Date of Birth: 22nd March 1969
Parents: George & Heather Davidson
Marital Status: Phil Bryant (1992-1995, divorced); Donald Fisher (1996-2001, divorced); John Palmer (2014-present)
Children: Byron Fisher (deceased)
Adoptive Children: Jett Palmer
Step Children: Toni Bryant (former); Rebecca Fisher (former); Shandi Palmer
Occupation: Student, Shop Assistant/Manager, Salon Owner, Childminder, Fortune Teller, Waitress
Marilyn arrived in town as Lance Smart’s girlfriend, to the shock of everyone who couldn’t believe that Lance was going out with someone so beautiful. Lance hired a boat to impress her but took the wrong boat by mistake and crashed it into Alf’s boat. Marilyn and Lance were missing and everyone was worried but Lance turned up okay and announced that Marilyn had gone back to the city.
She returned a few days later and announced her intention to stay and get a job but Lance was worried, thinking they were getting too serious too soon. He later apologised to her but Marilyn told him she had accepted a date with Martin instead. She later offered to not go with Martin, but Lance told her the damage had already been done and a furious Marilyn dumped him and announced her intention to move into a motel.
Lance won her back by getting her a job in The Diner which Marilyn thoroughly enjoyed, despite not being very good. She was eventually sacked by Ailsa and Bobby but Ailsa took her round to Morag’s, hiring her as Morag’s new housekeeper. Surprisingly though, Morag and Marilyn got along fairly well, even going so far as to cook sausages together on an open fire during a power cut. She met with Colleen and won her round to the point where Lance got scared and dumped her, worrying that they were getting too serious. He asked her to pretend that she had dumped him though so that Colleen would go easy on him and Marilyn reluctantly agreed.
A lonely Marilyn confided in Andrew Foley and developed feelings for him, but he suspected and warned her that they were just friends. She became convinced that he was only saying it because he was her counsellor and he had to put her straight. An upset Marilyn went home and took two of Morag’s sleeping pills, and Celia found her unconscious and assumed she had tried to kill herself. When Andrew came running to see her Marilyn positioned herself on top of a tall building and threatened to jump unless Andrew came. He managed to talk her down but Marilyn had already scared herself off suicide attempts.
She reunited with Lance, but when Stacey told Martin that Nina didn’t like relationships between band members to stop Martin pursuing Nina, Martin told Lance who thought he had to break off with Marilyn. Nina told him it would be fine as long as they were discreet but Marilyn suggested they cool things just in case. With their band, Image, flying high after a chart release, Lance began to get cold feet and went on the run. He returned but deliberately crucified the song at their first appearance at the Sands opening. For some reason the papers gave him great reviews so Lance made a fool of himself on Saturday morning TV. His plan worked as Nina ripped up the contract and sacked them but it left Marilyn and Martin furious with him.
When Danny moved into Morag’s with her and Marilyn, Lance became convinced that she was having an affair, causing Marilyn to dump him. He won her back round by proposing but Marilyn’s dreams of a married life hit a snag when Stacey told her she had been offered a job as a game show host. With Lance deciding that marriage and a TV career didn’t go well together, he suggested they postpone their marriage and Marilyn decided to follow her dreams, leaving the bay once more.
She returned briefly to the bay announcing that she was there for a meeting with her TV producer but it turned out that the producer wanted to capitalise on Image by having Martin and Lance appear on the TV show too. Marilyn finally convinced them to do it despite Lance’s reluctance but when the producer treated them as though they were idiots, Marilyn threw sauce on the production crew. Her stunt cost her her job but Lance proposed to her again. Lance and Martin recruited Marilyn to take over Celia’s role in their business and she moved in with them but they ran into difficulties as Marilyn messed up with the customers and Martin felt uncomfortable at home.
When Martin and Marilyn had a heart to heart Lance became convinced they were having an affair, causing another row. Marilyn recruited Lance to set Martin up with her friend Greta but Martin was unimpressed with her calling her fat and ugly and causing Marilyn to hit him. Marilyn persuaded Martin to take Greta out but she overheard him talking about her to his mates and sobbed to Marilyn that she was used to taunts about being ugly. Marilyn rounded furiously on Martin who later apologised to Greta but it was Greta who eventually decided that she didn’t like Martin, just as he grew fond of her.
When Martin and Adam sold Lance’s car behind his back, he and Marilyn were shocked to find it abandoned in the bush but as they drove it home they were pulled over by the police and arrested for an armed robbery that had been done in the car. Marilyn insisted to Lance that he kick Martin out, but they changed their tune when they overheard Martin saying he wouldn’t be around much longer and assumed he was dying. It turned out he was leaving to join the army, and Marilyn struggled to console Lance after he left. A week later he announced that he wasn’t ready to settle down and was also joining the army, leaving Marilyn devastated.
Marilyn stayed on at Lance’s mobile home for a while but ended up moving in with Adam and Matt at the beach house. The boys expected Marilyn to keep house for them and were shocked when she instead organised a rota and made sure they pulled their weight. Marilyn also got a job as Alf’s assistant at the store and, after some teething troubles where Alf nearly sacked her for giving a neighbouring shopkeeper $100 in change without being given the note first, the pair soon formed a close surrogate father/daughter bond. She helped Sally and her friend Mullet prepare for Carly and Ben’s wedding by giving them dance lessons.
Marilyn had to take time off work when she caught chickenpox, which she passed on to Alf. She and her housemates began having trouble with their landlord Ernie Jacobs when their attempts to make toffee burnt a hole in the lino and they had to set off a smoke bomb in the house when the new carpet they bought was full of fleas. Ernie deliberately stopped the group paying rent so he could evict them. When it became clear he found Marilyn attractive, she and Adam tried to set it up so they would be caught in a compromising position but the attempt failed thanks to Adam messing up the recording. However, Marilyn managed to get hold of a document proving that Ernie, who was standing for council, was involved in a proposal to redevelop the cricket oval. She used it to blackmail him into agreeing to give them a twelve month lease. When Ernie won the election, Marilyn, Adam and Bobby managed to bluff Ernie into thinking she’d kept a copy of the document and forced him to drop the proposal.
Marilyn worried Carly when she announced she wanted to do something for her wedding to Ben, but Carly was left deeply touched and eating humble pie when Marilyn gave her all the married couple items she and Lance had bought. Marilyn surprised everyone by announcing she was going to go back to school and get her HSC, having originally quit to become a hairdresser, since she wanted to become a police officer. Donald tried to dissuade her but she surprised him by passing the entrance exam. Alf supported the idea, allowing her to go part-time at the store, and Steven became a welcome study partner. She failed one of her first essays when Adam spilled cleaning fluid over it and copied a replacement out of a book. She made him feel guilty and he rushed around trying to make it up to her. She also accidentally gave away the fact Bobby was pregnant to Chris Reynolds, the married man who was the baby’s father.
Marilyn and Adam were shocked to realise they were attracted to each other. Marilyn went out with Vince, a delivery man at the store, but Adam insisted on intruding on their date. Marilyn decided to cook a special dinner for her and Adam but was upset to find him with another girl, Sue. After the pair argued over Marilyn failing to pay the electricity bill, they shared a kiss and began dating, although Adam was surprised when she refused to sleep with him. Marilyn was upset that everyone assumed they were sleeping together and asked Adam to move out. Adam said Matt should decide who he lived with but Matt chose Marilyn. Feeling bad, Marilyn instead moved in with Grant. She was impressed when Adam gave her a brooch as a present until she found out it was one of Carly’s that Adam had found after it was thrown out by mistake. She told Adam they should stop seeing each other during her exams and was upset when Adam went on a double date with Matt and two girls, unaware Matt had dragged Adam into it. They made up after both writing letters to each other saying they wanted to stay together and Marilyn moved back in. Matt got fed up sharing with a couple since he was always outvoted and moved out. Marilyn was annoyed when Adam gave away her microwave in exchange for keeping Matt’s television.
Marilyn panicked about her exams and didn’t show up for the first one despite Adam and Don trying to persuade her to. She asked Alf if she could go back to work full time but instead he dragged her to school to sit her exams. She convinced Steven to do a late night study session with her, which resulted in them falling asleep and missing the first ten minutes of the exam. Afterwards, she told Don she now planned to be a teacher.
She was upset when Adam failed to correct a mistake on their bill when they went out to a restaurant and insisted he pay the full amount. When Mrs. Winston, an old lady Marilyn had been visiting, died and left her $40,000, Adam thought she was going to buy him a car and had to hide his disappointment when she bought a new microwave instead. She comforted Sally when she missed Tom at Christmas, resulting in Sally and Pippa inviting her to spend Christmas with the Fletchers. She soon got in the Christmas spirit, frustrating Alf by decorating the store with decorations she’d taken from stock, and paid Adam’s fine when he was caught stealing trees from the state park. Ernie then decided to sell the house and it was revealed the lease Marilyn obtained only applied while he owned it. Alf suggested Marilyn could buy it herself. Marilyn applied for a mortgage but Ernie had already sold the house to someone else. Alf suggested she offer more money and Marilyn asked Ernie for the names of the new owners so she could offer to buy the house off them. Instead, Ernie claimed the buyers would sell the house on for $10,000 more than they paid him. In reality, Ernie had pulled out of the first deal and intended to sell it to Marilyn at the higher price. When the other couple revealed the truth, Marilyn, Adam and Alf forced Ernie to go back to the original deal and sell it to them: However, the other couple then forced Ernie to sell it to Marilyn at the original price.
Marilyn not only passed her HSC but received a high enough score to go to university. Alf bought her a stuffed wombat as a graduation present and Marilyn contemplated her future. Adam feared she was leaving him behind but Marilyn disappointed her friends by deciding to stay with him in Summer Bay. However, it was clear that Marilyn and Adam were drifting apart. Marilyn was having trouble with her finances, especially when she had to pay for a new boiler and Adam withheld rent until it was fixed. She managed to arrange with Pippa to use the showers at the caravan park while Adam was forced to pay for the privilege after trying to sneak in. Then Alf had to drop her to part-time at the store because of his poor financial situation. This coincided with Bobby falling out with Don and offering to move in as Marilyn’s lodger. Adam however objected to her presence and the fact he and Marilyn weren’t getting any time together. He and Marilyn broke up and he moved out. He went away for a few days, expecting her to miss him, but Marilyn felt offended that he expected her to come running as soon as he returned without making any attempt to approach her himself and refused to get back with him. He was initially bitter about the break-up, getting drunk and insulting her, but eventually the pair became friends and Marilyn was his strongest defender when Josh Webb framed him for stealing the school raffle money. She also helped persuade Ailsa to let Blake carry on seeing Rachel Webb.
