Main Pages

Actors & Crew
Year by Year
Magic Moments

Message Board

Character Profiles > Cheryl Stark Caroline Gillmer, Colette Mann

Cheryl Stark (née Kratz) 1993-1996
Lived: 22, 24 Ramsay Street
Born: 1950
Parents: Hector and Marlene Kratz
Marital Status: Maurie Stark (deceased)
Siblings: Patrick
Children: Janine, Darren, Danni, Brett and Louise
Family Tree: Stark/Kratz
Occupation: The Robinson Corporation Manager, Bar Manager
Died: 1996

Opinionated, brassy, manipulative and demonstrative, Cheryl Kratz was brought up by her father, Hector, after her mother, Marlene, left them when Cheryl was 11 years old. In the years that followed, Cheryl built up a devilish image of her mother, and even considered her to be dead.

After the death of her father, Cheryl married Maurie Stark, a railway worker who died shortly after the birth of their fourth child, Brett. Tough as boots Cheryl raised her children single-handedly, working as a barmaid part-time. As the children grew, she was enabled to work more shifts and life gradually got back on track. Eldest daughter Janine joined the navy after her HSC, and Brett excelled at school, consistently getting straight As. Cheryl's other daughter, Danni, was headstrong like her mother and would often clash with Cheryl, but proved herself to be a good kid underneath her tough exterior. It was Cheryl's eldest son, Darren, who caused most problems. Darren never took an interest in school, and spent his teenage years involved in petty crime, eventually ending up in a detention centre having been convicted of robbery.

After winning $1.3 million on the lottery, Cheryl bought The Manhattan bar in Erinsborough, and provided Danni and Brett with an excellent education by sending them to a private boarding school. As a result of her new, more comfortable life, Cheryl was able to enjoy herself and developed a flair for fashion and expensive treats. It was while running The Manhattan that Cheryl fell in love again - with car salesman, Lou Carpenter. Lou had left his wallet behind in the bar one afternoon, and Cheryl had deviously told him it wasn't at the bar when he rang looking for it. Instead, Cheryl used the wallet as an excuse to call over to Lou's house on Ramsay Street personally a few days later. She succeeded in wrangling a dinner date out of Lou for the following evening, but Lou wasn't overly keen on taking things any further. Cheryl, however, was determined to get a second date out of Lou and when he told her he couldn't see her because he was playing in a card game at No. 26 with his mates, Wayne Duncan and Doug Willis, a persistent Cheryl turned up for the game and joined in - much to the dismay of Lou. Cheryl's infatuation with Lou continued apace after she rented No. 22 - right next door to Lou on Ramsay Street, and he became even more unnerved when she took to buying up cars at his car yard every day just to see him. Lou finally relented and having accepted that Cheryl was seriously interested in him, he agreed to start seeing her.

At the same time, Darren had been released from detention centre, and was quickly giving his mother grief again, stealing cars and leading their teenage neighbour, Debbie Martin astray. Despite Cheryl warning him about the dangers of getting back into crime, particularly since he would be old enough to be sent to prison as opposed to a detention centre next time, Darren began plotting an armed robbery with Debbie at a petrol station. His plans backfired, however, because Debbie's brother, Michael (who had been in the same detention centre with Darren) stopped them just in time - although Darren set off the gun he was carrying and shot Michael. Darren was arrested and eventually sentenced to two years in prison, prompting Cheryl to pledge that she had washed her hands of him this time.

Cheryl's infatuation with Lou reached new heights, meanwhile, when she announced their engagement at the re-opening of the Waterhole pub at Lassiter's Hotel complex. Lou was stunned by Cheryl's announcement, particularly since they had never even discussed getting married. Lou was finally forced to admit that he just wasn't interested in a relationship with anyone because he still hadn't fully gotten over his break up with his childhood sweetheart Madge Bishop, and Cheryl finally accepted Lou's feelings. Cheryl then moved out of Ramsay Street and back into her apartment above The Manhattan, and shortly afterwards, left Erinsborough for a world cruise.

