FAREWELL JUDITH MCGRATH 1947–2017
The TV legend who stole our hearts
Her friends adored her for her wicked sense of humour and her trademark eye roll, while her fans loved her for her legendary roles in some of Australia’s most iconic TV shows – Prisoner, A Country Practice and All Saints.
And last week, as news broke of Judith Mcgrath’s sudden passing, her friend and fellow All Saints star Josh Quong Tart described the actress as “an incredible confidante, someone you could call at night and pour your heart out to”.
The TV legend, who sadly passed away at only 70, began her career in Brisbane’s theatre scene and got her big break starring on Prisoner in 1979.
But she was best loved for her Silver Logie-nominated role playing Yvonne “Von” Ryan in All Saints. Perhaps a sign of just how adored she was, she was the only original cast member to star in all 12 seasons of the iconic hospital drama.
While details of her death had not been made public at the time Woman’s Day went to print, Judith’s management last week confirmed she died surrounded by love.
“I am extremely saddened to hear that Judith passed away on Friday evening, 20th of October 2017. She passed away surrounded by her family and friends in her hometown of Brisbane,” a rep for the actress said in a statement soon after, adding, “Judith was an incredible performer and an Australian legend, an amazing character actor who lent true depth and authenticity to her roles on stage and on screen.”
Georgie Parker, 52, who worked with Judith on A Country Practice and All Saints, was just one of the many stars who posted tributes in the wake of her passing. “I learnt so much from this talented, witty person,” she wrote. “Didn’t get to tell you how much you meant to me, but you would have told me to shut up anyway.”
Meanwhile, Fremantlemedia’s head of drama Jo Porter, who worked with Judith on All Saints and was also a close friend, described her as “all showgirl legs and the best laugh ever”.
She added Judith was “one of those incredible character actors who stole hearts and scenes, perhaps never really getting the true accolades she deserved.
“Judith was adored by her colleagues and by the public, though she would be too modest to admit that.”