When Alf’s store went bust, Marilyn found herself without a job. She attempted to start up a childminding business, only to find herself swamped with children to the extent that when she mislaid one she had no idea which one it was. The child was ultimately found by his mother having wandered home alone but it put an end to Marilyn’s business. She applied for a job as a filing clerk but failed the interview. Adam encouraged her to aim high and apply for a job as a personnel officer she was underqualified for which resulted in her being curtly dismissed. When Ailsa bought a smaller premises to set up a new store, Marilyn helped her with the preparations but Alf was trying to keep costs down and was reluctant to re-employ her. However, after seeing how much of an asset she was at the opening, he ended up making her manager.
Marilyn soon gained a further lodger in Nick Parrish, who she had first met when he investigated the missing child. The fact he was a policeman caused several other boarders to pull out and Marilyn asked him to leave before realising she was being unfair. Bobby thought the pair were attracted to each other but in fact there was nothing more than friendship between them. Marilyn helped him keep his job when he mislaid his gun after keeping it at the house overnight for an escort duty. She supported Bobby when she decided to try her hand at fostering and welcomed Sam into the household. She briefly gained another boarder in Margaret Lynch, a teacher who was still coming to terms with the death of her daughter.
Marilyn’s aunt Jean, who had raised her after taking her out of a children’s home, came to stay. Marilyn was delighted to have her but her old-fashioned values and laziness soon put Bobby and Sam offside, as she made it clear she disapproved of a single woman being allowed to foster and blamed Sam when she broke a vase. Marilyn made sure Jean was only staying two weeks but Jean faked a back injury to stay longer. When Marilyn discovered the truth, she asked Jean to leave. As a parting shot, Jean revealed that Marilyn’s parents weren’t dead as she’d always believed: They simply hadn’t wanted her. Marilyn tried to track them down but had only her mother’s first name and the fact Jean was her sister to go on. She placed a newspaper advert and was pleased when a kindly couple, Max and Heather Riley, answered, revealing they had given her up because they couldn’t afford her. Marilyn was worried when they asked her for the money for their motel bill but they were genuine and returned the money once a bank problem had been sorted. The three of them soon bonded, with Max and Heather helping Marilyn out at the store to spend time with her and Marilyn putting on a school flute performance that they had missed when she was a child. The pair planned to move to Summer Bay to be close to her and gave her a engraved locket with a photo of themselves inside it but Marilyn was shocked to receive a letter from another couple claiming to be her parents. Bobby convinced her to contact them and the couple, George and Heather Davidson, produced a photo proving Heather was Jean’s sister: Max and Heather had made a mistake. When it turned out the Davidsons were a lazy pair who were only interested in her for free food and hospitality, Marilyn quickly sent them packing before saying a sad farewell to the Rileys.
Marilyn’s love life continued to be unfulfilling. She showed an interest in David Croft and was shocked when Sophie accused her of stealing her boyfriend. She befriended Haydn when he helped her redecorate the house and they arranged to go to a concert together. Their friends teased them about being a couple to the point that they both believed the other liked them, but the misunderstanding was soon sorted out and they agreed to attend the concert separately, with Bobby accompanying Marilyn. Marilyn bought a revealing gold dress for the event and was upset when people thought she looked tarty. She decided to change her image by buying more business-like outfits but everyone told her they made her look older so she decided to just keep them for best. When $100 went missing from the store (actually stolen by Karen), Marilyn worried Alf would think she’d stolen it and put $100 of her own money in the till pretending it was the missing money. Adam told Alf what was going on and he insisted she take the money back. When Adam was injured in the car crash that killed David, Marilyn kept a bedside vigil until he regained consciousness. However, Adam soon found her nursing him smothering and discharged himself to avoid her. However, he still played on her affections to get free meals, which resulted in Marilyn thinking he was interested in her again and wanting to get back together. After Adam’s attempts to let her down gently and even get Alf to tell her he wasn’t interested were ignored, Adam and Matt arranged for it to look like Adam was running scams at the boat shed, using the facilities for private deals, in order to put her off but this resulted in Marilyn reporting Adam to Michael. Fortunately, she wasn’t too angry when it was all cleared up.
When Nick and Lou wanted to move in together, Marilyn agreed to Lou moving in with them. She was convinced having a couple living there would be romantic but the reality proved stressful, as Marilyn tried to impose a rota to deal with the increased housework and Nick objected to Lou having to pay as much rent as the others when they shared a room. In the end, the couple moved out to a caravan. Marilyn came to the rescue when Michael, Sally and Sophie forgot Pippa’s birthday, helping them arrange a surprise party for the day after.
When Bobby went camping with Greg and Sam, Marilyn looked forward to having the house to herself for the evening. However, she became spooked and thought every noise outside was a prowler, eventually calling Michael for help and agreeing to stay the night with the Rosses. Unfortunately, she had rung Alf earlier in the evening in a distressed state and when he turned up and found the house deserted, half the town thought something had happened to Marilyn until she turned up safe the next morning. She was asked to organise the rotary club Christmas pageant and asked Alf to play Santa. When he refused, she asked Michael instead only for Alf to decide he wanted to do it after all. Not wanting to upset either, Marilyn decided to play Mother Christmas herself. However, when Sam found out about the plan, she decided she couldn’t do it and asked Adam to play Santa. Unfortunately, Pippa and Ailsa only heard the first part of the story and separately convinced Michael and Alf to step up after all, leaving Marilyn collapsing in a heap as three Santas turned up.
Marilyn became fed up of the fact that her post as store manager didn’t seem to carry any responsibility and with the lack of direction in her life. Looking to start her own business, she tried to get the store to join a dry cleaning franchise but Alf refused since the previous franchise hadn’t made any money. Marilyn signed the agreement anyway, prompting an argument with Alf in which she resigned and he fired her. She tried to set up on her own but couldn’t use the Diner as premises because of health and safety issues and refused to go back to work with Alf. Instead she was left running the dry cleaning business from home. However, even with Adam drumming up business, she came unstuck after accidentally turning Alf’s cricket whites pink. By now, Lou had taken her job at the store so she ended up working at the Diner. Her second stint was just as much a disaster as her first so she was glad when Lou got tired of working with Alf so she could have her old job back. When they learned Alf was spending a lot of time with Julia Bowman, an old girlfriend of his, Marilyn and Bobby suspected they were having an affair and even managed to convince Ailsa of the same, until the truth came out that Alf was supporting Julia because her daughter Meg was dying of leukaemia. Around the same time, Greg moved into the house when he and Bobby became engaged.
Marilyn won a tour of Australia for two in a raffle and invited Adam to come with her, letting Don, who was having difficulty moving house, stay at the beach house in her absence. She stayed away longer to take a job in Darwin, sending Adam back to do her job at the store. When Adam ended up hard up as a result, she arranged for him to share her job at the store but Alf got tired of their miscommunications causing problems when they both ended up doing the same order. Alf gave them another chance, but when no-one opened the store because Bobby failed to pass on a message from Adam asking him to swap shifts, he got rid of Adam and insisted Marilyn had to work full-time or not at all. She was delighted when Ryan Lee asked her out and treated her to a meal at an expensive restaurant, but just as she was dreaming of a rosy future he ended the relationship. She was even more dismayed to learn he had only been using her to make Lou jealous and that the pair were spending time together behind Nick’s back. She threatened to tell Nick that she’d seen them kissing but eventually took Adam’s advice and decided to stay out of it.
Marilyn joined Sally in taking Sophie out for a picnic but the plan resulted in Sophie falling off a cliff. She organised the Bay’s ladies in taking part in a fun run. She and Nick arranged a surprise stag and hen party for Greg and Bobby but the surprise went a little too far when they walked in on Bobby giving Greg a massage. She was with Sophie when she went into labour and promised to stay with her until Pippa returned, but ended up running out of the delivery room in a panic so Michael had to step in.
Marilyn was a bridesmaid when Bobby married Greg but all three of them found the newly-married couple continuing to lodge with Marilyn difficult. Marilyn was upset when the couple replaced her furniture and equipment with their own things and when they failed to turn up for a family meal she’d prepared. Adam told Bobby of Marilyn’s concerns and she put Marilyn’s things back over Greg’s objections. Not long after, Marilyn met Phil Bryant when he crashed his car after she stepped out in front of him. When she offered him a place to stay while his car was repaired, she learned he was a widowed farmer from the outback whose teenage daughter Toni was staying with the Stewarts on exchange. They got on well and shared a kiss as he left. Bobby encouraged Marilyn to go for it but Alf did his best to put her off, thinking the age gap wouldn’t work. Alf also put Phil off, prompting Marilyn to ask him out herself. Phil then asked Marilyn to marry him. After wobbles on both sides, Marilyn accepted and prepared to move to the outback with him. Toni was initially shocked at having a stepmother who was only a few years older than her and refused to go home with them, but Marilyn managed not only to talk her into accepting the engagement but convince Phil to let Toni bring some of Sophie’s teenage magazines home. When the car broke down on the way out of town, Pippa took the opportunity to throw Marilyn an impromptu farewell party while it was being repaired. Alf was disappointed to see her go and didn’t give his blessing until the last minute before making a speech wishing them all luck.
However, three years later in 1995, Marilyn returned to town and revealed Phil had cheated on her. Phil rang her up asking for a reconciliation but after giving it some thought she decided she couldn’t forgive him and decided to remain in Summer Bay with her friends. After an initially shaky start with Irene, who she remembered as a violent drunk, Marilyn became good friends with her and moved back into her old home at the beach house as her lodger. She soon received romantic overtures from Mick O’Reilly but made it clear she wasn’t interested. When he later proposed to Irene instead, Marilyn was instrumental in exposing the fact he already had two wives and brought them to confront him at the Diner where he was eating with Irene.
As a favour for Don, Marilyn went to collect a new teacher arriving in town and was delighted when it turned out to be Steven. The pair nearly became an item but decided they were better off as friends. Irene’s husband Murdoch moved into the house when they attempted to rekindle their marriage but Marilyn helped expose the fact he had been harrassing Selina, prompting Irene to order him out of the house.
Marilyn set up a salon in the store room of the Diner. Donald agreed to be a guinea pig for her but was unimpressed when she accidentally dyed his hair orange. Damian offered to write an article about it but was planning a hatchet piece about the shallowness of modern society, bitter about Murdoch’s murder and the fact no-one seemed to care. Marilyn supported Steven when he was accused of killing Dodge. Around the same time, Donald first showed an attraction towards Marilyn but chose not to act on it. Marilyn covered for Angel when she saw her stealing from the Diner, returning the money herself. She joined Irene in trying to keep Selina away from cult leader Saul Bennett and cleared Donald of running over Shane by revealing she’d driven him home. She was confused when Irene stated she wanted a baby but she was merely hoping to take in Millie, a baby Selina had found abandoned on the beach who Michael and Pippa ended up looking after.
