The TV leg­end who stole our hearts

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Con­tents -

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.”

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