Mark Gottlieb Bruce
Mark (né Cosmic) Gottlieb 1993-1995
Parents: Dave Gottlieb and Sally Dawes
Siblings: Stephen and Serendipity
Family Tree: Gottlieb
Occupation: Chef, Coffee Shop Manager
The second child of unconventional
hippies Dave Gottlieb and Sally Dawes, Mark Gottlieb was raised on his parents' commune in the countryside and
christened ‘Cosmic’. But as Mark grew, he and his older brother Stephen broke away from his parents ways and sought
to live a normal life. As soon as he was old enough, Mark dropped the name ‘Cosmic’ and moved away from his parents,
who at that stage, had taken to touring Australia in a caravan as a folk group.
Mark and Stephen were always
close but their relationship was destroyed when Mark inadvertently contributed to the death of Stephen’s fiancee
Libby. Mark had spiked Stephen’s drink at a party one night, leaving him unable to drive Libby home as planned.
Mark offered to take Libby home instead, but he also became too drunk, forcing Libby to take a taxi, which crashed,
and she was killed. A devastated Stephen held Mark responsible for the death, and vowed never to speak to him again.
Mark fled to France where he worked at various top hotels as a chef.
When Mark was offered the position
of head chef at Lassiter’s Hotel in Erinsborough, he decided to accept. The main reason for his interest in moving
to Erinsborough was because Stephen was now living there, with a wife and daughter, Phoebe and Hope. Unbeknown to
Mark, Stephen was just starting to recover from a serious accident in which he had lost the use of his legs. Mark’s
sudden arrival in Erinsborough caused Stephen to suffer a relapse and he was forced back into hospital for several
weeks. Phoebe tried desperately to keep Mark away from Stephen but Mark was determined to patch things up with his
brother, and made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere. Eventually, Stephen and Mark came to an understanding after an
afternoon spent reminiscing about their wacky parents and unconventional upbringing on the commune, and they agreed
to put the past behind them. And there was relief all round when Stephen finally regained the use of his legs shortly
After Stephen and Phoebe moved to
the neighbouring suburb of Ansons Corner, Mark took over the lease at No.30 Ramsay Street, where they had been living,
and shared with Beth Brennan. With accommodation and a job sorted, Mark soon found time to turn his attentions to
the women of Erinsborough, and in particular, rivals Gaby Willis and Annalise Hartman. He also found himself rather
taken by Lucy Robinson when she returned to town to visit her family at No.26. A jealous Annalise was furious when
Mark and Lucy went out on a date so when Lucy’s husband turned up, Annalise was more than happy to bring him down to
The Waterhole to interrupt Mark and Lucy’s cosy evening.
Mark soon realised that Annalise
was the girl for him, but by that stage, she was seeing her boss Jeffrey Hockney. Mark was convinced that Hockney
was just using her for sex and tried to talk Annalise out of the relationship. After one evening of soul-searching
with Mark at No.30, they slept together. But the following morning, Annalise told Mark it had been a huge mistake
and that she wanted to keep seeing Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey decided he no longer had any use for Annalise - in
either his office or his bed - she was desperate for a shoulder to cry on and came running back to Mark. However,
at that stage, Mark was so disgusted by her that he refused to lend a sympathetic ear. Annalise then embarked on a
period of flirting with every man in sight, and working as a barmaid at The Waterhole meant that picking up men was
an easy task. Mark was furious as he had to sit by and watch Annalise degrade herself on a nightly basis and things
came to a head when Goth night at the pub ended in two blokes getting heavy with Annalise and Lauren Carpenter. Mark
and Brad Willis stepped in to try and save the girls but Annalise saved herself and Lauren by pouring her drink over
the two blokes, forcing them to leave in embarrassment. When Mark told Annalise he had come down to protect her, she
was angry with him for thinking she couldn’t look after herself and he left the pub. Later, Annalise called around
to No.30 to apologise to him but he refused to listen. It was only when she blurted out on the doorstep that she
loved him, that Mark came out and admitted he loved her too, waking the whole of Ramsay Street in the process.
Soon, Annalise had moved into No.30
with Mark and the couple were joined by Rick Alessi, who became good friends with them both and often had to act as
mediator in the couple’s all-too frequent bust-ups. One such bust-up occurred when Annalise - anxious to find out
what the future held in store for her and Mark - went to see legendary local fortune teller Madame Zolgar, who
revealed that a red-haired girl from Mark’s past would try to take him away from her. Annalise was convinced Madame
Zolgar’s predictions were true when she saw Mark that night kissing a red-haired woman goodbye outside No.30.
