Joan Sydney dies aged 86: is Neighbours and A Country Practice star’s cause of death known? What has been said
Joan Sydney was the older sister of actress Maggie King
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Star of screen and stage Joan Sydney has been remembered as “a corker of a character” following her death at the age of 86.
The British-Australian actress died in a care facility in Victoria, Australia, on 29 December. Her eldest son Tony Braxton-Smith confirmed the news to the PA news agency on Thursday (5 January).
Sydney, who was the older sister of actress Maggie King, became a household name after starring in A Country Practice as no-nonsense character Matron Margaret Sloane. She went on to star in more than 400 episodes of the hit drama about the residents of the small country town of Wandin Valley in New South Wales.
Sydney would later go on to appear in Neighbours playing fan-favourite character Valda Sheergold before becoming a permanent cast member in 2007. The actress’ other TV credits include playing Ruth Dooley in Something In the Air, appearing as Merle MacDonald in Mother And Son and starring in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries where she played Mother Aloysius.
Here is all you need to know:
Is Joan Sydney’s cause of death known?
The soap star died on 29 December after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was in a care facility in Victoria, Australia.
Have tributes been paid to her?
Joan Sydney’s death was confirmed by her eldest son Tony Braxton-Smith. He said: “I think she will be fondly remembered as a great entertainer with a wicked wit and a warm heart.”
Long-time friend and Miss Fisher co-star Sally-Anne Upton said Sydney had “a beautiful soul”. Speaking about the actress and her sister Maggie King, she told PA: “They were very English, they were very distinguished, they were very naughty.
“She had a beautiful soul, Joan, they both did, and a sense of benevolence. They understood to look after the underdogs. They also had a great sense of pride about their heritage and were incredibly family orientated. (Sydney) was an absolute corker of a character.”
Joan Sydney will have a private ceremony
Born in England on 5 September 1936, Sydney grew up in Wales and trained as a classic actor at Oldham Repertory Theatre. She emigrated to Australia in 1965 and played in theatre, musicals and theatre restaurants in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne before her television career.
Another of her defining roles was playing Mary Patchett in Australian soap opera E Street, where she became known for her bright nature, comedic timing and cheerful singing voice. She is survived by her daughter and two sons and will be laid to rest near her sister at a private ceremony.