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Character Profiles > Doug Willis Terence Donovan

Douglas 'Doug' Willis 1990-1994, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2016
Lived: 28 Ramsay Street
Parents: Bert Willis
Marital Status: Pam Willis (1967-)
Siblings: Faye Hudson
Children: Adam, John, Gaby, Brad and Cody
Family Tree: Willis
Occupation: Builder

Rugged and down to earth, builder Doug Willis supported his mother and sister, Faye, after his ex-marine father, Bert, left them to return to the seas. At a friend's bucks party, Doug accepted a bet to travel across town in a taxi naked but was embarrassed when the driver of the taxi turned out to be a young woman, Pam Beresford, filling in for her father that night. It was love at first sight for the couple, and they started dating.

After they got married in 1967, Pam gave birth to a son, Adam. But tragedy struck when the couple's second child died of cot death and slumps in the building trade meant that Pam was the only one bringing in money through working as nurse at Erinsborough Hospital. The couple battled on, however, and things began to look up when Doug set up his own building business, Willis Construction. Doug and Pam went on to have three more children - Gaby, Brad and Cody, the latter being the apple of Doug's eye, always managing to get her way with him.

As the children grew, the family home began to empty with Gaby and Brad both moving overseas. When Doug did some renovations on Des Clarke's house, No. 28 Ramsay Street, in preparation for Des to sell up; Doug and Pam decided to buy it and leave their larger one behind them. The family quickly settled in well in Ramsay Street with Doug finding some good mates in the form of Joe Mangel and Jim Robinson, although he initially got on the wrong side of Jim by flirting with his wife Beverly at a dinner party thrown by the Robinsons to welcome the Willises to the neighbourhood. Later, Doug found a good mate in Lou Carpenter, with whom Doug would often share a few beers with after work down in the Waterhole.

Problems were never far away from Doug and Pam, however, and when they banned Cody from seeing the boy next door, Todd Landers, due to a drop in her school grades, Cody and Todd opted to run away. The Willises and Robinsons were worried sick about the kids' whereabouts, but there was relief all around when Cody returned after catching a bad flu from sleeping rough, and Todd was soon behind her. Meanwhile, Adam delighted Doug by quitting medicine because it meant Doug now finally had a chance of passing his business onto one of his sons. However, Adam was clearly not cut out for the building trade, and realising that Adam's heart belonged in medicine, Doug made life especially difficult for him on the site so that Adam would return to his studies.

The business bug bit Doug when he and Paul Robinson went into partnership on building a retirement village in the bush. Local councillor Felicity Brent threatened to vote against the planning decision but her plans were thwarted and work eventually began. But as Doug and Paul both began to fall into debt to cover the high costs of the development, the project collapsed. Sending Cody on a student exchange programme in the States for two years added to the Willis family's financial troubles, and when Doug and Pam had to bail Brad out of an Asian jail when he was wrongly accused of drug smuggling, it looked as if they would have to sell No. 28 and move to a smaller house. But Gaby, recently returned from her business degree in Japan, managed to trick one of Doug's debtors that she was the family lawyer - and he quickly handed over a cheque for $10,000, which saved the family from financial ruin.

Always an incorrigible flirt, Pam paid no attention to Doug's friendship with newcomer Brenda Riley, who had taken over the Coffee Shop from Madge and Harold Bishop. Doug, too, only saw the time he spent with Brenda as harmless flirting. But Brenda fell helplessly in love with Doug, and was convinced that he was in love with her too, and was going to leave Pam and the kids for her. Brenda finally threw herself at Doug and kissed him when they found themselves alone at the Coffee Shop one day, and a stunned Doug was relieved when Brenda's nephew, Guy, disturbed them in the nick of time. However, Gaby had witnessed the kiss, and told Pam, who confronted Doug about his relationship with Brenda. Doug insisted that it was nothing more than flirting, and even after Pam revealed Gaby had seen the kiss, he maintained that he was not having an affair with Brenda. Having realised how seriously Brenda had been taking his interest, Doug was forced to break the news to her that he had never felt anything other than friendship towards her, and a devastated Brenda could only put on a brave face as she tried to accept that Doug only had eyes for Pam.