A furious Annalise confronted Mark about the mystery woman but Mark refused to explain things to her because he felt
she was being completely unreasonable and suspected her of digging into his past after she admitted she knew the
girl was from his past. But just as Annalise and he were about to end their relationship, Mark revealed that the girl
was his cousin, Bernadette, who had come to offer him a job in Sydney and an embarrassed Annalise was forced to
After Annalise had another run-in
with an aggressive punter down at The Waterhole, Mark tried to persuade her to quit and find something else to do.
But he was shocked when Annalise suggested she and Mark take over the lease at the Coffee Shop and work together as
partners. Mark was uneasy about the idea because he didn’t want to go from being head chef at a major hotel
restaurant to cooking for a small coffee shop. But after he gave the idea some more thought, Mark agreed to help
Annalise prepare the menus for the Coffee Shop as well as work at Lassiter’s. Meanwhile, his boss at the hotel,
Philip Martin, panicked when he realised Mark’s contract hadn’t been renewed and feared that Lassiter’s would lose
him to the Coffee Shop completely. So, when Mark came to see Philip about staying on as head chef, he was stunned
when Philip - unaware that Mark was planning to stay anyway - offered him a pay rise and extra benefits to stay!
Mark and Annalise went on to increase profits
at the Coffee Shop by introducing a ‘Recession Menu’. The cheap menu was such a success the Erinsborough News even
did a story on it, although Annalise was disgusted when Mark’s picture was used instead of hers and the story
described him as being the man behind the new menu.
Shortly after Mark came up with
the idea of making the world’s longest sausage roll to raise money for the Paralympics, he began receiving phone
calls from a mystery admirer called ‘KT’, causing intense jealousy for Annalise. But Mark soon discovered that ’KT’
was actually Katerina Torelli, a paraplegic who had been impressed with his fundraising for the Paralympics and had
hunted him down to see if he would work with her on some more fundraising ideas. However, Katerina developed
something of a fatal attraction for Mark and did everything she could to come between him and Annalise.
A letter out of the blue from
Mark’s mother inviting him to a family get-together sent Mark into a period of erratic behaviour. Annalise tried
to persuade him to visit his parents, but Mark hadn’t seen them for years and couldn’t bear the prospect of a
reunion with his unconventional parents. However, Mark’s pre-occupations with his family problems led to a bust-up
with Bert the Butcher at the hotel over what Mark considered unsatisfactory meat. Both Annalise and new Lassiter’s
boss Cheryl Stark agreed he needed a week off work, and Annalise again urged Mark to visit his mother. Matters were
made worse when Bert the Butcher threatened to sue Lassiter’s unless Mark publicly apologised to him. Cheryl ordered
Gaby to fire Mark unless he complied, but Gaby was reluctant to do that to a friend. However, when Mark missed a meeting
with Gaby to sort out his differences with Bert, she had no alternative but to put him on six weeks suspension.
But a furious Mark told Gaby he didn’t need the Lassiter’s job and quit. At this point, Annalise took matters into
her own hands and made preparations for them to go up to the farm. But when Mark was greeted with a waiting taxi one
evening after closing up the Coffee Shop, he refused to go, telling Annalise that his parents only ever got in touch
when they wanted something, and with the last loan Stephen and Phoebe had given them still not paid back, Mark
insisted he wasn’t about to be hassled for more. Tired of Mark’s behaviour, Annalise accepted his decision and
left for the visit herself.
With Annalise away, Katerina Torelli
re-entered the equation and lent Mark a sympathetic ear. But when it led to a kiss, Mark found himself in even more
of a quandry than he had originally been in. To add to his problems, Annalise returned from Mark’s parents’ to find
Katerina claiming she and Mark were in love with each other. Mark was furious when he realised what Katerina had
been up to, and summoned her around to sort things out once and for all. However, Katerina insisted she was destined
to be with Mark and the meeting got the three of them nowhere. Annalise then insisted Mark visit his parents on their
farm to take a break from things and Mark finally agreed.
Moments after arriving at the
commune, Mark started clashing with his father over his way of living. But Mark was shocked when Dave told him that
his mother was dying of cancer. Rocked to the core by the revelation, Mark then spent Sally’s last days by her side,
gaining more of an appreciation for her way of life and making up for lost time. After a few days, Sally passed away
peacefully in Mark’s arms. The Gottlieb family gathered on the farm for Sally’s funeral, and the day brought Mark
and Annalise closer together after the upheaval of recent weeks.