Cheryl returned to Erinsborough two months later, buying No. 22 from Paul Robinson, planning to live there with Janine, who was planning a transfer. But Janine's transfer fell through, and Cheryl had second thoughts about staying, not wanting to be alone. But the welcome she received from her neighbours - including Lou - prompted Cheryl to decide to stay put. Lou was keen to start seeing Cheryl again, having realised how much he liked her, but she played it cool with him initially. In an attempt to make Cheryl jealous, Lou began dating the local newsagent, Wendy Slater, but Cheryl responded by flirting with the much younger, Jack Flynn, a pilot who was seeing Gaby Willis from across the street. Cheryl became suspicious of the motives behind Jack's interest in her, however, and when he asked her to help finance an executive chartered flying service he was thinking of setting up, her suspicions that he was only interested in her lottery money were confirmed. But instead of letting Jack know what she thought of him, she invited him around to her house for drinks to discuss the idea - in order to make Lou jealous. But they were interrupted by the sudden arrival of Brett and Danni, who had run away from boarding school. Cheryl was less than pleased by the kids' arrival and was furious with Danni for getting expelled from school. Brett and Danni pleaded with Cheryl to let them live with her but she refused. It was only after Lou advised her not to miss out on her children growing up that Cheryl agreed to let them stay and attend school locally.

By the time Cheryl was ready to start dating Lou again, both Brett and Danni objected to the idea. Determined to put her kids first, Cheryl told Lou that she couldn't see him, but later suggested they date in secret. Although they were enjoying seeing each other, the couple started to grow tired of sneaking around. The final straw occurred when Doug gave Lou and Cheryl the use of his house for the afternoon so that they could spend some time alone. Their romantic afternoon together was interrupted by Doug's wife, Pam, who had come home for lunch unexpectedly. Feeling embarrassed and childish in front of Pam, Cheryl decided that she couldn't carry on like a school kid any longer and told the kids she and Lou were seeing each other. Brett accepted his mother's wishes, but Danni was furious and started accusing Cheryl of forgetting her father's memory. However, Lou eventually won Danni's respect, and began seeing Cheryl openly.

When Paul Robinson put Lassiter's Hotel and the Robinson Corporation up for sale, Cheryl decided to try her hand at big business and became a major shareholder in the company. Philip Martin, who had been managing the company, was dubious about Cheryl's assurance that she would remain a silent partner and leave the running of the hotel to him. His suspicions proved accurate when Cheryl quickly positioned herself in the office as Philip's number two, and started implementing changes around various parts of the hotel complex - much to the annoyance of the staff. However, Cheryl did prove advantageous to the company, and impressed Philip by charming an important Japanese client one night at dinner, securing a lucrative contract in the process.

Of course, not all of Cheryl's actions were a success, such as Cheryl's plan for her and Philip to spend a day working at ground level at Lassiter's. While Philip helped out in the kitchen, Cheryl, worked as a housekeeper, where the unsuspecting Rhonda showed her the ropes and gave her tips on how to avoid actually doing any work. A day in the laundry also showed Cheryl that a lot of sheets and other laundry were often taken home by staff. Cheryl was aghast at what went on behind management's backs and started sacking Rhonda and other workers. But threats of a strike by the staff, who reminded her that she had deceived them by not revealing her true identity, smoke bombs in the office and a picture of Cheryl with a knife through it, all led Cheryl to reconsider her decision and concede defeat.

When Lou proposed to Cheryl, she turned him down, and instead suggested they move in together. The only problem was which house they should live in. They eventually decided on moving into Lou's at No. 24. Despite a few teething problems and a full house - Lou's daughter Lauren, and teenager Rick Alessi lived there too - they soon made a happy family unit.

A shock followed for Cheryl, however, when she found out she was pregnant. At first, Cheryl worried about the dangers of giving birth at her age and decided to go for an amniocentesis test to determine whether the baby had Down's Syndrome. But at the last minute, Cheryl opted out of taking the test, deciding she didn't want to know. The pregnancy had also led Lou to think he and Cheryl should now marry, but when he proposed to her, she turned him down again. But when he proposed to Cheryl for the third time in front of everyone in the Waterhole, Cheryl - under pressure in front of all the punters - reluctantly said yes. However, Lou was aghast when Cheryl told him if he wanted to do things the conventional way, they would not be able to sleep together until after the wedding and she even suggested that she should move back into No. 22 until after they were married. This stipulation from Cheryl made Lou reconsider the suggestion, and he opted to keep things as they were.