The Willis house was thrown into a state of disarray when Doug's meddling and overbearing sister Faye came to stay. Pam detested her sister-in-law, and was determined to make the visit as short as possible. But Doug felt sorry for his sister, because she was all alone since her husband had died, and he was more open to putting up with her. However, Doug soon began to regret letting her stay when she had him locked in a battle with next door neighbour Dorothy Burke over her plans to erect a gazebo which would block sun getting to Doug's vegetable garden. It was only when Faye invited Doug's childhood sweetheart, Alexandra Lomax, to visit that Doug realised his sister was becoming too much and asked her to leave. The Willises were all shocked when she agreed, but they realised why she wasn't too bothered about going when they discovered Faye was only moving two doors down to No. 32.

When Doug's photo appeared in the Erinsborough News, he hadn't counted on it sparking a chain of events which would nearly destroy his marriage. After the photo appeared, locals began to recognise Doug so it was of no strange surprise to Doug when a woman named Jill Weir accidentally met him at the Coffee Shop and introduced herself to him by saying she thought his picture in the paper was very flattering. Jill then went on to become friendly with Pam, and Doug and Pam supported Jill through a custody battle with her mother-in-law over her young son, Ross. Jill won the case, and retained custody of Ross, but tragedy struck a few months later when the boy drowned. Doug and Pam rushed to support Jill, and she took to spending a lot of time around the Willis house. Doug gradually began to realise that Jill was attracted to him, and he started to worry as it developed into an infatuation. Things came to a head when Jill invented a story about her house being redecorated and Pam offered her a room at No. 28 for a while. Doug was furious and insisted Pam ask her to leave. But Pam was too caught up in her growing feelings for Jim Robinson to notice the extent of the problem with Jill and Doug. It wasn't until Jill took an overdose of pills in Doug and Pam's bed that Pam realised there was something strange about her friend. When Doug was away on a weekend trip, he was shocked when he phoned home and Jim answered the phone. Immediately suspecting Pam of having an affair with Jim, Doug was furious. So when Jill showed up at the hotel and seduced Doug in the hot tub, he gave in to her advances and slept with her. But Doug was so racked with guilt over his actions, that he confessed all to Pam as soon as he returned and Pam threw him out. It was only when Doug and Brad went missing at sea while on a fishing trip that Pam realised how much she still loved Doug, and when the men returned safely, Pam let Doug move back in and they put the incident behind them. However, Jill made one last desperate attempt at getting Doug to leave Pam for her by threatening to jump from her apartment building. After Doug and Lou succeeded in talking her down, they arranged for her to be sent to a hospital for treatment, and it became clear that Jill's mental state had seriously been affected by her son's death.

More drama followed for Doug when Gaby was almost raped by suave Simon Hunter while on a weekend at a guest house with him. Although Gaby managed to get away from Simon before he could do any serious harm to her, Doug and Brad rushed around to Hunter home to confront him, and Doug ended up hitting him. Simon used the assault as a way of preventing Gaby from reporting his crime to the police, by threatening to sue Doug for assault if she reported him. Although Doug was more than willing to be sued, Gaby decided she didn't want the matter dragging on any further, and she dropped all charges.

When Doug's long-lost father, Bert came to stay at the request of Gaby, who had unbeknown to Doug been in secret correspondence with her grandfather for many years, Bert tried to make amends with Doug for leaving him and the family. Doug, however, was unable to forgive his father for what he had done, and demanded he leave as soon as possible. But when Bert revealed to Wayne Duncan that he was dying, Wayne knew that he had to tell Doug, who otherwise would never give his father a fair hearing. When Doug learned the news, he realised that he couldn't let Bert die without putting past ghosts to rest, and he raced to the port to patch things up with him before he set sail.