Sally’s death also brought Mark and
his father closer, and Dave even came to stay with Mark and Annalise at No.30 for a while. Dave also helped out at
the Coffee Shop where his delicious chutney went down a treat with the locals. Meanwhile, Mark and Annalise’s
relationship came under strain once again when Mark grew jealous of Annalise’s friendship with Elliot Patterson, a
book publisher who had taken Annalise under his wing when she wrote a poetry book. Annalise, in turn, became jealous
of Mark’s growing closeness with the heavily pregnant Gaby. Her jealousy climaxed at Annalise’s poetry reading at
the Waterhole when she read out a bitter, twisted poem about the dark side of pregnancy directed towards Gaby. After
realising the upset she had caused Gaby, Annalise ran out of the pub in tears. Mark apologised to Gaby for her, and
ran after Annalise, telling her she had been cruel and hurtful and their relationship was over.
The pair agreed to a trial separation but the physical attraction between the two got the better of them and they had sex. Annalise moved back into No.30, but was appalled when Mark suggested they have a baby to strengthen their relationship. When Annalise responded by telling Mark that she couldn’t have his baby because she was too young and wanted to concentrate on her career first, he took the news badly and started to consider an offer from Dave to join him touring Australia. Travel was beckoning for Annalise too, as her book of poetry was about to be published in England and Elliot wanted her to go there for a book tour lasting several weeks. With their relationship apparently irrevocably damaged, Annalise and Mark decided to call it a day. Annalise moved out of No.30 and over the road to Marlene Kratz’s house, where chemistry started to develop between her and Marlene’s grandson Sam. Mark, meanwhile, was joined at No.30 by his free-spirited sister Serendipity, or ‘Ren’ as she liked to be called.
When Annalise returned from her book tour, she found herself drawn to Mark once again and they stunned the neighbourhood - not to mention Sam - by getting back together. When the couple took part in a Charity Bash drive in the Northern Territory, they took a swim in a deserted lake where Mark proposed. Annalise quickly accepted and the couple returned to Erinsborough to begin planning their wedding. While Annalise was determined to have a wedding worthy of a photo spread in a glossy fashion magazine, Mark’s preparation for the wedding was overshadowed by his deepening devotion to the Catholic Church. As the day of the wedding approached, he found himself wondering if he had chosen the right path in life. But such massive preparations had gone into the wedding that there was no way he could back out. It was only when the big day arrived and Annalise was making her way up the aisle that Mark realised he couldn't go through with it. A stunned and humiliated Annalise listened in horror as Mark told her in front of the entire congregation that he had decided to become a priest.
Mark’s decision to enter the priesthood suffered various setbacks as time passed. When he attended a lunch with other would-be priests and realised the amount of study and hard work he would have to put into his training, Ren started to wonder if it was what he really wanted. Mark’s mentor Father Michael Graham also started to doubt his suitability for the priesthood, particularly after Mark admitted to him that he still experienced sexual urgings whenever Annalise was around. Mark hastily told Fr.Michael that he wanted to be ordained as quickly as possible but the priest insisted that Mark was a long way from that. Accepting that he was still attracted to Annalise, Mark worked out a way to merge the two great loves of his lives. But Annalise was stunned when Mark announced to her that he had decided to become a lay preacher instead of a priest so that he could still marry her and devote his life to the church. Baffled by Mark’s idea, Annalise told him she needed time to digest what he was proposing but Mark immediately set about telling the neighbourhood that the wedding was back on. Annalise was furious with Mark for just presuming that she was going to marry him again and become a preacher’s wife, and she was forced to admit to him that as well as having no intention of marrying him, she also no longer had any feelings for him.
Mark also began to feel alienated from his friends and neighbours as they tried to adjust to his religious life. He felt it more than ever when he won a trip for two to the Whitsundays and anyone he asked to go with him turned him down. He eventually decided to raffle the tickets off, and opted to take some time away from Erinsborough and do some charity work in the outback for a few weeks.
When Mark returned, a blast from the past entered his life when he spotted Lucy Robinson working as a go-go dancer at a night club he was at with Ren and Danni. Lucy was shocked to see Mark and revealed to him that she had been back in town for a few months but had out off seeing her family and friends because she was trying to get her life back on track. It transpired that Lucy’s marriage and modelling career had ended disastrously and she was working as a dancer to make enough money to return home and start afresh. Mark managed to persuade Lucy that her family would welcome her back regardless of her circumstance and she returned home to Ramsay Street with him. However, Mark was taken aback when Lucy tried to thank him for his help by coming on to him. Although they had been attracted to each other the last time Lucy was in town, Mark had to explain to Lucy that things had changed for him. But Mark couldn’t help but feel tempted by Lucy, and as they spent more time together, he became increasingly attracted to her. The bond between them grew stronger when it became evident that Lucy had a drink problem and Mark helped her overcome it through counselling and becoming her support partner. Mark finally admitted to his new housemate Luke Handley that he was falling for Lucy, and Luke intervened by taking over as her support partner.
