Stephen Gottlieb Lochie
Stephen (né Freedom) Gottlieb 1992-1993
Parents: Dave Gottlieb and Sally Dawes
Marital Status: Phoebe Bright
Siblings: Mark and Serendipity
Family Tree: Gottlieb
Occupation: Coffee Shop Assistant
and down to earth, Stephen Gottlieb was born the eldest son
of hippy parents, Dave Gottlieb and Sally Dawes. Stephen was
actually christened Freedom by his parents, and was brought
up with his brother Cosmic - who later changed his name to
Mark - and Serendipity on a hippy commune. While Serendipity
followed their parents' ideals and way of live, Stephen and
Mark resented Dave and Sally for their alternative way of
living. So when Stephen grew up, he was determined to settle
down and enjoy a normal, regular life.
became engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Libby, after becoming
manager of a record store in Elliott Park. But tragedy struck
the couple one night when they were at a party, and Mark spiked
Stephen's drink, 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 instantly. A devastated Stephen held Mark
responsible for his fiancee's death, and vowed never to speak
to him again. It wasn't until Mark left for France that Stephen
finally felt ready to get on with his life.
visiting Libby's grave one day, Stephen met Phoebe Bright,
a young pregnant girl who was visiting the grave of her recently
deceased boyfriend, Todd Landers.
The two got chatting and discovered they had much in common.
They became friends, and started spending a lot of time together.
Stephen soon realised that he was in love with Phoebe but
she was still mourning the death of Todd and was reluctant
to get involved with anyone else. After a swift courtship,
Phoebe realised how lucky she was to have had Stephen enter
her life, and when he proposed to her at a Gothic-themed 18th
birthday party he had organised for her, Phoebe accepted.
couple planned to marry before the baby arrived, but their
plans went awry when Phoebe went into labour on the eve of
the wedding. Stephen ended up delivering the baby - a little
girl - in Phoebe's living room and after she pulled through
an initial period of danger, the child was named Hope Landers-Gottlieb.
At first Stephen resented the Landers name being added to
the surname, fearing the ghost of Todd would always cloud
his parenting of Hope. But Phoebe got Helen
Daniels, Todd's surrogate gran, to talk to Stephen and
assure him that Todd would be more than happy with Phoebe's
choice of husband and father for Hope. Stephen and Phoebe
finally married a few weeks after Hope's birth, and were thrilled
when Pam Willis arrived at the
service with Hope, after it was initially felt the baby wouldn't
be out of hospital in time. The wedding also saw Stephen's
parents descend upon Ramsay Street, and entertain the guests
at the reception with their pub band music.
Phoebe's guardian, Dorothy Burke,
left Erinsborough she left No. 30 in the hands of Stephen
and Phoebe, and they were thrilled to have the place to themselves.
But their domestic bliss was threatened when Stephen lost
his job at the record store, having refused to take bribes
from record companies to falsify record sales. Luckily, Stephen
became manager of Cathy Alessi's
coffee shop, the Hungry Bite, and ran it as a family business
with Phoebe, with both taking turns staying at home with Hope.
financial problems arose for Stephen and Phoebe and they were
forced to take in a lodger. They advertised their spare room
on the Coffee Shop's notice board. Russell Butler saw the
advertisement, and took it down straight away so as to ensure
nobody else would get to apply for the room. Russell had recently
been released from a rehabilitation clinic, and was seeking
replacements for his wife and baby, who had left him due to
his drug use. Stephen and Phoebe were obviously unaware of
this when they agreed to rent the room to Russell, but soon
came to regret their decision when he subjected the newlyweds
to a hellish few months. They initially thought Russell was
simply a bit odd - he would spend hours in his bedroom, and
refused to let Phoebe or Stephen enter his room. But his behaviour
soon began to worry them, especially after he started to tell
Stephen one thing, and Phoebe another. Russell even tried
to kiss Phoebe one afternoon, and when Stephen found out he
decided Russell would have to go. But evicting Russell proved
problematic for the Gottliebs, and he vowed to stay on until
his lease expired. Events came to a head when Russell told
Stephen that Phoebe was in love with him, and Stephen lost
his temper and hit him. Russell then had Stephen charged with
assault, and avoided being evicted from No. 30 by paying up
the rent he owed at the last minute.
