Family: Neighbours' Guy Pearce: Cambridgeshire roots, family tragedy and MCU stardom

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Neighbours fans have been left heartbroken ever since the news was announced that the beloved Australian soap was to draw to an end after a staggering 37-year run. The spectacular finale is set to a whole host of adored characters as their famous actors and actress return.

Jason Donavan and Kylie Minogue are both back in Erinsborough along with Margot Robbie, who is now best known for her role as DC's Harley Quinn. Yet it's not only Margot that has entered the superhero universe.

Guy Pearce, who grew up in Ely, Cambridgeshire, has gone onto Hollywood fame and is set to return to the soap for its epic ending. He played the character of Mike Young, described as a nice young man but with a troubled history. But who exactly is the Brit-born actor?

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Craig McLauchlan and Guy Pearce from Australian soap Neighbours © channel 5 Craig McLauchlan and Guy Pearce from Australian soap Neighbours

Cambridgeshire childhood and family tragedy

Guy Pearce, now 57, was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire to Stuart Peace and Anne Cocking. His mum was a school teacher but his dad was a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot as well as a RAF test pilot.

His dad's career took Guy, his mum and older sister Tracy to Victoria, Australia when Guy was just three years old. Heartbreakingly, Stuart died in a flying accident when Guy was just eight.

Career and MCU stardom

Guy's career had an unusual beginning. He wasn't always destined to be an actor.

Instead, from the age of 16, Guy trained as a bodybuilder and bagged the title of Junior Mr. Victoria. His acting break was a surprise one.

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With no professional acting experience and having only appeared in amateur theatre, he is said to have "bombarded" the Grundy Organisations with tapes of his performances. He's now said to be critical of his early performances, once reported as saying "I was really awful because I didn't know what I was doing."

Guy Pearce attends the Telluride Film Festival 2019 © Vivien Killilea/Getty Images Guy Pearce attends the Telluride Film Festival 2019

He has praised Neighbours for being "a fantastic break for an 18-year-old. It seems it skyrocketed his career as he managed to go on to bag a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Guy played the main villain Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 and has also appeared in The Hurt Locker and The King's Speech. Those appearances won him back to back Best Picture winners at the Academy Awards.

Neighbours return

Guy's character of Mike Young was a troubled one. It's not quite clear what his role returning will be but Guy has always said that the character had a lasting impact on him.

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Mike Young's first big storyline was one of physical abuse from his father. The teenager worked to escape his father with his mother being unable to bring herself to leave.

Eventually Mike was adopted by his boss at the coffee shop, Daphne Lawrence. The storyline led to Guy receiving thousands of letters from children who confided him about their own experiences with abusive parents.

He told Lou Anson of Aberdeen Press and Journal that some of them asked him to become their pen-pal, but he was only able to write back advising them to seek help. He also told Anson that until he joined Neighbours, he had no idea "such terrible things happened.

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