Not long after, Fin appeared and asked Irene to act as a surrogate mother for herself and her fiancé Barry. Marilyn strongly disapproved of the idea, seeing it as interfering with nature, and when she found the telephone number of a clinic in the States that could help them she delayed telling them about it, nearly causing them to miss out on a place. A chat with Pippa convinced her she should support Irene, accompanying her to the clinic. Indeed, when Irene did fall pregnant Marilyn began to experience a sympathetic pregnancy.
On her return she began spending time with Donald and soon realised she had feelings for him. Donald proposed to her and Marilyn accepted but later changed her mind. Later that evening they were stuck in the salon together during the flood, where Donald had to unplug an electric heater to stop them from being electrocuted by the water on the floor. Following Michael’s death, Marilyn changed her mind again and accepted Donald’s proposal, but Donald called off the engagement himself a couple of days later. She found herself questioned by the police after Jesse took her, Selina, Liam and Stephanie out in a stolen car and befriended Joey when he came to live at the beach house. She began dating Haydn, who had moved back to town after Michael’s funeral, and adopted a more revealing style of dress, determined to have fun for once. She had second thoughts when Alf and Don walked in on her kissing Haydn in the salon, feeling mortified, but Haydn reassured her that he liked the way she was. After Haydn had gone away for work, an ex-girlfriend of his, Suzie Hudson, turned up and claimed she was pregnant with Haydn’s child. Marilyn wrote a letter to Haydn breaking up with him and became closer to Donald when she helped him campaign to save the school when it was demolished in an earthquake. When Haydn returned, he insisted it wasn’t true but by then Marilyn had gone back to Donald and they were engaged again.
The engagement wasn’t universally accepted at first, Alf felt the age gap was too big and Rebecca proved even less enamoured with the idea of a young stepmother than Toni had been, although she eventually came round, while Marilyn was embarrassed when she walked in on Rebecca seducing Steven. Marilyn proved her worth by organising a dinner party for Donald’s superior Arthur Briggs but their arrangements hit a stumbling block when Catholic Marilyn and Anglican Don both wanted to be married in their own church. In the end, they arranged to get married in a ceremony performed by both their ministers in between the two churches. Marilyn bought Don a painting as an engagement present which turned out to be a lost work. When Donald was hospitalised after being poisoned, Marilyn feared people would think she had done it because she was after his money. Donald reassured her by explaining that until they married his first wife Barbara would get everything. The sudden appearance in town of Barbara didn’t help Marilyn’s paranoia and as it turned out she was right to be concerned: Barbara had resorted to desperate measures after finding herself penniless.
The couple defied the critics and married. On learning the pair had separate beds, Selina and Jesse sneaked into the house during the wedding reception and pushed them together, which Marilyn was fine with. The marriage hit its first stumbling block soon after when Donald was suspected of leaking exam papers to students and Marilyn doubted him. She and Rebecca soon proved an effective team against Don, organising carol singers at the end of the year and disagreeing with his patronage of an alcoholic Irish poet Gabe Farley. Things took a further hit when she was disappointed to learn Donald had had a brief affair with Katherine Walker during her previous visit to the Bay, prompting Marilyn to move out for a short time. She and Rebecca convinced him to take Casey in and reconcile with his dying estranged mother Isobel. She employed Chloe as her assistant at the salon but Chloe was somewhat dismissive of the job until she realised Marilyn’s beauty treatments helped women with problems feel good about themselves. However, Marilyn had trouble keeping Chloe in line and they fell out when Chloe kissed Jesse, who was still dating Selina. Joey applied to take over but Marilyn refused, feeling her clients wouldn’t be happy with a teenage boy around the place. Joey denounced the move as sexist and organised his friends in a protest until she was forced to give him the job. Her fears were initially born out when her clients were unhappy about the situation but Marilyn began to appreciate Joey after he charmed another client. Ironically, at that point Joey decided the job wasn’t for him after all and resigned.
Marilyn shocked Donald by announcing she wanted to try for a baby: He believed his parenting days were behind him. On learning Isobel had requested Donald try skydiving as her dying wish and that he had refused, Marilyn and Rebecca decided to do it themselves. Marilyn was caught in a crosswind during the dive but survived unharmed. Afterwards, after pressure from Rebecca and Casey, Donald agreed to try for a baby. However, Marilyn had difficulty conceiving. When she found out Donald had been writing a racy novel, she sent it off to a publisher without his knowing but he was left disillusioned when even a trashy publisher insisted it needed vast re-editing to be printable. She started visiting Father Little, who agreed with her that praying for a baby might work. She also insisted she and Donald go on a microbiotic diet, although he found it easier to stick to than her. She attempted to apply for a hairdressing position with the local amateur dramatics group who were putting on a performance of The Importance of Being Earnest, only to instead be given the lead role of Gwendoline. Donald ended up being hired as the director after the previous director was injured in a car accident. Marilyn thought it would be fun but Donald proved a hard taskmaster, constantly berating her and the other performers and criticising her method of learning her lines by rote. During an argument in rehearsals, Marilyn announced she was pregnant. She decided to name the child Oscar but suffered a miscarriage. It was only at that point that Donald learned Marilyn had been told her womb was full of fibroids and she was unlikely to carry a child to term but had tried anyway. She was upset when Chloe became pregnant and briefly tried to convince her to let her raise the baby. Eventually, she agreed to undergo an operation to have the fibroids removed.
She inadvertently embarrassed Donald by supporting Joey’s desire for a debate on Australia becoming a republic and helped Rebecca when she was left temporarily deaf by an accident. She was one of the few people who knew about Travis and Rebecca’s wedding in advance, since they had told Donald and he couldn’t keep the news from her, and came up with the idea of Donald conducting the service. She caused Donald problems when he allowed the students to study a controversial text. Donald organised a meeting for a group of confused parents and tried to defuse the situation by asking if anyone present had actually read the text. Although none of them had, Marilyn didn’t feel able to keep silent and read out the more contentious passages to the irate meeting.
She went to England with Irene to check on Selina, who was ill with malaria, and visit Angel, who was about to give birth. There, she witnessed Selina’s reunion with Steven but when she rang Donald to tell him what had happened she got the time difference wrong and rang him at two in the morning, resulting in him falling asleep during her narrative. When she returned, she was eager to get on with the baby making and put Donald on a fitness regime, soon becoming pregnant again. She gave Aaron a driving lesson but unnerved him by wearing loads of protective gear, resulting in him reversing into a road sign. When Irene took a job as Donald’s secretary, Marilyn realised she had lied about having previous experience and unsuccessfully tried to cover for her. Not long after, she began experiencing threatening phone calls demanding money. When she had a near miss with a car after walking out into the road while distracted, she mistakenly assumed the blackmailer was responsible. She put the salon up for sale at which point Chantal, an old friend of hers, turned up and offered to buy it. Marilyn left a bag of money in a bin for the blackmailer but Vinnie and Justine found it first and took it back to the caravan park. When Rebecca realised the bag was Marilyn’s, Donald confronted her and she admitted what was going on. Donald and Joel set up a sting operation and exposed the culprits: Chantal and her boyfriend Eddie, jealous of Marilyn’s success, who were soon handed over to the police.
At a baby scan, Marilyn insisted she didn’t want to know the sex but, when she was out of the room, Donald got confirmation from Doctor Robson that the child was a boy. Marilyn was disappointed that he knew, but couldn’t stand the thought of him knowing and her not, so successfully tricked him into revealing the sex. She then worried when Donald was lost at sea after falling off Travis’ boat and nearly suffered a nervous breakdown until he was found. She was distressed that the baby didn’t seem to kick when Donald was touching her and told him to sing to the bump. He was reluctant at first but when the baby started kicking she had trouble getting him to stop. She was unconvinced by Irene’s belief that Joey’s odd behaviour, the result of his schizophrenia, was due to drug use and realised he had attacked her. She was jealous when Rebecca was invited to join the Wednesday Club and asked to accompany her as her friend, doing her best to involve herself in the arrangements. She also helped Donald deal with his failing eyesight and spoke with Sam when he and his friend Brian were caught graffiti tagging.
She arranged a private consultation with the new newspaper astrologer only for it to turn out to be Vinnie. While they were arguing, she went into labour. Vinnie had to take her to hospital and she gave birth by caesarean while unconscious. She named her son Byron Vincent but had difficulty bonding with him, being reluctant to take him home or to breastfeed, and was angry when Donald spoke to Natalie about it and when Ailsa tried to found out what was wrong. Donald tried to get her to see Doctor Robson but after arguing with Donald she disappeared. Donald conducted a search for her and it was even believed she had committed suicide for a time. When she returned after several weeks, Donald had hired a nanny, Ellen Porter, and was reluctant to trust Marilyn again. However, after helping Marilyn through the early days, Ellen quickly left, feeling she was getting in the way of Marilyn’s recovery. Marilyn took Byron for a check-up at the hospital where James was sympathetic towards her and helped convince Donald that she needed counselling to get over her post-natal depression. Her first session went well but afterwards things were thrown into turmoil with the appearance of Guy North, a man Marilyn had met during her time away who revealed he was in love with her, unaware she had a family. Marilyn thanked Guy for supporting her but told him she loved Donald and Byron and they parted amicably.
Marilyn began making plans to have Byron christened, with Travis and Rebecca as godparents, but her assuming they would have a Catholic service again caused ructions with Donald and her mixed feelings weren’t helped when she visited the new priest, Father O’Hearn, who insisted she couldn’t compromise over the christening. She went to church and prayed for a sign and when both Donald and Rebecca told her that the important thing was to bring Byron up with good values in a loving family and to let him make his own religious choices when he got older, Marilyn saw it as her sign. She and Donald gave Byron a private baptism in the sea.
When Alf told her Natalie was having an affair with Jesse, Marilyn spread the news around town but was embarrassed when she confronted Natalie in the Diner only to find that Alf had made a mistake and it was actually Gypsy that Jesse was dating. Both Sally and Vinnie asked Marilyn’s advice on seeking alternative therapies for cancer and, unaware they were talking about Vinnie, Marilyn supported the idea.
