Where original Larkin kids are now – Hollywood, huge net worth and quitting fame
The loveable Larkin family first graced our screens in 1991 in The Darling Buds Of May which starred Sir David Jason as Pop, Pam Ferris as Ma, Philip Franks as Charley, and a 20-year-old Catherine Zeta Jones, as eldest daughter Mariette in the comedy drama series that ran for three years.
The show has been given a reboot series called The Larkins – with the showrunner confirming that it’s an adaptation of the book series, not the television series – on ITV which premiered recently starring Bradley Walsh, but what have the original child stars of the hit TV series been up to since?
Mariette – Catherine Zeta-Jones
Young Catherine Zeta-Jones was propelled into stardom after playing the eldest Larkin daughter Mariette.
The then 20-year-old was like a “big sister” to the kids.
“She gave us postcards between series and a Biggles teddy bear when we went to France,” says Chrissie Giles, the actress who played twin Petunia Larkin alongside her sister.
“Even as 10-year-olds we were like, ‘She’s incredible’. Once we had Smash Hits magazine on set. Catherine had just released a single and there was a poster of her in it. We ran up to her and she was really excited, she found it funny.”
Catherine’s character Mariette married tax inspector Cedric "Charley" Charlton, played by Philip Franks and was Zeta-Jones’ debut role.
Since the show aired its final episode in 1993, Welsh born Catherine relocated to Los Angeles and has gone on to star in big roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Ocean’s Twelve, The Terminal and Red 2.
She has also received a BAFTA award, an Academy Award and a Tony Award, as well as being appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her film and humanitarian work.
Catherine is married to Hollywood icon Michael Douglas, and is reported to be worth $150million (£109million).
Montgomery – Ian Tucker
Now 34 years old, actor Ian Tucker who played Larkin's only son Montgomery recently picked up a special outstanding artistic achievement award.
The actor, who has cystic fibrosis, had to quit due to his worsening condition and has also developed diabetes, but he hasn’t let this stop him.
He studied English at Llandrillo College, Rhos on Sea, and writes poetry.
Ian was previously nominated for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust's Breathing Life Awards by his fiancée Lydia Beaumont.
He said in 2006: "Because of CF I can't act any more, but I have always been interested in song and music and do the occasional 'open mic' event for charity.
"As well as my health I am just concentrating on my studies and, who knows, one day I may be able to write some decent prose."
Victoria – Stephanie Ralph
Stephanie Ralph was just eight years old when she played the role of youngest Larkin daughter Victoria.
She decided not to pursue a career in acting after the show and is now an occupational therapist.
Stephanie still lives in Kent, where The Darling Buds Of May takes place.
In fact, her family’s farm is “not a million miles” from the Larkins’.
Zinnia & Petunia – Christina and Katherine Giles
Christina Giles looks back on her time filming The Darling Buds Of May with fondness.
“That first day of filming was just ice-cream. I thought ‘Is this a job?’” she said.
The actress, who played Petunia alongside her twin sister Katherine, who played Zinnia, landed her role at just 10 years old.
Katherine also remembers her time on set, saying: “I remember the phone call to tell us David was going to be our dad.
“My big sister was shouting ‘Oh my god, Del Boy is going to be your dad’ and we all screamed.
“He joked around, knocking people’s hats off.
“When they called ‘All artists to the sets’, he’d joke: ‘Artists… and the twins!’"
Neither twin went on to pursue an acting career, with Chrissie going on to study biochemistry and Katherine a degree in pharmacology and medicine.
Primrose – Julie Stichbury and Abigail Rokison
Primrose Larkin was originally played by two actresses.
She was played by Julie Stichbury for six episodes in 1991 and then replaced by Abigail Rokison for the remainder of The Darling Buds Of May.
Julie also remained in Kent and went on to work in television, beginning her career behind the scenes, then as a checkout girl in Dale Winton’s Supermarket Sweep and later at a GP’s surgery.
Actress Abigail Rokison studied a doctorate in drama before becoming a lecturer at Cambridge University and now lectures in Shakespeare and Theatre at The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford.
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