The Alzheimer’s disease-stricken English Australian actor passed away in December at his Sydney home. Joan Sydney, who starred in Neighbours and A Country Practice, passed away at 83.
The performer from England and Australia, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, passed away on December 28 at her home in Sydney. Sally-Anne Upton, a fellow actor and her longtime friend, announced the news on social media on Friday.
For her portrayal of the matron Margaret “Maggie” Sloane in A County Practice, a character she portrayed throughout the 1980s, Sydney earned a Logie in 1989 for the most outstanding actress. She started appearing in Neighbours as Valda Sheergold in the early 2000s. She appeared in episodes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Mother and Son on Australian television.
Sydney began her acting career after graduating from Manchester’s Oldham Repertory Theatre. She made her feature debut in the 1957 movie When We Are Married at 19. She immigrated to Australia from the UK in 1965, settling in Perth before relocating to Sydney.
She recurred in the A Country Practice role that made her famous in 1993, four years after the Seven Network had canceled the program and the rival network Ten had brought it back.
Upton, who first met Sydney at a fundraiser in the 1990s, paid tribute to her friend on social media, saying: “Thank you for all you have taught me, love, friendship, many memories shared that will be treasured forever.”
Her fellow A Country Practice star, Shane Withington, wrote on Twitter: “This is terrible news. Comedy is never as easy as it looks and this lady made it look effortless. I adored her.”
Maggie King, an actress who frequently costarred with Sydney and was her younger sister, passed away two years ago. Sydney left behind two sons, a daughter, and herself.
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Joan Sydney, a Country Practice star, passes away at 86
Actress Joan Sydney, a Logie winner, has passed away at the age of 86 in her home city of Sydney. From 1983 through 1990, Sydney starred as Matron Maggie Sloane on A Country Practice, gaining widespread recognition. In 1989, she was voted the year’s most famous actress, earning her the silver Logie award.
In the 2007-2008 television year, Sydney starred in Neighbours as Valda Sheergold and made regular appearances on E Street as publican Mary Patchett. The sitcom Mother and Son, the dramas All Saints, Something in the Air, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and many others all featured her as a guest star at one point or another.
She had a role in the 2013 biographical television film Cliffy on the Australian marathoner Cliff Young. They originated in the United Kingdom. Growing up in Wales, Joan Sydney King was born on September 5, 1936. She attended Oldham Repertory Theatre to study classical acting.
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After being advised her name, Joan King sounded too similar to “Joking” in Germany, she adopted her middle name, Sydney, as her stage name instead.
“Sydney was a family name which dates back to the 1800s when her merchant seaman forebears visited Sydney and loved it as a harbor and took it as a name,” her son Tony Braxton-Smith said.
Matron Sloan steals the show, A Country Practice, 1984
RIP Joan Sydney (1939-2023) pic.twitter.com/UDnfByD6l7
— australian kitsch 🦘 (@OzKitsch) January 5, 2023
Before making it big on TV, she performed in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne theatres and musicals and at theatre restaurants. She eventually made her home with her sister in Balmain, a suburb of Sydney. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which she would fight for the next several years until her death on December 28, 2022. A daughter and two sons are left behind for Sydney to care for.
At a private ceremony, she will rest next to her sister and lifelong partner, the actress Maggie King.
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