Marilyn was concerned to read On the Crest of a Wave, the novel Donald’s son Alan wrote about his childhood. Seeing Donald portrayed as a bad father, she worried he would be the same to Byron, especially when he made a joke to Joel about punishing Tom and showed little concern in Byron going to day care. Ailsa told her she was being silly and, after listing Donald’s good qualities, she accepted he was a good father. She took part in a fishing competition to raise money for the school along with Ailsa and Duncan. Then film producer Roger Lansdowne asked to buy the rights to Alan’s novel. Marilyn talked Donald into signing the contract after Roger suggested she could have a part in the film, leaving Donald furious when he found out. She tried to smooth things over between them when Roger wanted to make changes to the plot. Lansdowne tried to charm Marilyn into talking Donald round, but she eventually accepted he wasn’t a pleasant person. However, Byron was then diagnosed with leukaemia and Donald took a pay out giving up creative control of the film to fund his treatment. Marilyn took Byron to the States to attend a clinic, but a few weeks later Donald received a phone call saying he had died. He flew to the States for the funeral but returned without Marilyn, saying she had run away, unable to cope with her grief.
When Donald travelled to London in 2001, for the UK launch of his book “Letter to Byron”, he took the Smiths on an open-top bus tour around the city. Whilst passing the a restaurant, he caught a glimpse of a woman that he believed was Marilyn. Donald sprinted off the bus into Covent Garden market, but she was nowhere to be seen. The next day at the book launch, Marilyn walked in at the back of the room and began reading a copy of the book. Marilyn then accidentally knocked the book over, and this caused Donald to notice her. She ran out the room. Wanting an explanation Donald chased after her, all the way to a nearby tube station, where Donald wanted to talk to her. Marilyn just apologised for hurting Donald, and then got on a train. The next morning Donald received a phone call from Marilyn, saying she wanted to meet with him later that day. In a nearby park, Donald waited until Marilyn walked along with two kids. They, however, weren’t Marilyn’s; she’d become a childminder to help her get over losing Byron, unable to cope. When Donald asked if she had stopped loving them, she said yes, and they cuddled, signalling the final point of their relationship.
In 2007 Donald, who had recently returned to Summer Bay after running into money trouble, heard that Marilyn had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and left for England to go and look after her.
Marilyn returned to Summer Bay in 2009 after an absence of nearly ten years, along with an injured Justin Jefferies who she had stumbled across on the way in, taking him to hospital. She quickly met up with Alf, who invited her to stay at the caravan park house, and explained to him that she had been a reality TV star for a while as a result of her nannying job but things had gone downhill for her after the show was cancelled. She bemused him, Miles and Nicole by getting rid of most of the food and introducing healthy products. She and Miles soon clashed and one argument, where she told him his moods weren’t fair on her and he accused her of taking over his home, ended with her deciding to leave the house until he apologised.
Marilyn then began having dreams about Byron, at the age he would have been if he’d lived, and a girl called Rabbit. When she came across a drawing of Rabbit that Miles had done, she asked him about it and one of her dreams led her to Miles graffitiing a caravan. She told Alf what she’d seen and they then found Miles talking to himself. She seemed most accepting of his claim that Rabbit was the ghost of his dead daughter but still suggested he get counselling and confided in Elijah about what had been going on. She also gave Nicole advice about her situation with Britt. She initially believed Miles story that he had stopped seeing Rabbit when he took his medication but then overheard him talking to her again.
She then told Miles and Alf that she was dying, and only had a year to live, but this wasn’t enough to convince Miles to continue seeing Michael. She supported him when he eventually pulled himself together and got his job back and also worried about Romeo when Jill turned up, especially after she and Alf had to take her home after finding her drunk. She welcomed Jill to the house, offering to help her out with a detox and Pilates and later tried to talk Jill out of leaving town but only succeeded temporarily. She also advised Elijah to propose to Leah but afterwards worried that telling him to live for the moment might not have been wise, then later gave Leah advice on standing up to Lijuan.
Ever since returning to the Bay shed been clashing with Colleen, who had seemingly never forgiven her for supposedly breaking Lance’s heart twenty years previous. When Colleen assumed that she was trying to get Alf to propose to her, she pretended that they were engaged. Alf tried to get her to call off the charade but when Colleen insulted her again she told her they were already married. She was shocked when Colleen then announced she had put down a huge deposit on a party to celebrate their marriage but when she admitted she had been lying Colleen revealed she already knew. Seeing Alf was feeling down about Colleen’s comments that he was too old for her, she invited him out on a date but he eventually decided it would risk ruining their friendship.
Looking for work, Marilyn considered managing the bait shop for Alf but then suggested that she could start up a fortune telling business there. Miles persuaded him to give it a go but Colleen objected to the idea, seemingly on the principle that it was Marilyn, accusing it of being pagan witchcraft and writing a letter to the paper denouncing the idea. Marilyn was furious when Miles ended up telling Colleen she was dying but was relieved that it seemed to soften her attitude towards her. She then began planning to drum up business with her ventriloquist dummy Mr. Oddly. Alf took an instant dislike to the doll, however, and soon it seemed the entire household was planting him in odd places in order to scare each other. Marilyn was annoyed at Alf trying to dispose of the doll by burying him and dumping him in the sea and keen to give him some scares in revenge.
She gave Angelo some advice about what to do with his life after leaving the police force and, after hearing Alf and John talking about leasing out the new extension to the surf club, suggested he use it to set up a restaurant as he’d been planning. When she cut her finger on a nail on Mr. Oddly, she went to see Sid at the hospital. She was impressed by him and even his having a cup of coffee thrown over him by ex-girlfriend Therese didn’t put her off and they arranged a date. Romeo told her that Sid had slept with a nurse, Veronica, the previous night, but after shed spoken to Sid and he’d assured her he was single she decided to go ahead with the date. They were interrupted by Veronica making it clear what happened but Marilyn took it in her stride and arranged to spend the night with Sid. She later turned up at the hospital with a picnic, which they ended up eating in the hospital grounds. Sid confided in her that Penn was telling lies about him having feelings for Nicole but when she spoke to Penn he claimed Sid was lying. She spoke to Miles and Nicole about it anyway but it didn’t go well with Nicole. After Nicole admitted Penn had broken up with her, she decided to smooth aside some of the tensions in the household by burning Mr. Oddly and representatives of Nicole’s boyfriends in a cleansing ritual. She was later annoyed with Miles for doubting Nicole’s story that Penn planted the needlestick.
She met Sid’s son Dexter and was bemused when she received some flowers with a card saying Not from Sid. It was becoming obvious that Dexter had taken too great a liking to Marilyn, deciding he liked her himself, and persuaded her to go on a picnic with him, claiming Sid had suggested it and was going to join them later. Marilyn began to suspect Dexter’s intentions and insisted they go to the hospital to find Sid. When Dexter gave her a love letter, she told him it was inappropriate and she was going to tell Sid but he told her it was just a creative writing exercise. She tried to invite Sid over to dinner but Dexter took the call and then turned up saying Sid had to work. He told her he was in love with her and was deaf to her insistence his behaviour was inappropriate.
When Marilyn’s friend Mitzy Fraser arrived in town, it was revealed that Marilyn only thought she was dying because Mitzy had told her she would during a psychic reading. Mitzy told Marilyn that she now knew the exact date and it was in less than the five months she believed she had. Sid was sceptical of the belief, causing endless rifts between him and Marilyn as she worried he didn’t respect her beliefs and was unhappy that he didn’t seem to like Mitzy. However, she was unhappy with Mitzy herself when she kissed Dexter to make a point, even though she accepted her reasons and it seemed to convince him to let go of his crush. She was annoyed when Sid had another go at Mitzy and forced them to apologise to each other. She was thrown when Mitzy told her her end date, which was only two months later. She was shocked when she learned Mitzy had terminal cancer and angry when Sid suggested that was the only reason she had told Marilyn she was dying, even more so when he confronted Mitzy about it while she was in hospital. However, Marilyn herself began to get suspicious when she overheard Mitzy admitting she had made up a prediction for Ruby and asked her if it was true. Mitzy then collapsed as a result of the cancer spreading to her brain and Marilyn felt guilty. Mitzy told Marilyn she had made up the prediction so Marilyn could share her illness before dying. She was initially shattered by the death but perked up when Sid found an idyllic spot for her to meditate. She even gave Dexter some advice about Adrian.
She was bothered by a dream she had in which Alf killed Penn while he was trying to kill her and, when Robertson interviewed her about Penn’s presumed death and asked for a tarot reading, she let slip about it. She overreacted to Sid making a joke about her staying over being a burden but instead he asked her to move in. She was shocked when Sid told her that Mitzy had told him the end date still stood but accepted it and agreed to move in on condition it was okay with Indi and Dex. Indi questioned her commitment but when Marilyn told her she’d want to move in even if it wasn’t for the end date she gave her blessing.
Marilyn began making preparations, giving away personal items to her friends and leaving last messages for them. She also arranged the $5000 bond for the students informal. She was upset when Sid wouldn’t accept her gift, spending the night at the caravan park house. They sorted things out the next day and she gave Dexter some advice about being different. On the day she was meant to die, Marilyn saw a baby’s pram roll off the wharf into the sea and dived in after it, managing to pass the pram to the child’s mother before sinking. Her heart stopped but she was resuscitated by Sid. Despite making a full recovery, her beliefs were shaken because she didn’t see anything when she died and one of her last messages, a confession to knocking over the urn containing Colleen’s mother’s ashes when she was dating Lance, caused Colleen to turn against her. She was left with no money or possessions but became Nicole’s confidante when she learned that she was pregnant.
She accompanied Nicole to the city for an abortion but returned saying she was adopting Nicole’s baby. When Sid suggested they try for their own child instead, she dug her heels in and insisted she wanted Nicole’s child. After Sid quizzed Nicole about the arrangement, Marilyn was angry that he might have put her off and Nicole admitted she was confused. Marilyn had tests done to see if she could have a child of her own but it was confirmed she was infertile and, although they had all expressed their concerns, the Walkers agreed to support her plan. She tried to go ahead with things with Nicole only for her to admit she was having second thoughts. Marilyn began looking into other options to adopt a child only for a stressed Nicole, who’d had a bad first day at uni, to insist she wanted Marilyn to take the baby. At Dexter’s suggestion, Marilyn and Sid tried to organise a pre-nuptial contract but Marilyn seemed to focus on issuing instructions for what she wanted Nicole to do. After taking advice from Leah, she suggested paying for Nicole’s medical treatment only for Sid and Morag to tell her the contract amounted to buying a baby and was illegal. She was worried when Sid said they needed to go through official channels, feeling she wouldn’t be approved for adoption, but accepted it was the only option. She began looking into the possibility of adopting overseas and, just as Sid convinced her to stop focusing on it so much; Nicole turned up and announced she still wanted them to have the baby.
