Tributes paid to Neighbours and A Country Practice actress Joan Sydney who has died aged 86 – – Our News, Your Views

Tributes paid to Neighbours and A Country Practice actress Joan Sydney who has died aged 86

Image source: SMH

Theatre and film star Joan Sydney was remembered as “a corker of a character” following her death at the age of 86.

The British-Australian actress died in a nursing facility in Victoria, Australia on December 29 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her eldest son, Tony Braxton-Smith, confirmed the news in a statement on Thursday.

“I think she will be fondly remembered as a great entertainer with a wicked wit and a warm heart,” he said, reports RTE.

Sydney, who was the older sister of actress Maggie King, became a household name after starring in A Country Practice as the no-nonsense character Matron Margaret Sloane.

She then starred in over 400 episodes of the hit drama about the inhabitants of the small rural town of Wandin Valley in New South Wales.

Sydney would later appear in Neighbours playing fan favourite character Valda Sheergold before becoming a permanent cast member in 2007.

Her other television credits include the role of Ruth Dooley in Something In the Air, the role of Merle MacDonald in Mother And Son and the title role in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, where she played Mother Aloysius.

Long-time friend and Miss Fisher’s co-star Sally-Anne Upton said Sydney had “a beautiful soul”.

Speaking of the actress and her sister, she said: “”They were very English, they were very distinguished, they were very naughty,” reports RTE.

Born in England on 5 September 1936, Sydney grew up in Wales and trained as a classical actor at the Oldham Repertory Theatre.

She emigrated to Australia in 1965 and performed in theatres, musicals and restaurant plays in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne prior to her television career.

Another of her signature roles was playing Mary Patchett in the Australian soap opera E Street where she became known for her bright nature, comedic timing and upbeat voice.

She is survived by her daughter and two sons and she will be buried next to her sister in a private ceremony.

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