A difficult pregnancy followed for Cheryl in which she experienced high blood pressure, water retention and blurred vision. Her period of bad health began when Julie Martin accidentally knocked her down after they argued in the Martins' driveway about the romance between Danni and Michael. Cheryl was rushed to hospital with concussion and a broken ankle, but the baby was put in danger as a result of the incident, and the doctors feared she might miscarry. Luckily, the baby was soon out of danger, although Cheryl was forced to spend several weeks in hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy. While she was incapacitated, Madge sold No. 24, which meant Lou and the kids were forced to move back to No. 22. And in a shocking twist, the woman Madge sold No. 24 to was actually Cheryl's mother, Marlene. Marlene had bought the house after discovering Cheryl lived in Ramsay Street, having decided she wanted to make amends with her estranged daughter. But Marlene kept her true identity a secret as she wanted to ease herself into Cheryl's life again, and when she met Lou and the kids, they thought she was nothing more than a kindly old lady who had moved in next door. Mother and daughter were reunited at last when Cheryl was allowed home from hospital for a day visit, and she came face to face with Marlene, who Danni had unwittingly invited to the stay at No. 22 while her house was being painted. Cheryl was shocked by Marlene's reappearance in her life after 30 years, and demanded she get out of the house straight away.

So upset by the turn of events, Cheryl asked to be taken straight back to the hospital, while Marlene desperately tried to explain her position to Lou. Marlene visited Cheryl in hospital after giving her a few days to calm down and told her some home truths about her father, in the hope of making Cheryl understand her reasons for leaving. But Cheryl refused to believe that her father had been a drinker and a love cheat, and laughed at Marlene's suggestion that he had always sent back the letters, cards and birthday presents Marlene had sent for Cheryl over the years. But when Marlene produced a sack full of returned letters and gifts, Cheryl was forced to consider that, perhaps, there was some truth to Marlene's side of the story. Finally, when Annalise Hartman visited Cheryl in hospital and told her how much she regretted not sorting out her differences with her own mother before her death, Cheryl decided to give Marlene a chance. Marlene was delighted by Cheryl's change of heart, and Cheryl was touched when Marlene presented Cheryl with a pair of baby boots she had knitted her when she was a baby.

Rosemary Daniels returned to Erinsborough for a visit while Cheryl was in hospital, and quickly set about reclaiming Lassiter's and the Robinson Corporation. Cheryl initially refused to entertain the idea of selling the company, and Rosemary's plan was put on hold after Cheryl suffered further medical complications in hospital. In the midst of an argument between Lou and Danni about Danni's plans to quit school, Cheryl suffered a seizure and the doctors were forced to perform an emergency caesarean on her. But Cheryl and Lou's delight at becoming the parents of a baby girl was quickly ruined when the baby had to be rushed to the special care unit with breathing difficulties. Cheryl blamed herself for not having taken the amniocentesis test but luckily, the baby was soon out of danger, and released from the special care unit. The next drama for the proud parents was agreeing on a name for the child. While they were both happy with Shannon, they were forced to call the baby by her middle name - Louise - after Gaby Willis had also called her baby boy Shannon. However, both Cheryl and Lou were happy enough with Louise, and came to more affectionately refer to her as 'Lolly'. It was deciding on whose surname to use that proved the real contentious issue for the couple. Lou wanted his surname to be given to Louise, while Cheryl insisted on Stark. But after Lou pointed out that if she was Louise Stark, the baby would be using the surname of Cheryl's first husband, Cheryl realised Carpenter was more appropriate.