When the residents of Ramsay Street attended the Melbourne Cup together, Doug was anxious to keep up with the more wealthy Raymond Lim, and when Raymond bet $5,000 on a race, Doug matched it, and placed the bet on Lauren Carpenter's horse Chucka Mental, who Doug and Pam had both bought shares in. But Chuckie only came in third, and Doug lost his entire week's work payroll on the horse. Doug was then faced with the nightmare task of trying to make the money back up before pay day, and he was ultimately forced to sell his shares in Chuckie to Raymond. His fortunes took an upturn when he landed the contract to rebuild the Waterhole after a gas explosion ruined the building. But just as he was due to commence work on it, a rival firm Constructocon, made Doug an offer to buy out Willis Construction. Doug initially refused to even consider the idea, but after the company was audited and discovered to be in debt of $70,000 to the tax department, he had no option but to sell. Constructocon kept Doug on their payroll as part of the sale, and Doug also managed to transfer Beth Brennan's apprenticeship over to the new firm too. But he was racked with guilt over the fact that the rest of his crew was left out of a job as a result of his decision. However, Doug ended up out of work himself when the head of Constructocon, Fred Baker fired him when he complained about the poor safety conditions on the building site. Doug sunk into a depression as a result, and began to fear he'd never find work again due to his age. Philip Martin came to his rescue when Beth turned down his offer of working a few extra shifts at the Waterhole and asked him to offer them to Doug instead. Doug was thrilled to be working again, and threw himself into the job. But he was devastated when Julie Martin let slip that Beth had rejected the shifts so Doug could have them, and he was furious that people were pitying him in such a way. He was further angered when Lou and Helen Daniels created odd jobs that they needed done around their houses so as to throw some money Doug's way. And as if his financial difficulties couldn't get any worse, Doug's ute was stolen, complete with $3,000 worth of tools in it.

Doug's pride had been so dented by the entire ordeal that he ended up lying to Pam about getting a job as a foreman and he spent his days at the park or the pub so that she would think he was at work. When Pam found out, she desperately tried to assure him that it didn't matter who was the main breadwinner, and they reached an agreement whereby Pam would take some extra shifts at the hospital and Doug could look after the dinners and household chores. But Doug wasn't able to stick being a house husband for long, and took on a job as a sales rep for a building supplier. Even though he wasn't really interested in sales work, it at least gave him the chance to hold his head up high again, and Doug resolved to stick with it until something better came along.

Brad's impending marriage to Beth was threatened when Beth's mother Bunny arrived in Erinsborough to try and talk her daughter out of marrying Brad. Bunny's interference drove the couple to elope and Doug and Pam only realised what they had done after discovering all their things were gone. Luckily, Doug found a bus timetable with a circle around a certain time, and they raced to the bus depot to stop Brad and Beth from leaving. The bus had already pulled out of the station, but this didn't stop Doug and Pam from chasing it, and after flagging it down, they boarded the bus to persuade Brad and Beth to come back to Ramsay Street for the wedding. Although Brad and Beth had already married that morning in a registry office, they opted not to tell Doug and Pam, and married a second time back on Ramsay Street. Doug was thrilled to welcome Beth into the family, after working so closely with her on the building site, and she had become like a third daughter to him. Youngest daughter Cody had returned from America around the same time, and caused concern for Doug and Pam with her depression and downbeat attitude. It eventually transpired that Cody had been married while in America, and Doug was furious. However, he provided her with a shoulder to cry on when her husband, Drew Grover showed up in Erinsborough looking for a divorce.

