Supple, arrived from New York to join her in Erinsborough and Helen immediately detected a spark of attraction between the two. However, Rosemary was embarrassed by the relationship she was having with such a younger man, and was afraid to go public with it. It was only after talking to Philip about the age difference between him and his new love interest, Jen Handley, that Rosemary began to realise how foolish she was being worrying about people's reactions to her and Joel, and she admitted she and Joel were together to Helen. Helen gave Rosemary her blessing and assured her she had no problem with the age difference between the pair, even laughing at Rosemary's embarrassment over it all.

Rosemary and Joel's relationship ended in disaster, however, after Debbie and Joel fell in love with each other and embarked on a torrid affair. When Rosemary found out, she was devastated at the betrayal she had suffered from her niece and lover, and she suffered a nervous breakdown. Helen flew to New York to support Rosemary through the crisis, while Debbie reacted by returning to Erinsborough in shame, her relationship with Rosemary apparently irrevocably damaged.

Rosemary was heartbroken in 1997 when Helen passed away after returning home from a lengthy spell in hospital. After returning to Erinsborough for the funeral, Rosemary admitted to Philip that she felt guilty about not coming home sooner, dismissing her daily phone calls to Helen as not good enough. But Philip assured Rosemary that Helen understood how much she loved her, and Rosemary felt much better after Philip gave her a small box which Helen had given to him to pass on to Rosemary if anything happened to her. Rosemary was touched when she discovered it was Helen's wedding ring, and the reality of her mum's death hit Rosemary. On the eve of Helen's funeral, Rosemary made her peace with Debbie, with Debbie apologising for what had happened in New York between her and Joel and Rosemary assured Debbie it was forgotten. And Rosemary proved to be of enormous support to young Hannah, who was having a tough time dealing with her great gran's death. When Rosemary woke during the night and heard Hannah telling Debbie how devastated she was, Rosemary cheered Hannah up by giving her Helen's ring, believing it was what Helen would have wanted her to do. The next day, Rosemary bid her beloved 'mummy' a tearful farewell as her ashes were scattered on Lassiter's Lake, and she toasted her by celebrating her life back at the wake at the Robinson house afterwards.

The bond between Rosemary and Hannah was strengthened further when Rosemary chaperoned Hannah on a trip to France the following year, and Rosemary showed she had inherited some of Helen's traits by providing Hannah with a shoulder to cry on over her relationship problems with Paul McClain. Rosemary's ability to lend a sympathetic ear to her families in times of crisis and upset was proof that regardless of the fact that she had been adopted, she was Helen Daniels' daughter without a shadow of doubt.

A mixture of events brought Rosemary back to Erinsborough after a seven year gap. Annalise had made a documentary about the community and had invited a host of former residents back to view a special screening of the film in the Scarlet Bar, which had been built on the old site of The Waterhole. But Rosemary was also back in town because Paul – who himself had only returned to Erinsborough a few months before to reclaim Lassiter's - was at his lowest ebb, having lost a leg after an altercation with some shady businessmen who had tried to kill him. However, an embittered Paul scoffed at Rosemary's concern for his wellbeing, especially when she made him an offer to buy back Lassiter's. He initially turned down her offer, but Rosemary was adamant that she was not going to let the hotel empire she had made into a worldwide success story go down the drain due to Paul’s dodgy deals and she put pressure on him to sell. Paul eventually agreed, after realising he had burnt his bridges with many of the locals, but Lucy stepped in and persuaded him to rebuild his life in Erinsborough. Although Rosemary was disappointed when Paul tore up the contract and announced he was retaining Lassiter's, she was also pleased to see him courageously face his demons and urged him – as his aunt, rather than a business associate – to give something back to the community that they were all so inextricably linked to.

Five years later, Paul flew to New York having gotten himself into some financial difficulties with Lassiter's and Rosemary agreed to inject some cash into the company in return for a significant controlling interest in the business once again. Paul readily accepted but upon returning to Erinsborough, he still faced cash flow problems with some of his other business ventures such as the recently acquired underground radio station Pirate Net. To solve his problems, he moved $100,000 from Lassiter's into the Pirate Net accounts, telling his wife Rebecca, in whose name the radio station was registered, that it had come from an anonymous benefactor. However, just as he had committed this act of embezzlement, Rosemary sent Diana Marshall, one of her senior associates from The Daniels Corporation, to Australia and Diana very quickly learnt of Paul's deceit. Diana had more than a business relationship with Paul, however - the two had been lovers many years back during one of Paul's trips to the States and Diana was hell bent on destroying him after he rejected a full-blown relationship with her. Consequently, Diana relished the opportunity to alert Rosemary to the embezzlement, confident that she would force Paul out of the business.But Rosemary wasn't about to give up on her nephew just yet and suspecting Paul had every intention of moving the $100,000 back once he had straightened out his financial mess, she instructed Diana to sit on the information for the time being.

But Diana was determined not only to bring Paul down but Rosemary, too and began plotting to have Rosemary and Paul removed from the board of Lassiter's. She enlisted the help of Paul's stepson Declan Napier to take Paul down, having pointed out to Declan that it was his mum, and not Paul, who would have been charged with embezzlement had the truth emerged about Pirate Net's funding. Paul, meanwhile, was forced to call Rosemary and seek a leave of absence from Lassiter's after Rebecca threatened to end their marriage unless he chose between her and the business. Rosemary sympathised with Paul's plight but would only agree to a six month sabbatical and was somewhat surprised when Paul suggested Declan take over the Australian end of the company in his absence. Rosemary reluctantly agreed to the appointment but Declan knew she didn't have full confidence in him when she checked up on him straight after he started in the position. Meanwhile, Declan's appointment played right into Diana's hands as she now had enough people with voting rights on the board to oust Rosemary and Paul from the company. Luckily, Paul found out about Diana's plans just in the nick of time and alerted Rosemary. A confused Rosemary revealed to Paul that she had actually sent Diana to help with Lassiter's rather than spy on Paul and she realised that she had infuriated Diana by telling her to keep quiet about the embezzlement. Paul was surprised that Rosemary had known about the embezzlement all along and apologised for his deceit but Rosemary assured him it wasn't important now and focused instead on preventing the take-over of Lassiter's by Diana. She acted quickly to ward off the other dissenters on the board and fired Diana before she had the chance to put Rosemary and Paul's positions to a vote, demonstrating once again her business acumen and determination to keep control of her business empire while simultaneously defending and supporting her family.

Trivia Notes
• Joy Chambers is the wife of Grundy Television founder Reg Grundy.

To read our interviews with Joy Chambers, click here and here

Biography by Mark