Like everyone else, she was worried when Dexter went missing in the bush and relieved when he turned up. She was slightly concerned when she saw Dexter wearing her clothes and asked Sid to talk to him and was relieved when she found out he was doing it for a blog. She cottoned on to the fact Indigo was planning to seduce Romeo and advised Sid to leave them to it and was astonished when she learnt Romeo had cheated on Indi, encouraging her to talk to him when she realised she was upset over the break-up.
She worried when Nicole considered dating one of her classmates, Angus McCathie. She, Irene and Dexter were at Angelo’s restaurant acting as tasters for his new pizza ideas when she saw Nicole and Angus on a date and made a point of going to talk to them. She was concerned when Nicole kept seeing Angus, especially when they arranged a date for the same night as an ante-natal class, and was upset when Nicole turned up late with Angus so Marilyn didn’t get to partner her, letting slip to him that she was going to be bringing up the baby. When the Walkers supported Nicole in continuing to see him, Marilyn reluctantly joined in but was annoyed when Angus turned up with Nicole when she and Marilyn were meant to be going to an antenatal class, even though he’d just given her a lift to the farm. Her reaction prompted Angus to break up with Nicole and Marilyn upset Nicole by saying it was probably for the best if that was his attitude. She didn’t get much support from Sid over the incident but Roo helped them smooth it over. She thanked Roo by inviting her over to dinner but was worried when Sid seemed to get on better with Roo than her and couldn’t remember how they met.
She helped Colleen prepare for her date with Keith Irwin by giving her a new hairstyle and fashion tips. She was present when Nicole showed her new fashion designs to John and comforted her when he made it clear he didn’t like them. She was uncomfortable when Roo invited her and Sid to a dinner party and tried to talk Sid out of going. She took Nicole’s side when Roo accepted her resignation only to end up looking a fool when it turned out they’d already made up, then accused Roo and Sid of talking about her behind her back when they were actually discussing Nicole. She talked to Roo, who assured her she wasn’t interested in Sid. She was upset when she found out Nicole had had a Braxton Hicks scare and Sid hadn’t told her, especially when she found out Roo wasn’t there, and went round to Roo’s house and told her to stay away from Nicole. When Nicole said she wanted Roo at the birth, Marilyn told her it was best being an intimate affair with just her and Sid present. She organised a rota so Nicole wouldn’t be left alone and insisted on sitting with her, refusing to let her leave the house. She was furious when Nicole slipped out of the house while she was busy cutting Colleen’s hair but when Morag had a go at her for her behaviour she apologised and relented about Roo being at the birth. However, Roo pulled out anyway after admitting she couldn’t promise not to interfere with Marilyn bonding with the baby.
She was concerned when Nicole went into labour on the beach and could only listen to the birth over the phone. She went to the hospital to take the baby boy, who she named George, from Nicole and later thanked her for what she’d done. She felt uncomfortable however talking to other new mothers who had actually given birth. She was worried when Nicole came to the house for a visit and George stopped crying as soon as she held him, after Marilyn and the others had spent ages trying to settle him, and upset when Dexter posted a blog about the baby disrupting the household but cheered up when she managed to settle George herself. When Nicole came round for a visit, Marilyn was horrified to find her breastfeeding George and banned her from seeing him, telling Sid that she didn’t want Nicole bonding with George and would rather she took him back sooner rather than later. She was unhappy when Sid agreed to Nicole seeing George again, fearing shed want custody. When Colleen made a comment about her and Sid getting married, she took it seriously and was upset that Sid found the idea amusing; although he reassured her by pointing out they were already committed through living together and having a child. She arranged a New Age naming ceremony for George and refused to postpone it when Angelo was in hospital, nearly starting without Nicole.
She advised Indigo over her burgeoning reunion with Romeo, saying she needed to decide whether or not she could trust him. She was annoyed when Sid was cold towards Romeo during a family dinner and, when Sid explained there was a health issue involved, tried to persuade him to break patient confidentiality and tell Indi if her health was at risk. When Sid refused, she told Indigo that Romeo had an STI herself and, despite her reassurances, the tension in the house left Nicole worried about George being there. She was unhappy when Nicole asked to pretend she was looking after George during a visit from Penn’s grandfather Douglas and devastated when Nicole then announced she was going to take George back and leave town.
Marilyn became obsessed with trying to find a way to keep George, even considering using Angelo and Liam’s past to declare Nicole an unfit mother, but Irene, Morag and Roo all sided with Nicole so she kidnapped him. She originally planned to take him to London but, on realising she needed a passport, booked a flight to Broome. At the airport, aware the police were after her, she hid in a toilet but bumped into Roo, who persuaded her she needed to return George. On arriving back at the farmhouse and finding all his things gone, she said goodbye to George and asked Roo to take him to Nicole. She was unhappy when Sid took her out to Angelo’s old restaurant to try and cheer her up and when she found out he’d been talking to Roo about their relationship, telling Roo to stay out of it. She asked Miles for Nicole’s contact details but he was reluctant to hand them over; however, she then received a call from Nicole and met up with her in the city, where they managed to put things behind them and she got to see George again.
She was disappointed when Sid’s attitude towards Indigo and Romeos relationship led to Indi moving out. Worried their relationship was on the rocks after he stayed out all night drunk, she cooked Sid a romantic meal and slept with him. After he had gone to Hawaii to try and stop Romeo and Indi getting married, she spoke to Dexter about his relationship woes and advised him to follow his heart, unaware it was April he was interested in. When she found out and April came to the house, she left them alone.
She tried to avoid Sid on his return, sensing he wanted to break up with her, but eventually faced up to it and moved back into the caravan park with Alf and Miles. She set up a mobile hairdressing business, with Leah as her first customer. When Romeo and Indi returned from their honeymoon, Marilyn went to the house and pretended she and Sid were still a couple so as not to upset their homecoming but Irene ended up inadvertently revealing the truth. After getting drunk at a dinner party, she blamed Roo for the break-up. She was distressed but remained calm when Indi subsequently told her Sid and Roo were together. She went along to the bachelor and spinster ball at the farm but found it uncomfortable being around Sid and Roo. When Alf attempted to sort things out by inviting them both to his welcome home dinner, it descended into an argument. She later visited Romeo and Indi at the same time as Sid and was upset to find a teapot shed bought for the family among the things he was giving them. When Indigo later gave it back to her, she broke it tearfully.
When she learned Roo and Sid had split up and Roo was staying at the motel, she said she was fine with Roo moving back into the caravan park. She gave Roo a tarot card reading and reluctantly revealed it said she and Sid were heading for a rocky patch. She later did a reading for herself where the chariot card turned up and after doing a similar reading for Elijah decided it meant they were supposed to be together. However, Elijah said he only saw her as a friend. Fed up of the differences between her and Roo, Alf left them to cook dinner together, claiming they had twelve people coming. As a result of the time together, they managed to put aside their differences and ended up friends. She gave Kelly O’Mara a makeover prior to her brothers visit and was pleased when Elijah got her a job looking after a bride at a wedding but she proceeded to give the woman, Jessica, a very pessimistic view of married life and men in general, causing her to call off the wedding. Sid admitted to her that he had another daughter, Sasha, when she tried to get a job with Marilyn.
When it came out about Irene having breast cancer, Marilyn went to talk to her about her own experiences. She helped with the running of the Diner when Irene was forced to take time off and discovered that Sasha had stolen from the till but she and Roo defended her to Leah and helped her keep her job. She had her doubts about Roo’s relationship with Harvey Ryan and tried to matchmake between her and Sid. She contemplated setting up a beauty salon at the new resort and helped organise a breast cancer fundraiser to cheer up Irene, being the one who persuaded her to attend. She was Elijah’s confidante over his feelings for Leah and advised him to stay away from her after she and Miles broke up. She paid Irene a visit to give her a tarot card reading but it indicated someone they knew was going to die. She was present to wave Miles off when he left town.
She helped Irene when she had a heart scare, joining Alf and Roo in coming up with a karaoke night to cheer her up. She tried to smooth things over between Indi and Romeo when they argued about him going on the pro surfing circuit. She also helped Alf raise funds for his trip to Thailand and welcomed John to the house when Alf let him use his room while he was over there. She encouraged Sid to go ahead with his plan to join the Flying Doctors and persuaded Indi to support him. Marilyn also changed her mind about Roo’s relationship with Harvey and encouraged her to make a go of it. Both she and Roo began to get irritated by John’s habits and tried to get Gina to take him back. They staged an intervention to explain their annoyances to John, prompting him to dump the dinner he’d made for them in the bin and storm out. She and the rest of the household were relieved when John and Gina reconciled soon after and he moved out.
Marilyn was the one that Elijah confided in about being offered a job at another parish. She was shocked when one of her hairdressing clients, Melissa Gregg, turned out to be Harvey’s ex-wife and she realised that Roo didn’t know about her or their daughter Lottie and relieved when Harvey told Roo. She was the first person to take on Dexter when he set up a chess game in the Diner to make money but was so busy gossiping with him she ran out of time to make her move and he denoted it a practise game. She agreed to giving a place to Romeo when he and Indigo split up. She was also the first person Colleen confided in about Lance moving to Las Vegas and, with Irene and Roo, arranged for her to see him to talk it over. She was with Colleen when she found someone had broken into her caravan and smashed the jugs and later found the lottery ticket that showed Colleen had won $175,000. When Colleen began making grandiose plans for the money, Marilyn contacted Lance and got him to invite her to live near his new home. Along with Irene, Leah and Roo, she arranged Colleen’s farewell party.
She tried to help Alf adjust to the changes in his absence when he returned, including encouraging him to accept Roo and Harvey’s relationship, and took him to hospital when he went down with malaria. She was mugged by Jett James, who stole her handbag and left her with an injured arm, but when Gina pleaded Jett’s case and she learned he had been fending for himself since his mother died, she told the police she didn’t want to press charges. She did her best to welcome Lottie to the household but Lottie turned out to be allergic to the cake shed made her. She encouraged Indigo to declare her feelings to Romeo but the attempt was forestalled after Ruby announced she was pregnant. She later comforted Indi when she lost her wedding ring.