Meanwhile, Mark threw himself into a new business venture when he bought the Coffee Shop lease from Annalise. He invited Luke to work there with him but when Luke’s first idea was to extend the trading hours and apply for a Bring Your Own licence, Mark strongly disapproved - especially since he had decided to rename the shop The Holy Roll. Luke and Lucy came up with a solution to Mark’s opposition, however, by suggesting that Luke run the shop at night under the name Doobee Pizza where he could operate a BYO licence without it interfering with the running of the Coffee Shop.
Mark’s feelings for Lucy continued to grow and matters came to a head when she gave a talk at the local youth centre on her addiction problems. Mark was so impressed with Lucy’s courageous and heartfelt lecture that he invited her back to No.30 for dinner as a thank you. Unable to control his feelings any longer, Mark slept with Lucy and the next day, resolved to forget about the priesthood once and for all so that he could be with her. However, Lucy had come to the realisation that it would be better for her to leave Erinsborough while Mark sorted out his feelings and accepted a job with her Aunt Rosemary in New York.
Deflated and depressed by Lucy’s departure, Mark went awol. Ren became increasingly worried about her brother’s whereabouts, but luckily, he returned after a few days. But the Mark that returned was a different person. Having spent his time away living on the streets and observing the world from a different perspective, Mark had opted to move away from the priesthood and help people in a somewhat different way. He started to see himself as God’s chosen one and after emerging unscathed from three mild accidents at work and at home in the space of a couple of days, Mark began to feel he was invincible. He soon took the interfering in the affairs of his friends and neighbours, and put several noses out of joint by delivering moral lectures on a range of issues - whether it was telling young Hannah Martin that her father was living in sin with his new girlfriend or informing Libby Kennedy that her skirt was too short.
Annoyance and contempt increased around the neighbourhood towards Mark, when he appeared on Lou Carpenter’s radio show supposedly to talk about the youth centre. Lou was disgusted when Mark instead started preaching on air about how people should reject evil and turn away from sin. Lou angrily confronted Mark about his antics afterwards but Mark simply laughed off Lou’s words of warning, basking in his certainty that he was doing no wrong. The next morning, Mark saw Hannah on Ramsay Street and ran after her to preach to her once again. Having become scared of Mark’s changed personality, Hannah ran away from him - but panicking, she ended up out in front of Susan Kennedy’s car. Mark quickly jumped to save her, and ended up getting knocked down himself. After escaping unhurt, Mark insisted that God had saved him but Philip became concerned about the effect Mark was having on the community when Hannah admitted that most of the kids in the area where fearful of his religious preaching and unpredictability. Philip warned Mark about the negative effect he was having on the locals but again, he refused to listen, and insisted that he was only spreading God’s word. Even an attempt by his old mentor, Fr. Michael, couldn’t change Mark and only resulted in Mark voicing his dissatisfaction with the way the church was run.
Matters came to a head when Mark insisted on helping Lou clean his gutters but ended up slipping off the roof and slipping into a coma. Ren kept a constant vigil by her brother’s bedside, and was thrilled when he regained consciousness after a few weeks. However, Mark’s memory was affected by the fall, and he was only able to remember up until Lucy left for New York. Ren tried to fill in the missing blanks for her brother, but he showed no signs of responding. As the days passed, though, he began having flashbacks to the way he was behaving before his accident, and started to realise that he hadn’t been a very likeable person, or good neighbour. Once he was released from hospital, Mark made a point of apologising to all his friends and neighbours, and they were all thrilled to have the old Mark back.
Mark had a brief relationship with Annalise’s recently arrived half-sister Joanna, but the experience was a little too weird given that he used to be engaged to Annalise and he called a halt to it. Jo was slightly more hooked on Mark, though, and she pursued him for several weeks before finally realising nothing would come of it. Mark, meanwhile, sold the Coffee Shop after deciding he missed being a chef and he sought to return to his chosen profession. His return to the world of cookery came about in a slightly unusual way, however. Mark was offered the chance to appear in an episode of the hit cookery show Healthy, Wealthy and Wise, and he proved to be such a natural in front of the camera that the producers of a new rival show, Fit, Fun & Food, asked him audition as host. He was thrilled when he got the job, although there was one downside - it was to be filmed in Sydney. However, after the troubled few months he had endured, Mark decided to make the most of such an exciting new opportunity and he left Erinsborough for a new life in Sydney.
Episode 2290: Mark
and Annalise's Wedding
Episode 2528: Mark's