things at No. 30 becoming so heated and downright dangerous,
Stephen sent Phoebe and Hope to stay with Dorothy in the country
for a few days, and he began trying to find a way to rid he
house of Russell once and for all. Against Stephen's better
judgement, he took Lou Carpenter
up on an offer of having some heavies he knew 'persuade' Russell
to leave. But the heavies mistook Wayne Duncan from No. 26
for Russell, and the wrong person was beaten up. Stephen felt
awful at what had happened, especially since Wayne was a mate.
But Wayne forgave Stephen after he confessed his involvement
in the beating, and Stephen was hugely relieved when, upon
hearing of the beating, Russell became aware of how unwelcome
he was on Ramsay Street and fled. Stephen and Phoebe were
much luckier with their replacement lodger, Beth Brennan,
because she was friend of the couple's and could be trusted
and relied upon.
Stephen announced his plans to leave Phoebe running the Hungry
Bite full-time so that he could take care of Hope and take
a part-time course, Phoebe was quite apprehensive about the
idea. After a heated argument about the idea one evening,
Stephen stormed off to the Waterhole. But tragedy struck when,
shortly after Stephen had arrived at the pub, a gas leak caused
it to explode and Stephen was trapped in the rubble. He was
the first to be found amidst the ruins, and was rushed to
hospital, where he lay in a coma for several days, suffering
from swelling to the brain. Phoebe, having kept a bedside
vigil since the explosion, was thrilled when Stephen finally
woke up. But her relief was short lived after Stephen appeared
to have no recollection of who she was, and had evidently
lost his memory. A further setback occurred when he needed
emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Luckily,
Stephen regained his full memory after the operation, and
the first person he asked after when he woke up was Hope.
the accident had left Stephen paralysed, and he was devastated.
Not wanting to burden Phoebe with caring for a paraplegic,
Stephen made arrangements to move to a rehab centre after
his release from hospital, and Phoebe was heartbroken when
he rejected her support and told her he didn't love her. Wayne
desperately tried to intervene and convince Stephen that Phoebe
certainly didn't see him as a burden, but Stephen was determined
to leave for the rehab centre. However, he had a last minute
change of heart and agreed to move back to No. 30 - and apologised
to Phoebe for pushing her away.
to life in a wheelchair proved intensely difficult and frustrating
for Stephen, and he constantly rejected people's help with
things, such was his fierce determination to fend for himself.
Some good news arrived for the couple when Lassiter's offered
them an out-of-court settlement of $67,000 as compensation
for the accident. But Stephen's joy was cut short when brother
Mark showed up unexpectedly in Erinsborough. Stephen resisted
Mark's attempts at reconciling with him, and after a blazing
row in which Stephen told his brother he'd never forgive him
for Libby's death, Mark left and Stephen was later found lying
on the living room floor by Phoebe having suffered a relapse.
couple of weeks in hospital followed, during which time 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, especially since he had
landed the job as Head Chef at Lassiter's. 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.
Stephen received a huge boost to his confidence one day at
the park when he caught a frisbee with his bad hand, and this
drove him to commit to a rigorous rehabilitation regime in
the hope of walking again.
and Phoebe were delighted when the cheque from Lassiter's
came through and they considered leasing the old florists
shop in Lassiter's Arcade to set up their own record store.
But when a more suitable premises became available in Anson's
Corner, and at a more attractive price, the couple decided
to move there instead. On the eve of their departure, Stephen
surprised Phoebe at the party to mark Helen Daniels' birthday
and the re-opening of the Waterhole by getting out of his
wheelchair and walking unaided. It transpired that he and
Wayne had been working towards Stephen taking his first steps
in recent weeks, after Stephen had started to regain feeling
in his legs. With their dramatic few months behind them at
last, Stephen, Phoebe and Hope left Ramsay Street behind for
a fresh start running their new record bar in Anson's Corner,
which proved to be a huge success for them.