When Danny Braxton was released from prison, Marilyn befriended him and insisted on seeing the best in him. Danny was having dinner with Marilyn and Casey when Brax was attacked, giving him an alibi even though he had set up the assault. Marilyn became concerned when Danny disappeared and took it upon herself to search his caravan but was found by Heath, leaving her apologising to Danny when he returned. She told him about the life insurance payout Ruby had received when Charlie died, which prompted Danny to invite Ruby to join them for a barbeque. When she learned Roo had reacted badly to Harvey suggesting they have a baby, she suggested Roo was worried about going through a mature pregnancy but then learned Roo was actually afraid of another experience like Martha. She was reluctant to give Brax and Heath access to Danny’s caravan when they were trying to find out where he and Casey had gone, forcing Alf to step in when they tried to intimidate her. Natalie then arrived with the news that Danny had been killed. Even after Danny’s duplicitous nature was exposed, Marilyn continued to view him with fondness and decided to organise a funeral for him when it became clear his sons weren’t interested. Alf agreed to accompany her and, despite initial indifference from the rest of the town, she managed to get the three brothers to attend and Heath later thanked her for the gesture. She convinced him to support Casey at his bail hearing and also got Sasha to talk to Casey.
Marilyn tried to encourage Roo to make up with Harvey by suggesting a cleansing ceremony as a kind of reverse psychology, which nearly backfired when Roo came close to burning Harvey’s things before deciding she couldn’t go through with it. She also visited Dexter while he was recovering from his car accident and gave him a tarot card reading that left him optimistic about the future. She got drunk with John at Angelo’s as he poured out his woes about Gina focusing all her attention on Jett rather than him, leaving her nursing a large hangover. She was stunned when Jett stormed into the Diner and branded her a marriage wrecker and marched him round to John and Gina. The confrontation descended into an argument but the family later came back and apologised to her. With John staying at the caravan park after he and Gina separated, Marilyn let John know Gina and Jett kept breakfasting at the Diner but her attempt to reunite them backfired and ended with John trying to kiss her. Marilyn backed off and refused to let him tell her how he felt. When John disappeared on an interstate bus trip, she told Leah what had happened, unaware Jett was listening in. Gina accused Marilyn of going after John but Alf and Roo defended her. John visited her to apologise on his return.
Feeling guilty that John had made a mess of the surf carnival during the incident, she suggested to Alf, Roo and Harvey that, in the aftermath of Rocco’s death, they turn it into a fundraiser for cot death research. She tipped Gina off that Jett was bragging about getting away with setting off the carnival’s fireworks then got drunk at the party after the carnival and got up on stage to give a drunken speech about how great living in Summer Bay was, as well as telling Jamie Sharpe to ask Leah out. Gina, who was now getting on better with John, apologised to Marilyn for her earlier behaviour and Roo and Leah convinced Marilyn to try online dating. Her first date was Winston Markman, a cardboard box magnate who bored her silly. John convinced her to go ahead with her other date, Sean Dougherty, and she got on well with him when she learned he worked at a new age bookstore she frequented but when John came over to check on them, Sean assumed he was a jealous ex and made a quick exit.
Marilyn was delighted when Roo made her maid of honour and set about organising the wedding with her, performing taste tests on cake frosting. She then discovered Harvey’s best man was Winston. She was shocked to realise she had forgotten to arrange a hen night and spent some time searching for a possibility, including a hot air balloon, a life drawing class and even trying to hire Angelo’s, before admitting the truth. Roo took the news well, saying she thought of Marilyn as a sister, which gave her an idea: She invited Morag and Celia to the hen night. Although this contributed to Roo nearly calling the wedding off, the ceremony went ahead and Marilyn danced with Harvey’s friend Gary Reed at the reception before putting up with Colleen working at the Diner during her stay.
When Harvey returned from honeymoon with chickenpox, Marilyn began arguing with Morag and Colleen over the best treatment. She arranged work for Celia at the Diner and didn’t feel able to tell her that Irene wasn’t happy with her work, being saved when Roo arranged for her to work at the caravan park instead. She stopped Celia leaving town quietly and was the first person other than Alf to learn Celia had developed a gambling addiction, doing her best to mediate between the pair. Suspecting that Celia needed closure, she invited Sheldon Atkinson, the man that had dragged Celia into gambling, to Summer Bay. She then overheard Sheldon trying to convince Celia to put her money on a horse and told Alf, which resulted in Celia turning Sheldon away. She realised Celia was trying to help Heath propose to Bianca and stopped Irene interceding.
She tried to mediate between Roo and Maddy but felt awkward when she walked in on Spencer and Maddy making out on the couch and asked Roo and Harvey to talk to them. However, she felt guilty when the talks resulted in not only Spencer and Maddy but also Roo and Harvey arguing. Like Alf and Harvey, she encouraged Roo to take a harder line with Maddy. She had a dream about a child being taken away from a family and wondered if it was about Darcy being taken away from Heath. After Gina died, Marilyn threw herself into helping John and Jett, first by organising the funeral and then by helping out around the house and supported John when he met with social worker Molly Brenner to discuss continuing to adopt Jett. She accompanied him in keeping an eye on Jett during his dinner date with Nina Bailey. Jett confided in her that he felt guilty for being happy so soon after Gina’s death and Marilyn shared the information with John. When Alf and Roo suggested to her that John might be developing feelings for her, she became uncomfortable and backed off, so when John and Jett invited her out to dinner to thank her for playing peacemaker, she claimed she was busy. John realised she had been making up excuses to avoid spending time with them and Marilyn admitted the truth, leaving him angry that she’d think he’d move on from Gina so soon. Jett encouraged Marilyn to talk to John but he felt they should stay away from each other. Jett eventually brought the pair back together by lying to John that Marilyn had had an accident and Marilyn helped John play a trick on Jett in return by letting Jett think John had been running around town frantically looking for her.
When John put his back out, Marilyn moved in to help but quickly realised he was exaggerating the injury and teamed up with Jett to teach him a lesson by getting him to drink a foul health drink and winding him up about how Harvey was doing a good job in his absence. John admitted he’d pretended to still be injured because he enjoyed having Marilyn around. Marilyn stayed on at the house and continued helping out with Jett until Roo and Harvey staged an intervention and told her she was overstepping the bounds of their friendship. She moved out but was left in a depressed mood. Roo tried to cheer her up by getting Irene to ask for some tofu wraps to the Diner and Alf to agree to a feng shui session for the house but when she found Irene throwing out the unsold tofu and realised Roo had been trying to distract her Marilyn felt patronised. She then admitted to Roo that she had feelings for John.
Roo encouraged Marilyn to avoid John and she was so desperate to do so that she went fishing. However, John turned up to talk to her, resulting in her hooking him with the line and knocking him in the water. She faked an illness to get out of dinner with him, only for him to turn up at the house to look after her. When he sent Sid to check on her, she was forced to admit to both him and John that she was lying, leaving John annoyed that she thought he was interested in more than friendship so soon after Gina. When John had financial difficulties, she offered him money but he walked away, embarrassed. Instead, she tried to get him work at the Diner but he only lasted one shift, with Marilyn having to arrange takeaway coffee when he broke the coffee machine. Marilyn attempted to buy the caravan park with Alf, Roo and Harvey when Sally needed the money to pay for an experimental treatment for Pippa, who had mitochondrial disease.
When it looked like John might have to move away to find work, Marilyn considered declaring her feelings for him but instead decided to go into business with him running a bus tour company. Roo was concerned when she found out and tried to get involved, but Marilyn assured her she wouldn’t get hurt. When Jett was upset on witnessing Pippa having a fit, Marilyn supported him and John but Jett quietly told her Gina wouldn’t like her getting close to John. On a test run for the tours with Jett as passenger, the bus broke down and Marilyn and Jett were left alone. They talked things over and, just as they’d reached peace, the bus abruptly started up with the radio playing Gina’s favourite song. She spent a lot of time writing a speech for the first official tour on the computer, after Roo arranged for a journalist to attend, only to lose it when there was a power cut and she hadn’t saved it. She was left making up random facts while Nate Cooper heckled her. Fortunately, the approach went down well with the other passengers and it turned out the journalist hadn’t made it.
She nearly declared her feelings to John but they were interrupted by Sally. When Winston returned to town, Marilyn spent the day with him, much to John’s consternation. Winston attempted to wine and dine her on the pier, only for John and Jett to interrupt them. John sent her some flowers as an apology, but this escalated with Winston sending her two bunches and Jett sending her some earrings without John’s knowledge. When Winston approached her at Sally’s farewell party with some expensive champagne, he and John ended up arguing and Marilyn walked away from both of them. Winston organised a special dinner for them at Angelo’s and Marilyn was forced to attend by Alf, Roo and Harvey, where she finally told Winston she wasn’t interested in him. However, she also talked him out of leaving town because of her. She decided to arrange a holiday for him only to be told he had lost all his money. However, he then sold a patent and became rich again and decided to take the holiday. Marilyn put John and Jett straight when they believed she was going with him.
Marilyn learned Maddy was hiding homeless Josh in her room and the pair begged her to keep quiet. After speaking with John, she told Alf and Roo but this resulted in Alf throwing Josh out of the house and Maddy briefly running away. She attended the welcome party Dexter threw for Nate, where she and John learned he was the new doctor. She had a premonition of something bad happening and stopped John from leaving the Diner, where she saved him from choking. After consoling Jett over his break-up with Nina, she and John admitted their feelings for each other. They arranged to have lunch together, but had to postpone when Marilyn had to support Roo after Harvey and Winston went missing at sea. Feeling Roo wasn’t coping, she called Alf against Roo’s wishes. Despite the fact they were still keeping their relationship secret, John escorted Marilyn to April and Dexter’s wedding. Jett worried that they weren’t spending time together so he and Alf arranged a romantic lunch for them. Soon after, the relationship became public and, when Roo arranged a memorial service for Harvey, John accompanied Marilyn on their first official outing as a couple. Marilyn was volunteered by Irene to run the refreshment store the Diner was providing for Kyle and Tamara’s Bay Meets the River music festival. At the end of the event, she shared a dance with John in the car park.
Marilyn helped Spencer organise a candlelit dinner for himself and Sasha at the Diner. When Sasha accidentally kissed Chris, Marilyn and John gave Sasha and Spencer conflicting advice and, annoyed by John saying that a kiss didn’t mean anything, kissed Nate, resulting in Jett having to play peacemaker. She invited John round for dinner to try and cheer up Roo when Harvey disappeared for a bit, but being around a couple just made Roo uncomfortable. When John sent Jett to do work at the Diner as punishment for throwing a party at the beach house while Irene was away, Marilyn ended up feeling sorry for him and doing it for him. When she saw Jett and VJ with a necklace that they’d found at the caravan park, she was caught by them checking the spot where they’d found it and admitted she had bought it with money she’d stolen from Alf years previous and that Roo had been caught and grounded: She had felt guilty and buried it. Jett blackmailed her into doing their chores but when she confessed to Alf and John, Alf laughed and told her it was in the past, helping her rebury the necklace.