Meanwhile, Cheryl agreed to sell Lassiter's back to Rosemary after striking a deal with her whereby she could keep the Waterhole as her own. Knowing how much the pub meant to Cheryl, Rosemary realised she was onto a good deal, and agreed. Cheryl indulged herself by renaming the pub 'Chez Chez' in honour of herself, and was soon hosting various theme nights to drum up business, including a Dead Celebrities Night and an Alpine Party.

Cheryl suspected Lou of having an affair when he began making secretive phone calls and arriving home from work late. She decided to follow him one afternoon, and was shocked to find Lou kissing a young Asian woman on the cheek in the park. But after confronting Lou about her suspicions, Lou revealed that the girl she had seen him with was actually his daughter, Ling Mai. Ling Mai was the product of an affair Lou had when he was in Korea as a student, and he had only recently learnt of her existence. After Lou brought Ling Mai home to meet the family, Cheryl found herself having a hard time coming to terms with the new addition to Lou's life. When Cheryl admitted to neighbour Susan Kennedy that she was feeling jealous of Ling Mai, Susan suggested that perhaps it was Ling Mai's mother - and Lou's first love - that was really making her jealous. After Lou spent increasing amounts of time away from Cheryl getting to know Ling Mai, Cheryl told him how she was feeling. But Lou reacted angrily to Cheryl's confrontation, and after a heated argument, offered to move out and find a place to live with his daughter instead. Although Danni supported Cheryl in her bust up wit Lou, Brett pointed out to his mother that Lou was simply giving Ling Mai so much attention because he had 30 years of fatherhood to catch up on. Marlene, too, was opposed to Cheryl's position, and suggested that perhaps Cheryl was really longing for a stronger commitment from Lou, like marriage. However, it was only when Ling Mai came to see Cheryl that she began to realise how hard she was being on Lou, especially after she realised that Ling Mai was feeling responsible for causing all the trouble. Marlene and Ling Mai both worked on getting Cheryl and Lou to sort out their differences, and before Ling Mai returned to Korea, Cheryl told her she was welcome in their home at any time.

Cheryl was hugely proud of Lou when he was elected mayor of Erinsborough, and basked in the glory of becoming the Lady Mayoress. But after they attended the inaugural dinner, Cheryl was furious to be told by a snooty councillor's wife that mistresses weren't welcome at the dinner. The incident prompted Lou to raise the question of marriage once again, but Cheryl declined to be drawn on the issue. Her avoidance of the subject led Lou to ask Marlene if she could shed any light on what was making Cheryl so reluctant to marry him but Marlene admitted she had always thought it was Lou who hadn't wanted to marry. Marlene raised the issue with Cheryl, but she was less than happy with Marlene's interference and lashed out at Lou for involving Marlene in their private affairs. However, Lou told Cheryl he didn't care about getting Marlene involved because he wanted to know once and for all why she wouldn't marry him. Cheryl finally decided to admit to Lou why she always turned down his marriage proposals, and she revealed that when she was 19, she had her cards read by a fortune teller who told her if she ever married, her husband would die in his fifties. And since Maurie had died in his fifties, Cheryl told Lou she believed the prediction and wouldn't marry him in case he met a similar fate. Lou accepted Cheryl's concerns, but suggested they try getting their cards read by local fortune teller Madame Zolgar, in the hope of finding a way out of their predicament. Cheryl was delighted when Madame Zolgar told her that it would be perfectly okay for her to marry again, but just as it seemed as if Cheryl and Lou could marry after all, Madame Zolgar warned Lou that if he married again, there would be disastrous consequences, thus putting an end to Lou's desire to marry.

The decision by Brett to sail around the world with sailor Max Geppart - who he had met while on a trip to the Whitsunday's - upon completion of his HSC received little support from Cheryl. Cheryl insisted that Brett wouldn't be going anywhere, but Brett reminded his mother that he would be 18 in a few weeks, and she would be unable to prevent him from going away. As a stand-off developed between mother and son, Lou intervened and advised Brett to ease off Cheryl for a while and let her come to terms with his decision.

