However, East Kilbride-born Julie Wilson Nimmo is more Calamity Jane than Jane Seymour.
But now Julie, a mum of two boys who is married to actor Greg Hemphill, has the chance to banish the Balamory image to reveal her tougher side.
Julie stars in The Father of Australia, a new drama documentary in which she plays Elizabeth Macquarie, who was effectively the First Lady of Australia, alongside her Governor husband, Lachlan.
The story tells of how Lachlan (Clive Russell) and his wife were sent out in 1809 to contain Australia, then little more than a subcontinental open air prison camp.
But in the process of quelling uprisings, the couple from Mull created much of the New South Wales infrastructure and ran major social equality programmes involving convicts and Aborigines.
But it was Elizabeth, not her husband, who was the driving force.
Julie, 38, reveals the script called for her to horse-ride across Australia’s Blue Mountains, but more importantly convey the air of a woman who was perfectly prepared to ignore convention and boss men around.
“She was fascinating. I Ioved playing her because she’s a really strong character. And she was the brains in the relationship.
“Interestingly, she knew that he knew she was cleverer than him. And they both revelled in it, which was strange for the time.
“Although when I learned she was super intelligent, I reckoned playing this woman would be a big stretch for me.”
The former Balamory star is modest -- her performance of Elizabeth, a perfect example of dour 19th century Scottish Presbyterianism but with a modern-day aggression, is near perfect.
She said: “Clive and I were always carrying on location, and so I had to make sure I wasn’t weeing myself laughing when the cameras began to roll. So we had to switch to being serious quickly.
“It was a good discipline for me as an actress but I learned so much about people of that time.
“For example, when Elizabeth was having the baby she and her husband weren’t allowed to put their arms around each other. It was so typical of the period.”
Elizabeth may have been emotionally repressed, but she was a trailblazer.
She said: “She was excited at the idea of being an officer’s wife, and then when he announced they were going to Australia, she loved the idea.
“Most women at that time would have been terrified -- it took about 10 months to sail to the subcontinent.”
At that time, they were going to a land full of displaced indigenous natives with giant grudges and rebellious convicts.
“Elizabeth took this on to a new level,” she said. “She liked the convicts in the belief she could better their lives. And she and Lachlan worked to improve the lot of the Aborigines.”
But wasn’t Lachlan responsible for the infamous Appin Massacre of 1816, where at least 14 defenceless Aborigines were slaughtered by British troops?
“Yes, Lachlan did make mistakes. But hopefully his positives outweigh this mad incident.
“He brought convicts into society and made friends with many. He tried hard to encourage people. For example, he had a doctor friend who had been a convict, and he went against society that had established class barriers.
“Elizabeth also worked with Aborigine women, to educate them. The pair were ahead of their time and Elizabeth was the driving force in the relationship.”
Julie, back on Radio Scotland soon with comedy series Fags, Mags and Bags, had to learn to ride for the role.
“I took lessons and loved it,” she says. “I still do and I suppose it’s the tomboy in me.
“I tried to get Greg to have a go but he took one look at this giant horse and said ‘I don’t think so.’ But it’s great. It’s a new challenge. And that’s what you need in life. ”
Julie’s only disappointment in heading to Australia for two weeks -- the drama is a co-production with Australian television -- was she couldn’t take her boys, Benny, 9, and Chevy, 5, with her.
She added: “The flight was too long for them. But it was great for them to spend time with their dad.
“Although when I did come back I could see the testosterone was still flying everywhere, and I was a bit like Calamity Jane coming in to sort out the menfolk.”
She smiles: “They reckoned it was all right to leap on top of me and start to wrestle.
“I had to remind them I was in fact a lady.”
The Father Of Australia, tonight, BBC2, 9pm.