Gaby landed Doug with another shock when she returned from a month in Italy and announced she was pregnant. After she revealed the father was Jack Flynn, the pilot she had dated a few months before, Doug went to see Jack to demand he start taking some responsibility for the child - even though Gaby had made it clear to Doug that she wanted no contact with Jack. Jack was shocked to learn of Gaby's pregnancy, and went back to the Willis house with Doug to speak to her about playing a part in the baby's life. with Gaby eventually agreeing to let him be involved.

Meanwhile, Doug was thrilled to be asked to go into partnership with his old workmate, Norm, buying up old houses and renovating them to sell at a profit. Finally, an opportunity had come along where Doug could return to doing what he did best, and he jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, the bank turned down their loan application, and the dream collapsed. But when Cody found some old papers and used them to prepare notes on for a school debate, Doug and Pam realised that they were actually the tax papers that proved Doug and Pam had paid the money they were supposed to have owed the revenue months before. After receiving a refund of the money they had paid the tax department, Doug used the money to buy Kia-Ora, an old house nearby and he excitedly began restoring it on the side. But when the house was fixed up and ready to be sold, Cody was furious to learn that Doug was going to sell to a property developer who was planning to knock the house down and build apartments instead. The house had such a historical character to it that Cody was determined it shouldn't be knocked down, and she contacted the local news station who promptly showed up at the house with a news camera and petition from over 100 locals objecting to the sale of the property. Doug was disgusted by Cody's actions, particularly after the news show depicted him as greedy and with no regard for local history. Doug was also sacked from his sales job because of the negative image of him the report had generated. But Doug was thrilled when the mayor announced that the council was willing to buy the renovated house from him, and offered him the job of further renovations on the property. And after realising that Cody had played a large part in convincing the council to buy Kia-Ora, Doug managed to forgive Cody for the trouble she had caused.

No sooner had Doug started working for the council, however, than he found himself in hot water with his new boss, Andrew 'Macca' Mackenzie. Doug and Lou had begun making their own home brew and had been storing it in the shed at Kia-Ora. When Macca found out, he ordered them to get the beer off the premises immediately. In time, Doug and Macca became good mates, however, and Macca relaxed his position on the home brew and agreed to let them store it at Kia-Ora. Macca even went on to become involved with Lou and Doug in their mini brewing empire. The three men were thrilled when a woman, Megan, showed up at the Willis house one day wanting to purchase some of the home brew, and they happily took her down to Kia-Ora to sample some. However, Rick Alessi had overheard some police officers at the Waterhole discussing an undercover operation, and upon hearing Doug's name, realised they were about to be set up. After Rick told Cody, she rushed down to the house just in time to prevent Doug from selling any of the brew to Megan, and Megan confessed that she was an undercover officer. But she stressed that they hadn't taken the problem too seriously, and rarely came down so hard on home brewing but their new sergeant had been placed under pressure from Parkside Pacific after hearing some of the beer had been on sale at the Waterhole. Megan and her colleagues even ended up joining Doug and the others for a few home brews.

After giving birth to a baby boy Zac - named after Doug's grandfather Zachary - Gaby reunited with Jack and left Erinsborough to manage the new Lassiter's Hotel and Outback Artists Tour business in Darwin. Only a few weeks after leaving, Gaby called Doug to offer him the contract of building the new hotel, and knowing it was the chance of a lifetime, Doug and Pam decided to make a fresh start and sell up. Leaving Cody behind was the only problem, but she was unable to join them up north because there were no medical schools in the Northern Territory and she planned to study medicine after her HSC. After a farewell party was thrown for them at No. 24, Doug and Pam left Ramsay Street behind for their new life in Darwin, where Doug found plenty more work after finishing with Lassiter's.

Their newfound happiness was tinged with tragedy, however, when Cody was shot in a tragic shooting accident on Ramsay Street a year later. The building trade had slowed up at that stage and Doug was in the middle of a major building contract at the time of the shooting, so Pam made the journey to Erinsborough and kept a bedside vigil. There was relief all round when Cody showed clear signs of recovery, and Doug spoke to her on the phone straight away. But just as the family began making plans to hold a Willis family reunion in Darwin as soon as Cody was released from hospital, Cody took a turn and died. A few days later, Pam took her body back to Darwin where she and a heartbroken Doug buried their little girl.