When Cheryl got wind of Rosemary's plans to sell off the shopping arcade at Lassiter's, she dashed down to the Coffee Shop to join in an emergency meeting of the arcade's tenants called by Helen Daniels. However, Karl Kennedy objected to Cheryl's presence at the meeting since she owned Chez Chez outright and had no business at the meeting. Cheryl laughed off Karl's objections and argued that she had a vested interest in whatever the meeting was about since her business was in the Lassiter's Complex. But after Helen asked the tenants to have a vote on whether or not Cheryl should be allowed sit in on the meeting, there was an overwhelming vote of no, forcing a disgruntled Cheryl to leave. Cheryl's main reason for wanting in on the meeting was because she was thinking about buying the arcade herself. Lou was against the idea initially, thinking it was too much of a financial risk, and so, Cheryl approached Marlene about investing with her. However, Lou had a change of heart, and decided to re-mortgage his car yard to finance the deal, much to the delight of Cheryl. As soon as Rosemary accepted Cheryl's offer, Cheryl started making plans to renovate the arcade but Lou urged her to be cautious until they started making their investment back. Cheryl's attempts at making their investment back as quickly as
possible backfired when she introduced rent increases on all the shops, and ended up forcing a lot of her tenants to seek leases elsewhere. Cheryl didn't help matters by refusing to renew Mark Gottlieb's lease on the Coffee Shop after he introduced plans for a BYO licence, and as one foolish business decision after another followed, Cheryl was faced with serious financial problems. Lou sold his beloved car yard to help ease the cash flow crisis they were encountering, but there was no going back, and Cheryl was forced to approach Rosemary about buying the arcade back from her. She was disgusted when Rosemary would only offer her half of the original price for the arcade, and she refused to sell. But when it became clear to Cheryl that there was no other willing buyer and no way of her holding onto the business herself, she agreed to sell to Rosemary.

Cheryl was thrilled when eldest daughter Janine arrived in Erinsborough for a visit. But the visit wasn't entirely in happy circumstances for Janine, because she had recently split up with her boyfriend, Ross, after discovering he had been having an affair. When Ross showed up at the Stark house looking for Janine, Cheryl demanded he leave immediately after he lost his temper and became aggressive. Cheryl escorted him out to the driveway to cool him down, and thinking there was a chance Janine might forgive Ross for his affair, Cheryl told him to call back in a few days when Janine had calmed down. But Cheryl was shocked when Janine revealed that Ross hadn't had an affair after all and had actually been hitting her. Cheryl was disgusted when Janine showed her a recent cut on her back from when Ross had flung a kitchen chair at her, and Cheryl comforted her daughter as she broke down in tears. What hurt Cheryl even more about Janine's confession was the revelation by Janine that she had never felt able to come to Cheryl with her problems in the past because she had always focused her attention on Darren, Danni and Brett when they were kids. But Cheryl insisted that it had simply been because she always thought Janine was the strongest out of the kids - leading Janine to point out that she had no choice but to be the strongest. As a tense atmosphere hung in the air between mother and daughter in the midst of Janine's admissions, Ross showed up again, screaming and shouting to be let in. Cheryl was furious and went out to tell him to stay away from her daughter and family, but Ross grabbed her by the neck and pushed his way inside. Janine had luckily phoned Lou while Cheryl was at the door with Ross, and Lou - having called the police from the pub - raced home to save Cheryl and Janine. After Ross had been taken away by the police, Janine realised that her family wouldalways be there for her, and apologised to Cheryl for ever doubting her love.

Cheryl's relationship with Brett continued to come under strain, and Brett's discovery that Cheryl had agreed to pay Danni to study for her HSC only increased his anger towards his mother. Cheryl tried to explain that she didn't pay Brett to study because she knew he didn't need a push, but Brett refused to ease his mother's guilt and remained furious with her. His anger reached breaking point when he arrived in Kenya as part of a trip he won with World Vision, and discovered that Cheryl had given him the suitcase she had been packing with Lolly's old baby clothes instead of his own one. Susan Kennedy, who was chaperoning Brett on the trip, tried to calm Brett down, but the suitcase incident was only one part of his ongoing problem with Cheryl. Brett felt that Cheryl was far too interfering and controlling in his life, and upon his return from Africa, vowed that it would all change. So when Cheryl started making plans for Brett to attend university, he reminded her that he was deferring uni to travel with Max Geppart. After an argument in which Cheryl insisted Brett would obey her for as long as he was living under her roof, Brett decided to prove to his mother that he could survive on his own, and moved out into a hut in the backyard. Brett's first day living in the hut passed without hitch, but Cheryl was convinced he'd soon change his mind after the novelty wore off. However, Cheryl was shocked when she came across the Erinsborough News opened on the 'For Rent' section in the hut, and she realised Brett was planning on moving out of the family home completely.