She helped Maddy organise a girls’ night in to try and cheer up Roo. After Harvey left and Maddy and Josh argued, Marilyn tried to organise a meditation session to help Roo and Maddy relax but they were too preoccupied. When she saw John having secretive conversations with Chris, she worried he was going to propose to her. After spending a fair amount of time avoiding him, she learned they were actually trying to find Irene a boyfriend and joined them in organising a friendly dinner for her when her date failed to show up. She felt like an intruder when John and Jett began organising a memorial for Gina but John and Alf convinced her to be part of it and she suggested naming the school library after her. John then asked her to move in with him and Jett, prompting her to run out of the house. John smoothed things over by giving her a spare key instead. She promptly started rearranging the house and put candles everywhere. She was uncomfortable when Alf came home early while she was having John stay over, suggesting that in the future they confine sleepovers to his place.
When Alf was taken ill after eating poisoned risotto, Marilyn installed herself as his self-appointed nursemaid. She was tested as a donor when it looked like Leah might need a liver transplant, despite John’s fears. She resigned from the Diner when it became short of customers because of the incident but soon returned after Chris dragged her into his plan to publicise it. When she learned that Oscar had a crush on Maddy, she told John to talk to him but John misunderstood and encouraged Oscar. She attempted to act as a mediator when Alf found out Maddy was sleeping with Josh but only managed to embarrass all three of them.
She disappeared just before the launch of the writing competition commemorating Gina and both John and Jett were disappointed until she revealed she’d had a bench dedicated to Gina on the headland. She learned that Jett’s birthday was coming up and he was expecting John to forget again; Jett made her promise not to say anything so she resorted to dropping heavy hints. When John began being secretive and she saw a message on his phone saying that Diana was his, she feared he had another woman and, when Chris sent her flowers in the name Brian, pretended to John that she knew who it was. She only realised the truth when Alf sent her down the beach and she discovered “Diana” was a boat that John had bought Jett.
She talked John into letting Jett go on camp when she learned Jett was worried they were having money difficulties. John asked her if she wanted him to take his wedding ring off but she left it up to him. He did so but then ushered her out of the house when she came round for lunch. She worried he resented her for forcing him to do it but then learned he’d lost the ring and helped him look for it. They eventually found it by Gina’s bench and John put it away safely. She and John found themselves missing Jett and resorted to texting him multiple times until he ordered them to stop.
When Jett came home after doing $500 worth of damage, Marilyn didn’t know he’d been grounded and let him go to the skate park, prompting John to tell her he needed her on his side over discipline. He suggested Marilyn try punishing Jett in the future, so she told Jett he needed to pay for the damages, but felt bad about doing it so John suggested they have a good cop/bad cop relationship with him. When Jett quit the surf club because of John taking all his payment, Marilyn arranged for him to be paid and pay his debt off in instalments.She convinced John to let Maddy throw her mid-year party at the surf club and encouraged Sasha to take over as school captain..
When she overheard John referring to her as his wife while making a hotel booking, she worried he was going to propose again but he explained he just felt he was too old to have a girlfriend. She then decided to propose herself and prepared a romantic dinner but John turned her down and rushed out. He then told her he’d always dreamed he’d propose to her and did so, to which she gladly accepted. However, the confusion resulted in Jett running away and nearly drowning, and Marilyn had to smooth things over between him and John. John delighted her by buying a large engagement ring and getting her to find it in the gardening with a metal detector, but Marilyn was uncomfortable about moving into his and Gina’s old house. She tried to discuss wedding arrangements with him but he admitted he had no ideas. Wondering where they were going to live, Marilyn suggested that as a trial she spend a few days living with John and Jett and they spend a few days living with her and Alf at the caravan park. She drove John and Jett to distraction by suggesting plans to redecorate but Alf was accepting of John’s behaviour during the return stay. However, when Roo returned home early the house ended up overcrowded. After they attempted to find a new place to buy or rent, Marilyn suggested they give staying at his place another try.
She and John witnessed Josh kissing Evelyn and lectured Josh on cheating on Maddy after everything she’d done for him. They, and Jett, moved back to the caravan park house when Roo was in hospital with meningitis and helped Alf try to find information about where she had gone on holiday. However, even when Roo had recovered and returned home, Marilyn proved reluctant for them to return to John and Jett’s house, unsuccessfully trying to keep Alf and Roo apart to stop them arguing about her not telling anyone where she was going. In the end, when John and Jett moved back home, she refused to go with them. John met with her and tried to let her have her own way but she walked away from him. She then sent John and Jett a specific pizza to let them know she cared and agreed to move in after the wedding; Jett convinced her and John to set a date. However, they were then stuck with Roo as a wedding planner, planning a large affair. Marilyn was so stressed by Roo constantly questioning her about details that she asked Irene to be matron of honour simply to make a point. When Roo agreed to back off, Marilyn asked her to be bridesmaid. She enjoyed herself when Roo signed her up to Spencer’s bridal boot camp.
Marilyn saw Jett was missing Nina so suggested inviting her to the wedding. However, John seemed reluctant to invite anyone. When John said the one person he wanted at the wedding wouldn’t be there, Marilyn assumed he meant his daughter Shandi and sent a message inviting her to Summer Bay, only to find he meant Xavier. She made an unsuccessful attempt to uninvite her, then admitted what she’d done to John. She advised John to tell Jett and met Shandi for the first time when she turned up at the Diner. She discovered Jett was worried John wouldn’t want him anymore, smoothing things over. She tried to have Shandi over for a family dinner and eventually settled on the four of them having afternoon tea at the Diner. However, while John, Jett and Shandi got on, Marilyn made things awkward by explaining things she didn’t need to. Irene and Roo suggest she tone things down but her attempts to act casual just left everyone bemused.
She agreed to do tarot readings at the market day Sasha and Matt were organising to raise money for the school formal, but was left with a feeling something bad was going to happen when the wind blew her cards off the table. Shandi rubbished the idea when Marilyn gave her a reading and Marilyn was hurt than John didn’t stand up for her but when Shandi disappeared she left her a message asking her to come back. Shandi did return but when she organised a family dinner she didn’t invite Marilyn. Marilyn proceeded to go to Angelo’s and get drunk on one drink, then told John she needed to take a step back from him so as not to ruin his relationship with Shandi. They were reunited when they had to tell Jett of Casey’s death and when John considered postponing the wedding Jett and Shandi stopped them.
After the funeral, they decided to elope, but Roo found out about the plan and invited herself, resulting in them deciding to take Alf, Shandi and Jett too. When Irene, Leah and VJ also ended up finding out and asking to go with them, they decided instead to wait and have a quiet ceremony by the beach. However, the night before the wedding Marilyn was plagued with disasters as the dressmaker lost her dress and the replacement was hideous, then John put his back out, and considered calling the wedding off. However, Roo was determined it go ahead and the dress turned up at the last minute. Alf gave her away and afterwards, at the reception, Jett asked the newlyweds to adopt him. Marilyn and John readily agreed but Marilyn was less keen on changing her name to Palmer. She eventually offered to do so but John told her she was fine as she was. She bought Jett a skateboard the day they were meant to sign the adoption papers and John arranged for the signing to be done at home.
John tried to sell meditation CDs to raise money for a holiday but Marilyn was offended he thought they were for chumps. When he accidentally included a derisory comment on the CDs, Marilyn joined him in rushing to retrieve every copy and only just stopped Roo playing one in the Diner. Marilyn got tired of John’s moneymaking ideas and told them they were rubbish but her bluntness upset him. She tried to cook him a meal to make up for it but he was left feeling patronised. She then removed a part from the dishwasher and asked him to fix it but when he couldn’t find the part he walked away, frustrated. She unsuccessfully tried to give Jett advice about his HSC subjects and encouraged John in his attempts to tutor him. When John hired Oscar as a tutor for Jett but Jett didn’t turn up, Marilyn realised Jett was worried John couldn’t afford it. Jett became irritated when Marilyn hung around during the tutoring sessions and lost his temper with her. Marilyn was shocked when John pointed out that Jett had started to see her as a mother figure and told Irene that she had always seen him as her little friend and didn’t want to lose that. She tried to be a mate to Jett, taking him for a pizza and playing video games with him, before accepting being his mother was an important job. They both felt uncomfortable since they were unfamiliar with their roles but agreed to try their best. They received Jett’s birthday certificate listing them as parents and discovered he was a year older than they had believed. Marilyn convinced John to tell Jett, who soon got over the shock.
When Jett was given less flattering remarks than VJ in his report card, despite having good marks, Marilyn invited Zac round to dinner to explain it and he told her he felt Jett needed to be motivated rather than reassured. Marilyn worried she’d overstepped the mark but John and Jett assured her they were happy she cared. She suspected Maddy was more pregnant than she claimed when she saw how large she had grown, although it turned out she actually had cancer rather than being pregnant. Marilyn and Irene visited Maddy to encourage her as cancer survivors, after which she witnessed Chris’ return to town.
Along with everyone else, she had to deal with the news that several residents had been in a bus crash and Leah had been left in a coma. She was shocked when John suggested they move house after Brax was accused of murder and moved everyone to the caravan park house. She moved everyone back when Maddy returned from the city. When John and Chris tried to wash off a mural Josh had painted for Evelyn on the side of the surf club and several teens protested, Marilyn sided with the teens, grabbing a megaphone from John while he was trying to reason with them and shouting slogans, although she reluctantly told Jett to abandon the protest and go to school. When Alf shut down the protest and had the wall cleaned, Marilyn accused John of having no romance. She received the news that an offer had been made on the house and Jett begged her to stop it. She told John the house was full of happy memories and he took down the For Sale sign.
She refused to let VJ and Jett have a boxing bout and accidentally let slip to them that John and Zac weren’t planning to let them. She was initially bemused when Chris worked out Nate and Kat were a couple and by the time she had begun to believe it was true Kat had warned Chris about spreading rumours and he frantically tried to convince her otherwise. She took part in the town’s colour run and talked with John about setting up a war memorial in Summer Bay. When she found out that Alf was having difficulty dealing with the teens’ ambivalence towards Anzac Day, she encouraged him to go along on the Canberra trip as a chaperone and went along herself. When the teens initially dismissed it, she convinced them to go back and think about it but avoided joining them for a night in the trenches. She attended the Anzac Day commemoration that Jett arranged and moved to the city for a short while to keep an eye on Alf when he was hospitalised with chest pains related to PTSD. She defended John when Alf had a go at him for organising the surf carnival without him, resulting in Alf agreeing to do it together.