Doug returned to Ramsay Street in 2005 when Annalise Hartman invited a host of former residents back to Erinsborough to view the screening of a special documentary she had filmed about the close-knit community. Doug revelled in the opportunity to kick back and have a few beers with his old mates, and was accompanied on the trip down from Darwin by Philip Martin. Phil had moved up north a few years back with his family, and both Doug and Philip had taken early retirement earlier in the year. Doug and Phil's first port of call upon arriving back in Erinsborough was Lou's house where they found Lou napping. Ever the prankster, Doug painted a beard onto Lou's face and it wasn't until they were reminiscing about old times down at the Scarlet Bar - the new name for the Waterhole - that Lou realised what his old mates had done. Doug and Phil tried to encourage Lou to join them on a big fishing trip that they were setting off for after the documentary, but Lou excused himself due to work committments. However, they later discovered Lou had been reluctant to accompany them because he was getting older and didn't think he would be up for the trip. Luckily, he changed his mind and followed them on their big trip a few days later.

Nine years later, Brad was back living on Ramsay Street with his second wife, Terese and their twin teenagers, Josh and Imogen, and Doug decided to pay them a visit. Terese, knowing that Brad's parents had always preferred his first wife Beth, was dreading her father-in-law coming to stay, and when Doug arrived and accidentally called her Beth, it seemed that her worst fears had been realised. Doug then explained that the main reason for his visit was to help out Josh, whose swimming career had come to a very sudden halt following a shoulder injury. Doug felt that, as a former builder, he could pass down some important life skills to his grandson and show him that a career as a tradesman might be an option. Doug also caught up with Lou again, attempting to cheer him up following the death of his friend Kate Ramsay and suggesting that they could try making their old home brew again.

As Josh and Doug worked together, filling in on some of the jobs at Kyle's handyman yard when Kyle had to go to Thailand unexpectedly, Josh began to notice that his grandfather was becoming a little bit forgetful. After Doug made a mistake with a job for the local primary school, ordering the wrong materials, then having a pile of sand delivered to the high school, he blamed Lou for the mix-up, claiming that he'd been misinformed, and Josh agreed when his grandfather made him promise not to say anything to the rest of the family. Another mix-up occurred when Doug forgot the label the home brew bottles - as half were alcoholic - and Imogen ended up accidentally getting drunk and making a fool of herself. Doug again blamed a confused Lou for the situation, but Josh could see that something wasn't right. However, when he tried to explain this to Brad, he was told that it was perfectly normal for a man in his seventies to become a little forgetful from time to time, but it was nothing to be worried about. Doug's odd behaviour continued when he went out late one night to get some milk to make tea, and hadn't returned the following morning. The Willis family all went out looking, but it was Josh and his girlfriend Amber who found Doug, wandering around with a cut on his head, claiming that he had to go to the Hungry Bite and meet Cody. When Amber looked confused, Josh was forced to explain that Cody was Pam and Doug's younger daughter, and that she died 18 years ago.

At the hospital having the cut on his head cleaned up, Doug was a lot more lucid and, when Josh brought up the Cody incident, he tried to claim that he'd simply been going to the cafe to order her favourite breakfast in her memory. Josh remained unconvinced, and though Brad refused to believe it, Karl decided that they should do a few more tests, eventually bringing up the possibility that Doug might be developing Alzheimer's Disease. The whole family struggled with this, with nobody quite sure how to deal with it. After a few days, Doug finally started to open up, and admitted that he had been having memory lapses for a little while, and had wondered if it was the alcohol, so he'd given up drinking. Deciding that his dad needed cheering up, Brad took him along to the grand reopening of the bar, where Doug immediately caused a scene, getting in the way of photographer Rick Blaine and then damaging an expensive lens. Back at home, the incident made Brad and Doug realise that there was definitely a problem and that they needed to start facing up to it. After a heart to heart with his dad, Brad phoned Pam and arranged for her to come down from Darwin the next day, so that they could begin to deal with things as a family.