A bigger shock hit Cheryl when she discovered that Brett was secretly seeing her golf partner, Judy Bergman - an older, divorced mother of two. Cheryl was appalled by Brett's behaviour, and demanded he stop seeing Judy immediately. Brett refused, and was supported in his stand against Cheryl by Judy, who tried to make Cheryl realise that age wasn't important. The relationship eventually fizzled out anyway, and Cheryl then set about trying to convince Brett to cancel his travel plans and start uni. She approached Brett's best friend, Libby Kennedy about talking him out of going overseas, but Libby told Brett about Cheryl's tactics, prompting Brett to hatch a plan to prevent any further interference from his mother. Brett told a delighted Cheryl that Libby had talked him out of going away, and she was hugely relieved. But Brett dropped another bombshell on his mother by announcing that Libby's talk had made him realise how much he loved her, and they were now getting married! Cheryl was outraged by the latest twist, and tried to talk him out of it by revealing she had asked Libby to talk him out of the idea. Brett told Cheryl that he knew all about her approaching Libby, and explained that he had been trying to prove a point to Cheryl. Early the next morning, Brett packed his bags and left Erinsborough earlier than planned, fed up with Cheryl's interference. Cheryl was devastated when she discovered Brett had left, and blamed herself for pushing him away. But after Lou arranged for Cheryl to fly to Cairns and meet with Brett before he set sail, Cheryl managed to patch up her differences with her son and she apologised for the way she had treated him.

A few months after Brett had set off on his travels, Cheryl was shocked to receive a call from Max Geppart informing her that Brett had been arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Ecuador. Her worst fears confirmed, Cheryl immediately flew out to Ecuador to help Brett, but the journey was to change her life forever. Cheryl was a passenger on a bus taking her from the airport to her meeting point with Max when it was taken over by rebels and they took all the passengers on board hostage. Cheryl spent a month held hostage, but she was treated well, and bonded with the other passengers. Cheryl's main worry was Brett, because she had no idea that while she had been kidnapped, Brett had been released from jail. Luckily, the family's fears for Cheryl's safety were ended when she was released and Lou flew to Ecuador to bring her home.

But Cheryl had changed after her kidnapping ordeal. Gone were her bright flashy clothes and big hair, and instead, Cheryl wore mainly black and grey colours, and straightened her hair. Lou and the family put Cheryl's change in appearance and mood down to the horrifying kidnap ordeal, and their concern for Cheryl's well being was increased by her refusal to talk about what she had gone through. It was only when Cheryl gave an interview to Real Woman magazine that Lou realised things hadn't been as bad for Cheryl in Ecuador as he had thought. Cheryl revealed that their conditions were clean and pleasant enough, and that the rebels treated them very well. Afterwards, Lou angrily confronted Cheryl about why she had led them all to believe things were awful in Ecuador when they clearly weren't, and he was shocked when Cheryl revealed that she had an affair with one of her fellow captors, Charles Humphries. Lou was sickened by Cheryl's revelations, and threw her out of the house. Cheryl sought solace at Marlene's next door, and it was several days before Lou would even speak to her again. Cheryl pleaded with Lou to give her a second chance, and insisted that she loved him, and had only had the affair while held hostage because she needed some emotional comfort. Lou agreed to see a marriage guidance counsellor with Cheryl but while he found the sessions to be helping them reconcile, Cheryl was less impressed with them. After a dinner with Lou at No.22 led to Cheryl staying the night, Lou began to think they could put what happened in Ecuador in the past and get things back on track. He asked Cheryl to move back in with him, but she was reluctant and used Darren's release from prison as an excuse to buy her some time. In the meantime, Cheryl was thrilled to receive a phone call from Charles, and when a bouquet of flowers arrived that same afternoon, she thought they had come from him. When Lou asked Cheryl if she had received the flowers he had sent her, Cheryl was noticeably surprised and disappointed that they had come from Lou. Her reaction led Lou to realise that Cheryl had thought they had come from Charles. Lou was so hurt and betrayed by Cheryl's evidently continuing interest in Charles that he reached a difficult decision about their relationship, and told Cheryl that they were finished.