Marilyn was horrified when Jett wanted to join the army and told him she would never agree to it. An attempt at mediation ended in another argument and she buried herself in work when he came to see her but eventually told him about losing Byron and George and how she was afraid of losing him, prompting him to agree to drop it. However, Jett had already applied to a boarding school on a cadet scholarship and received an acceptance letter. Marilyn and John encouraged him to take the place, then learned he would be gone in two weeks. After intruding on Zac and Leah’s wedding plans to avoid thinking about it, she sugested they go with him. Jett was amenable to the idea but others were upset when Marilyn got drunk at Leah and Zac’s engagement party and let slip that they were leaving. Jett insisted they stay and they held a farewell party for him at the Diner. As a farewell, Jett gave Marilyn a bag to replace the one he had stolen when they first met and called her “Mum” for the first time.
She was happy to look after Casey for Ricky overnight, but found a note from Ricky the next morning saying she’d left. She agreed to carry on looking after him while Kyle, Phoebe and Ash searched for her, and although Ricky soon returned Marilyn frequently acted as babysitter. She noticed Nate’s shirt on the floor while dropping Casey off with Ricky and realised he’d stayed the night, discussing it with Ricky. Marilyn was shocked when John suggested they try for a baby and suggested they apply as foster parents instead. John agreed. She and Irene took it upon themselves to interrogate James Edmunds, Roo’s new boyfriend, and gave Roo a magazine article telling her how to behave during a date, but it just made things awkward between them. Having gate crashed the date and found it unsalvageable, they brought the pair together the next day to sort things out. They then invited James round for dinner to get rid of the awkwardness. She tried to play matchmaker between Chris and Hannah and called the police when she saw Damo Adams holding Josh hostage. She encouraged Irene to date Greg Snelgrove, then invited herself and John along to a disastrous dinner at Irene’s place. She convinced John to see Greg about getting the school bus route back. However, this backfired when John and Greg got into a scuffle just as Mary Keens from DoCS turned up to discuss the fostering application and she left without speaking to them. Greg managed to rearrange the visit.
She told John that Teddy, a boy who she used to nanny, was coming to visit them; when he turned out to be Ed Sheeran, Marilyn was bemused at how famous he seemed to be. They met with Mary again but the application hit another stumbling block when Nicole told DoCS about Marilyn kidnapping George. She told John and Leah she would rather give up than face further disappointment. Marilyn went into work and found some spilled water; attempting to clear it up, she caused the water to come into contact with live cables left exposed by Hunter King when he stole the Diner safe and was electrocuted. After spending some time in a coma and a failed attempt to take her off sedation, she awoke but was suffering from amnesia, thinking it was 1996 and she was still married to Don Fisher and unable to remember John or many of her old friends. When John confronted her with their wedding photo and other reminders, she got upset and later left the hospital. However, when she saw the unfamiliar town and found Oscar at the caravan park house rather than the likes of Pippa and Sally, she was forced to confront the reality of her situation. Andy found her and got her back to hospital, where Roo filled her in on her current life. Leah and Roo’s attempts to jog her memories also failed but she was delighted to be reunited with Irene.
Marilyn moved in with Irene when discharged from hospital; Irene filled her in on old friends but she felt overwhelmed when Chris bombarded her with photos and memories. When she overheard Chris saying he felt sorry for John, she claimed to remember him but Irene quickly realised she was lying, especially when she forgot she was now a vegetarian. However, she instinctively began meditating, something she hadn’t taken up until later life. She began remembering things and was reunited with Alf, although when she visited her and John’s house she failed to find anything familiar. John took her out to try and jog her memory of him. When a story about a naval doctor promoted Marilyn to remember Sid, John felt that she was remembering everything but him. However, when he told her about their wedding her remaining memories came flooding back.
She moved back in with John and invited their celebrant, Claire, to help them renew their vows. John told her they had been accepted as foster parents but she felt she needed to live more of life and see the world first; however, John had no interest in going travelling. After a dinner party descended into barbed remarks, Leah suggested Marilyn see John’s point of view and she shelved the plan. However, she was plagued with doubts as the vow renewal approached, not sure if she could commit to John again. She decided to go ahead with it to make him happy but ran away before the ceremony, fearing she was being dishonest when she still wanted to travel. John bought her a round the world trip and she went ahead with the vow renewal before going.
John went to visit her when she had a hiking accident but she was soon well enough to continue her travels. She returned some months later on hearing Alf had had a heart attack and stroke and he came round while she was with him. She also visited Irene after she was kidnapped by Mick Jennings but felt distant from John. At a welcome home lunch, she announced she’d put them back on the fostering register but learned John was reluctant to foster again after his experience with Skye Peters. He asked if he was enough for her and she decided he was, however he then changed his mind.
They fostered Jordan Walsh, but Marilyn was frustrated by John’s attempt at hands off parenting. She found Jordan was keeping a knife in his room but he insisted he needed it. Marilyn told John she was worried they weren’t the right people to help him. Jordan opened up to them about how he and his father ended up homeless and his father went to jail for stealing. Marilyn learned he was about to turn sixteen and, even though he didn’t want to celebrate without his father, she and John made plans to take away only for his father Aaron to turn up after being released from jail. Jordan chose to stay with the Palmers but then their house was burgled and Jordan suspected Aaron. Marilyn and John agreed not to pursue the matter when Aaron returned the items and Jordan went back to live with him.
She took an interest in Nate and Tori, advising Nate to still be friends after Tori rejected him. She encouraged Mason to understand Evelyn’s point of view when she believed Oscar was watching over her, but changed her mind when Evelyn insisted on a tarot card reading and then rejected Marilyn’s suggestion that Oscar was a part of her now. She was surprised to get a letter from a secret admirer, and quickly realised John wouldn’t use the phrases it contained, leading her to suspect Chris had a crush on her. She tried to let him down gently until Alf revealed Chris was writing the letters on John’s behalf. She arranged a breakfast with John on a boat to cheer him up after Chris’ departure but he slipped and hit his head, ending up in hospital. As he recuperated, she kept him a virtual prisoner in the Diner and worried he was getting irritable, only for Nate to tell her he was simply bored and she should let him do what he wanted.
She saw Zac kiss a woman, Samantha Webster, on the cheek when he was supposed to be at school and worried he was having an affair. She then had to endure an excruciating dinner when John invited Leah and Zac over and brought the subject up, only to learn Sam was Zac’s editor. She insisted on throwing a hen party for Billie where she made a speech praising her, worried about John when he collapsed while working at the surf club and played matchmaker for Matt and Evelyn. At the end of the year, she set up a fortune telling stall at the Summer Grooves music festival, which to Alf and John’s surprise proved a hit.
Marilyn was accidentally left behind when the festival was evacuated because of a bush fire. By the time Alf and John found her, she had been badly burned. John tried to hide the severity from her but when she saw her reflection she sent him away. She was taken into surgery for a skin graft but was still in pain afterwards, needing leeches to restore the blood flow to her hand to avoid losing it. She was then informed that the fire was arson. She was able to return home but was scared by the smoke from an aromatic candle, while John having to change her dressings was an ordeal for both of them. When she overheard him and Alf talking about the difficulties, she decided to go back to the hospital but John talked her out of it. However, she didn’t feel up to going to VJ and Billie’s wedding at the hospital and John talked her out of going to see Leah and VJ after Billie died. Unable to leave the house, she instead sent a letter to VJ.
She then had John collapse in front of her and be diagnosed with a brain tumour. She was shocked when it was discovered that John had started the fire, his behaviour affected by the tumour, meaning he had contributed to Billie’s death, and she felt unable to go to the funeral. She convinced John to have the surgery to remove the tumour anyway, even though all their friends bar Alf were staying away. She tried to hide the town’s hostility from him but Irene and Leah refused to let her see VJ and Alf told John the surf club committee wanted him out. She defended him but he told her he needed to leave town for a fresh start. After talking with Evelyn about her own plans to leave with Matt, she agreed. However, John then changed her mind and decided to stay.
They were given his trial date and Morag offered to represent him. Marilyn supported him throughout his trial and saw him imprisoned. She assumed everyone would soon realise a mistake had been made but had a reality check when she visited John in prison for the first time. She was uncomfortable about Morag’s suggestion he appealed against the sentence rather than the verdict and when another prisoner, Deacon Marx, slapped her behind during a visit, John grabbed hold of him and Marilyn worried he was no longer the same man. She was shocked to discover that Roo’s new boyfriend James Mayvers had taken the paparazzi shot of John being taken to jail, then rang John and told him she couldn’t visit him. VJ talked her into going again and she managed to get the appeal pulled forward when she found out John had been beaten, being reunited with him when his sentence was reduced to community service.
However, Marilyn was distant from him on his return, telling Leah and Roo that she was worried he deliberately started the fire after all. When Irene and Leah fell out, Marilyn used it as an excuse to spend a night away from John, who tried to make her feel better by giving her her wedding rings back, having had them repaired after they had been cut off her after the fire. She dragged Roo into helping her set up Irene and Leah for a lunch but it ended in disaster and Leah telling her to focus on her own problems. She then told John she didn’t love him. John moved out and, when Nate tried to plead his case, she suggested that perhaps the brain tumour had brought out something that was already there. Alf and Nate convinced her to talk to John but although she was friendly nothing was resolved. She was frustrated when John tried to organise a black tie ball purely to prove to her that he was a good man. She believed Nate was the one organising a fundraiser for the burns unit but when she found out it was John, she was convinced of his good intentions and helped him out, only to be disappointed when he saw it as a personal insult when only seven people turned up after finding out he was running it, even though the ticket sales meant he’d still raised money.
Jett returned and criticised her for her stance, insisting John was still a good man, but they soon reached an understanding. She looked after Luc for Ash and showed Kat how to give her a bath. She convinced John to go back to his therapist, Bailey Voss, and, when he learned his father had died in a fire and began to believe that he had deliberately started it, refused to believe it. When Jett mentioned John was considering hypnotherapy, she mentioned she’d tried it herself in the past and reluctantly agreed to try and help him. The session saw her and Jett learn that John had been convinced by his mother to burn his father’s body after he had killed himself, but Marilyn was reluctant to tell him, simply telling him he hadn’t killed his father. Jett convinced her to tell John the truth. When John cut himself off from everyone, she invited him to move back in, telling him she understood now why he’d started the fires, and tried to get him to talk about what he had learned. John admitted he had been given his father’s suicide note, which his mother had never read. Marilyn read it to him and they learned his father had been dying of motor neuron disease and wanted to spare his family nursing him through his remaining time. She then set up a photo of John as a child with his father in the living room. She and John took the Astonis on a bus tour that came to an abrupt end when they learned John’s history.