Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cornelia Frances (1941-2018): Memories of 1970s daytime television

There were certain programmes in the 1970s that you only watched if you were off school with a cold.

There was Crown Court, which is now being lovely chronicled by Ivan Kirby at Fulchester Crown Court.

There was a Scottish soap opera called Take the High Road that seemed to have undergone a complete cast change every time you saw it.

And there were two Australian soaps in these days before Neighbours made them cool.

There was The Sullivans, which I remember for opening titles that featured a photograph coming to life.

And there was the Young Doctors, which I remember for a ferocious nursing sister in an improbable headdress.

Last night I was on a website devoted to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

There I read about Powell's niece Cornelia Frances, who had appeared as an extra in a couple of his later films before emigrating to Australia and becoming a successful actor.

Searching more widely I found it was she who had played that ferocious sister - Sister Grace Scott - in The Young Doctors.

I also learnt that she had died the day before.

The best obituary of Cornelia Frances I have found is in Metro. It tells you she also played Morag Bellingham in Home and Away. as well as being the equivalent of Anne Robinson in Australia's version of The Weakest Link.

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