SHOWBIZ survivor Rebecca Gibney has lost 16 Logie award battles in the past, but it was the Packed To The Rafters star's night to shine with her television return securing her the prestigious Gold Logie award last night.
The veteran actress led the victory charge at the 51st TV Week Logie Awards with her first major small screen role in more than four years also winning her the Most Popular Actress prize.
During her three decade career in the spotlight Gibney has only ever taken home one Logie statue for ABC drama Come In Spinner in 1991.
Now, she can add two more to the collection for her raw portrayal of nurturing mother and wife, Julie Rafter, on the successful Channel 7 drama.
Elegantly dressed in a sweeping floor-length red Steven Khalil gown, the 44-year-old was overwhelmed by the two awards, especially the Gold victory for which she beat a field of competitive talents including Rove McManus, Kate Ritchie and Andrew Denton for the honour.
"I am just really enjoying the moment," a beaming Gibney said from the black tie event held at Melbourne's Crown Casino.
"On nights like tonight you can't live more for the moment and I do feel overwhelmed by it now, but I am more excited by it because there are more people that would trade places with me in a second.
"I don't take it for granted and I get so thrilled by it and it's our night to celebrate our work on television."
Since her regular role in police drama Stingers in 2003, Gibney has been busy playing mum to her four-year-old son Zach.
While the talented actress was sent many scripts to consider over the years, Gibney says it was the "real" Packed To The Rafters plots which lured her back to her passion: acting.
"I deliberately didn't do anything for the last four years and turned stuff down because I wasn't prepared to be away from Zach," Gibney said.
"But, Packed To The Rafters just seemed right. I think people are a bit sick of heavy duty drama and there is a slight turn towards something about real relationships and family dynamics, exploring people's journeys.
"They don't want to just see blood, guts and full on sex or gangsters. This is a simple family drama that has a comic element and I think it has struck a chord."
With 11 nominations overall, Gibney wasn't the only Packed To The Rafters cast member to be honoured during the four-hour award ceremony hosted by former Big Brother ringleader Gretel Killeen.
Television newcomers and fellow 2007 NIDA graduates Jessica Marais and Hugh Sheridan, who play siblings on the drama, secured the Most Popular New Female and Male Talent trophies.
For Marais, 23, it was cause for double celebration when the overwhelmed actress was awarded the Graham Kennedy Award For Most Outstanding New Talent gong.
Packed To The Rafters made its debut last year and has been a solid ratings success for Seven averaging a national audience of 1.8 million during its first season on-air.
"I've been on such a steep learning curve with this show, nothing can prepare you for those 5am starts on set or how being in the public eye changes your life," Marais said.
"To even be nominated is just such an honour and it is overwhelming. I can't believe I am here."
On the back of Packed To The Rafters' five wins was gangland drama Underbelly, which won three awards of nine nominations.
Actress Kat Stewart's exceptional portrayal of underworld gangland wife Roberta Williams won her the Most Outstanding Actress award, while her co-star Gyton Grantley, who played drug runner and murderer Carl Williams, took home the Most Outstanding Actor award.
While the pair were excited by their wins, unfortunately none of the Underbelly footage in which they starred could be displayed due to a suppression order going through the courts.
"The best thing to do is just keep your head screwed on," Grantley, 28, said of Underbelly's phenomenal success.
"Underbelly has changed my life, it's been amazing. I've shot two films and done work on East West 101 for ABC, plus I am shooting Andrew Denton's TV show.
"This wouldn't have happened without Underbelly. It's really exciting and hopefully it keeps rolling along this way."
The original Underbelly series, which also starred Vince Colosimo and Damian Walshe-Howling, also won the Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie category.
Comedian and three times Gold Logie winner Rove McManus added two more Logie Awards to his trophy cabinet winning Most Popular Presenter and Most Popular Light Entertainment Program, while Home and Away newcomer Todd Lasance, 24, who plays Aden Jefferies on the long-running soap, won the Most Popular Actor award ahead of Neighbours veteran Ian Smith, Packed To The Rafters Erik Thomson, Underbelly's Gyton Grantley and the late Mark Priestley, who starred in hospital drama All Saints.
While Bill "Mr Movies" Collins was inducted into the TV Week Gold Logie's Hall Of Fame, Seven secured the most awards on the evening with 10, followed by Ten's five, Nine's four and ABC TV's three.
The First Australians series, which chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia from the perspective of the nation's first people, secured SBS its only award of the evening.
Thank god Borat was on the other channelPosted by: el tel of 12:17pm today
She is so georgous and a good actress. What is distrubing is how overrated the actual show 'Packed to the Rafters' is. It is so boring. As for the Logies, acting awards for soap operas make me laugh. I don't watch the Logies (well not since Denton and Micallef were hosts) and I agree it is 'Awarding mediocrity'.Posted by: Sal of Sydney 11:58am today
Sorry Bert Newton was not hosting the logies as it would have been very befitting all around. Rebecca Gibney deserves the Logie 100%,Posted by: lyn of brisbane 11:49am today
the best fox on the night , go girl , your fantastic .Posted by: KIRK of THE OTH 11:29am today
Gorgeous, sexy woman, well deserved, if only I looked half as good ! And she get to work with that gorgeous man, Erik Thomson. Congrats...Posted by: Alison of Quakers Hill 11:05am today
Who cares - is this all we are going to hear about for the next week. Not everyone is a Packed to the Rafters fan yet Rebecca Gibney.Posted by: j of 10:57am today
These awards have no merit whatsoever. Awarding mediocrity, its the Australian thing to do!Posted by: Candy of Coogee 9:58am today
Yawn...Posted by: laurie of cc 9:55am today
She is so sexy & if my wife looks anything like that at 44, i dont think we'd leave the house much.Posted by: Scottie of 'Nulla 8:47am today
well done rebeka! loved u on that show ...absolutelt deserved and well done harry highpants!Posted by: merv of 8:35am today
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