Actress Betty Bobbitt, who played one of Australian TV’s earliest and longest-running lesbian characters Judy Bryant on Prisoner, has died at age 81.
Her family announced Betty died earlier today (November 30) after suffering a stroke last Wednesday. She subsequently spent five days in pallative care.
Her son Chris took to the actress’s Facebook page to tell fans her prognosis wasn’t good.
“Mum had a massive stroke on Wednesday night and is now in palliative care in hospital. She is not expected to recover,” Chris wrote.
“We are hugely devastated and struggling to come to terms with such a sudden event.
“My mum has been a legend, an inspiration, a mentor and icon for so many.
“She has always loved and respected her fans and I feel she would want me to let you know what what was going on.”
On Monday afternoon, Chris provided a sad update.
“Sadly Mum passed away this morning at 10:20am after five nights in hospital,” he wrote.
“She was peaceful and in no pain.”
Hundreds responded to Chris’ Facebook posts with tributes and messages paying tribute to the actress.
Betty Bobbitt is best known for playing Judy Bryant on Prisoner
Born in the US, Betty Bobbitt came to Australia for an acting job that turned into a decades-long career.
However she’s best known for playing inmate Judy Bryant on Prisoner, one of Australian TV’s earliest lesbian characters.
Originally only a thirteen-week stint, Judy went on to became one of the women’s prison soap opera’s longest running characters, appearing in a staggering 430 episodes from 1980 to 1985.
Bobbitt told TV Tonight in 2011 she loved working on the show.
“I made friends with all the cast members and had a good time,” she told TV Tonight in 2011.
“It gave me unbelievable money I never thought I would have. I bought a house while I was doing it.”
Last year, Bobbitt spoke at an event for the the show’s 40th anniversary reunion.
She said in recent years Prisoner fans around the world were still contacting her about the show.
“I didn’t believe that this show we did in the early 80s was still popular,” she said.
“Then I realised the following and it was amazing. I’m not very keen on being a star and all of that stuff.
“You want to pay me money for my autograph? Shutup!”
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