Love has not come easily for Home and Away favorite Tori (played by Penny McNamee) since setting foot in Summer Bay.
Tori hopes to end her unlucky-in-love streak with newbie Christian Green, after ill-fated romances with Ash (George Mason) and Nate Cooper (Kyle Pryor), among others (Ditch Davey).
But away from the big screen, for the actress who embodies the fictional doctor, it’s a different story entirely.
Penny, 37, has enjoyed a stable, long-term relationship with her high school sweetheart, Matt Tooker, unlike her on-screen counterpart.
“In high school, I met Matt and we got married when we were 26,” she told Things, a New Zealand publication.
This year we were married for 11 years, so my love life is a lot more settled and happy than poor Tori’s.
Tori is genuinely romantic and I don’t want to be crushed by that. She didn’t have the best year, but now things might be about to improve.
She admitted, “It was 1999 at our school music camp.”
I had just moved to school. Matt was playing the French horn in the orchestra-if it could get any nerdier! -and I was there in the choir.
It was love at first sight for schoolgirl Penny, and it didn’t take much persuasion that he was the one for her.
“Penny explained, “I adored him off the bat. “I was a ludicrous 16-year-old girl who thought he was completely dreamy.”
Equally enamored, Matt admitted that his first impression of his now-wife was that she was “confident and bubbly.”
However, their relationship was not entirely smooth-sailing, and in their younger years, the couple suffered a brief two-year break up.
“We were only 19 and we both knew we had to go off and live our lives – we wanted to study and travel,” explained Penny of the split between the pair.
“Even though we really did love each other, we decided to break up, which was heartbreaking.”
Yet nature finally prevailed and the couple got back together, tying the knot before starting a family together in 2009.
Penny also revealed that she and Matt might even add to their brood in the future.
“Ultimately, I think we’d like to have a third. I’m not going to pump another one out now, but we’re going to give it a couple of years, and if it’s for us in the cards, then it’s perfect,’ she said to New Concept.
Now that I have two and Jack has a sibling, I think that if we never had a third, it would be great, but it would be a pretty special bonus to have a third.
It might not be guaranteed for my wellbeing and stuff, but we’ll give it a few years and try again, if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m so lucky to have the two of them.