When Pam arrived, she had little sympathy for Doug, claiming that he was lying about the illness, and using it to cover up an affair. She told the family that Doug had been disappearing at all hours of the day and night, never telling her where he'd gone, and had even dropped Jill Weir's name into the conversation, shortly before he came down to Erinsborough. However, after talking to Karl, and hearing things from a medical perspective, Pam began to realise that she'd been judging her husband too harshly and had been too close to the situation to see it for what it really was. Unfortunately, as Pam tried to apologise, Doug was in no mood to forgive her, unable to understand how she'd had so little faith in him. But as Brad reminded his parents of all they'd been through together over the years, they realised that this was just another battle that they'd have to fight together, and they were very touched when Brad and Terese asked them to move back down to Erinsborough and stay with them. After a few days, however, Pam and Doug came to a decision, and announced that they were going to travel the world together and make some very special memories whilst they still had the time. With a first stop planned for Niagara Falls, and a visit to Brad and Terese's youngest daughter, Piper, Doug and Pam said their goodbyes, with Doug telling his family to look after each other and make the most of each day, rather than waste time worrying about trivial things.

Later that year, as Doug and Pam returned from their trip across Canada, he headed back to Erinsborough for a visit, as Josh prepared for his day in court, charged with 'coward punching' Chris Pappas, leaving him with a brain injury. Doug's visit proved to be just the tonic that Josh needed, as he feared that the odds were against him and he was almost certain to go to jail. As grandfather and grandson played cricket by the lake, Chris watched from afar and came to the conclusion that it would do nobody any good if Josh ended up in prison, so he made an amendment to his victim impact statement, which ultimately saved Josh, who ended up with 300 hours of community service. As he celebrated that piece of good news, Doug also finally got to meet his granddaughter Paige Smith. Paige was the result of Brad and Lauren's relationship many years ago, and had only been reunited with her biological parents for a few months. She and Doug quickly formed a bond and he welcomed her to the family by giving her an ankle bracelet, something he and Pam had given to each of their children when they were Christened.

With Josh's court appearance over, Doug made plans to return home to Darwin, until he learnt that Brad and Terese had decided to separate and she was moving into a suite at Lassiter's. Doug spoke to Pam and told the family that he'd been staying around for a little longer, encouraging Brad to fight for his marriage and to remind Terese why they fell in love in the first place. Doug then also took the opportunity to spend some more time with Paige and they arranged to meet up, but alarm bells rang when Doug wasn't at number 22 as arranged. The search for Doug brought the Willis family together again, if only briefly, and they were all relieved when he was found asleep on the couch at the Kennedy house, his former home. With Paige and Josh keeping a slightly closer eye on him after that, Doug became slightly irritated as they asked him questions about the wooden toys he was making - something he'd done when his kids were young, and had recently started again as a way to keep his mind sharp. However, when Paige then declared that she was going to try to make some herself, and that they'd probably be better than his, he accepted the challenge, and took the kids down to the men's shed to give them a masterclass. After bonding with Josh and Paige, Doug turned his attention to Imogen, who was struggling with all of the recent changes in her life - finishing high school, her parents splitting up, Doug's Alzheimer's, and being secretly in love with Daniel, the boyfriend of her best friend Amber. With Imogen refusing to attend the year 12 formal, Doug arranged for a small family gathering at the Willis house, inviting Terese along in the hope that it might begin to repair his son's marriage. The evening was a success to begin with, until Brad learnt that Terese had been for a drink with her old flame, Ezra, and an argument broke out. When Amber and Daniel then arrived, having left the school formal early, Imogen became even more upset. Doug tried to help, and shared a dance with her, but even he couldn't get her to open up about her problems, and he was left standing alone as she let her emotions get the better of her, and ran off.