Cheryl tried to get Lou to reconsider, because her emotions were all over the place in the wake of the kidnapping, and she still loved him deep down. But Lou couldn't face any more heartbreak, and made plans to start sorting out their assets between them. Cheryl told Lou she would never be able to buy him out, and also didn't want to sell up, but she was stunned when Lou told her that she could keep the house and pub herself if he got custody of Louise. Cheryl vowed to fight to hold onto Louise, and began trying to raise the capital to buy Lou out of their assets. Marlene went some way in helping Cheryl out by agreeing to buy one quarter of the pub, and Joanna Evans provided the remaining capital. However, Cheryl and Lou failed to reach any agreement over custody of Louise, despite their decision to attend mediation sessions. It was only when Lou made plans to leave Erinsborough and return to his native Queensland that the couple realised that the best thing for Lolly would be to remain in the care of her mother, and in familiar surroundings. Lou agreed to let Cheryl have custody of Lolly, and Cheryl, in turn, assured Lou that he could see Louise whenever he wanted, and thus, the couple parted on more amicable terms than they had expected to.

In the wake of Lou's departure, Cheryl began trying to pick up the pieces of her life. She sold No. 22, and concentrated on building a new home life for herself at No. 24 with Marlene, Louise and Darren. Darren proved problematic for Cheryl, with his difficulties in getting back on the straight and narrow, and his turbulent relationship with Libby Kennedy, which caused a massive Stark/Kennedy feud. Above all else in these months of change, Cheryl was missing Lou, and eventually decided to write to him in the hope of initiating a path to reconciliation.

But a reunion with Lou was not to be. While out walking Louise in her buggy one afternoon, Cheryl stopped by the side of the road to talk to Karl about the resolve that had been reached in the Darren/Libby drama. As she and Karl were chatting, Louise climbed out of her buggy and ran out into the middle of the road. Cheryl ran after her, but just as she pushed Louise out of the way, Cheryl was knocked down by a truck. As she lay on the ground in agony, Danni happened to come along, and shocked by her mother's suffering, pleaded with Karl to give Cheryl something for the pain. But just as the ambulance arrived, Cheryl died, and it later transpired that she had been allergic to the painkillers Karl had administered. However, Cheryl had suffered massive internal injuries and would have died from them either way.

In a poignant twist, on the day of Cheryl's funeral, Lou showed up on Marlene's doorstep hopeful of getting back together with Cheryl having received her letter in the post. But any hope of reconciling was gone, and Lou was faced with the challenging task of raising Louise without her mummy.

Trivia Notes
• In 1995, a period of unexpected illness forced Caroline Gillmer to take a month away from recording on Neighbours. As the character of Cheryl was involved in a major end-of-year storyline, the decision was taken to temporarily recast the role, with Colette Mann taking over until Gillmer recovered
• During Colette Mann's stint as Cheryl Stark, Brett Stark had a dream about Cheryl (episode 2526), but she was played by Caroline Gillmer
• Cheryl and her mother Marlene shared the same birthday
• Cheryl was allergic to oysters
• According to Cheryl's gravestone, she was born on March 4th 1950
• Five years after Cheryl's death, a storyline was written in which Lou found out that she had cheated on him and Lolly's father was infact a man named John Allen
• To read our interview with Caroline Gillmer, click here

1966-2520, 2522-2560, 2563-2711

Magic Moments
Episode 2710: Cheryl's Death

Biography by Moe