As his condition worsened, Doug made another visit the following Christmas, as Josh had recently become a father to little Matilda, and Doug wanted to make some new memories with his great-granddaughter while there was still time. It seemed that there were plenty of people who were glad to have Doug's support, with Brad and Terese's marriage now over, and Josh struggling to cope with fatherhood, but his first port of call for advice was Paige, who, following a pregnancy scare, was beginning to worry that she and her older boyfriend Mark were at different stages in life, and she wasn't quite ready for marriage and kids. After giving Paige a commitment ring that Pam had once given to him, Doug told Paige to be honest about her feelings with Mark, but as she tried to talk to him, with the commitment ring in her hand, Mark got the wrong end of the stick and thought that she was attempting to propose to him, and the pair suddenly found themselves engaged.

With Doug's memory worsening, Josh became concerned when he heard about a car accident involving Steph Scully and Paul Robinson, who'd been run off the road by a car which had then driven away. With Aaron attempting to track down the other car, which had a broken taillight, Josh's worst fears were confirmed and he attempted to get Tyler to fix the car before anyone found out. However, when Steph saw the car at the garage, she confronted Josh, who asked for a little bit of time before she went to the police. Josh then spoke to Doug, who'd been on his way to visit old friend Raymond Lim that evening and had returned in a very disorientated state, and Doug went to Steph and confessed everything. After thinking things through, Steph agreed not to go to the police, as she'd been struggling with mental illness for a few years and had some understanding of what Doug was going through, but told him that he would have to agree to stop driving. Doug then helped Josh and Amber to sort out their differences over baby Matilda - as Amber was planning to take up a new job in Brisbane and separate Josh from his daughter - and he had Christmas lunch with his family, and shared a drink with his old friend Lou, before returning home to Darwin.

Only a couple of months later, Brad was shocked to hear how quickly Doug was deteriorating, after learning that he'd set fire to the kitchen, and that Pam was considering putting him into a home, as she could no longer cope. Lauren and Brad had just got back together and he was planning to move in with her - so she suggested that maybe Doug could stay with them for a while, to give Pam a break. As he arrived, Doug made his feelings clear on Brad's relationship with Lauren, suggesting that he didn't want to be around a complete stranger, but Terese convinced him to give the arrangement a go. As Paige's wedding was the next day, she was happy to have her grandfather in town, but was surprised when he failed to recognise Mark, and Brad explained that Doug was better earlier in the day, with his confusion becoming worse in the late afternoon and evening. On the morning of the wedding, Paige decided to bring the ceremony forward by a few hours, to allow Doug to enjoy it, and texted Mark at work to tell him. Unfortunately, he missed the message, and to make matters worse, he was caught up in a case involving some local burglaries, that Paige had been framed for. Though Mark thought that the matter had been cleared up, Paige's fingerprints were then found on stolen goods, and he ended up walking in on his own wedding to arrest the bride. As everyone was left wondering what was going on, a confused Doug, who had been preparing to give Mark and Paige a $20,000 cheque as a wedding gift, went for a walk to see if he could find the rest of the family. He ended up at The Waterhole, where he got chatting with a recently-bankrupt Paul. Realising that Doug had a large sum of money and nothing to do with it, Paul persuaded him to use it as an investment into a run-down local motel, telling him that it would create a nest egg for his grandchildren.

Soon after, Josh and Lyn found out what had happened and confronted Paul about conning an old man with Alzheimer's out of his money, and when Brad found out, he tore up the cheque. Doug, however, explained that he remembered giving the money to Paul and was happy with the decision - with Josh realising that he'd done it as he still felt guilty about running Paul and Steph off the road. With Josh agreeing to act as Doug's right-hand man, keeping an eye on his investment, it was agreed that Paul could use the money and, along with a $70,000 investment from Steph, it looked like The Erins-Burrow Motel would be back in business. However, the trio of investors were in for a shock, when they found out that the motel had been reported for its terrible standards of cleanliness, and was due for an inspection the next day. The three of them, along with Josh and Amy, then set about sprucing up as many rooms as possible, and covering up the remaining ones with sheeting, claiming that they were being fumigated. Their efforts were rewarded with a pass from the health inspector, but as everyone celebrated, Josh admitted that he'd been the one who'd reported the motel, as he worried about Doug losing his money, but had now realised his mistake, offering to work their free-of-charge to make up for it.

In the weeks that followed, a couple of incidents left Doug humiliated and concerned for his ailing health - whilst dancing with Lauren, he called her 'Pam' and started to kiss her on the neck, and then, whilst out with Susan during a heatwave, she collapsed and he went to get help, only to completely forget about her. Though she recovered in hospital, Doug still felt awful about what had happened. His spirits were lifted slightly when Piper asked to film him for a 'Pop Doc', asking him questions about his life whilst he still had moments of lucidity. Unfortunately, Piper's questions only ended up confusing Doug, who stormed off and when Piper went after him to try and change his mind, he pushed her away and she fell, injuring her wrist. The family began to think about putting Doug into a home, as they were no longer equipped to deal with his worsening condition, but as they made enquiries, Josh quickly realised that his pop hated the idea, and he managed to get him to admit that. It was then decided that they'd hire a nurse to care for Doug for a few months, and Amy's mum Nene was given the job. Desperate to seem useful, and to get the attention of Karl Kennedy next-door, Nene pretended that Doug was having one of his spells, then told him that she was Pam, to try and confuse him. However, Doug wasn't fooled and told the Kennedys everything, leading to them confronting Nene about her strange behaviour. As Nene opened up about her problems, and agreed to go back on medication for her mental health problems, the Willises were informed of what she'd done, and it was left to Doug to decide if she should be reported. Knowing what it was like to lose control of your own mind, Doug decided that he admitting her mistakes and agreeing to get help for her problems was enough for him.

Things seemed to be picking up for Doug as he found a new project to focus on - converting number 32's garden shed into a bar. However, as the project brought him closer to the various members of his family, and he told Paige the story of his and Pam's second son, John, who had died of SIDS aged 18 months, his condition also continued to worsen, as he forgot what he was doing in the middle of a task, and even failed to recognise Brad one afternoon as he returned from a nap. Realising how quickly things were deteriorating, Doug started making secret plans with Josh to bring Brad's estranged son Ned to Erinsborough. When Ned arrived, he and Doug met in a hotel room at Lassiter's, when disaster struck as a boiler exploded. Though not seriously injured, Doug hit his head and became confused when Ned returned to the room, having gone to see what was going on. Mark then arrived and helped Doug outside, reuniting him with Brad, who thought that it was the Alzheimer's talking as his father started looking for Ned. However, Brad was in for a huge shock as he finally came face to face with Ned, but as Doug happily watched the reunion, he suddenly collapsed. Despite the best efforts of Karl, Doug couldn't be revived and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Trivia Notes
Terence Donovan is the real life father of Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson)
Terence Donovan was a regular cast member between 1990 and 1994, going on to make guest appearances during 2005, twice during 2014, and again in late 2015
Terence made a further appearance in 2015, as part of the Hey Piper webisodes, which introduced Pam and Doug's granddaughter Piper into Neighbours as a regular cast member
Though Doug died on screen in episode 7338, he appeared in the next episode, as Brad sat by his father's body, and again in episode 7343, as his family watched videos of him
Click here to read our interview with Terence Donovan

1258-2239, 4771-4775, 6858-6880, 7008-7019, 7260-7268, 7296-7343

Magic Moments
Episode 2239: The Willises' Departure

Biography by Moe