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Mary Ward (actress) is confirmed dead at the age of 106.

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Mary was best known as a Australian actress (Prisoner).
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Mary Ward (actress)
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Mary Ward
Born(1915-03-06)6 March 1915
Died19 July 2021(2021-07-19) (aged 106)
Other namesMary Ward Breheny
  • Actress
  • radio announcer
Years active
  • Film 1949-1997
  • Television 1951–2000
  • Radio 1939–1945
  • Theatre 1934–1994
Known for
Mary Ward (6 March 1915 – 19 July 2021), also known as Mary Ward Breheny, was an Australian actress of stage, television, and film, and a radio announcer. Ward trained in England and Australia, and worked in England on the stage circuit, before appearing in film.
Ward returned to Australia prior to World War II, where she became one of the first female radio announcers at the ABC in Australia.
At ABC Television, she appeared in a number of filmed stage plays, as well as featuring in Australian films, both made-for-television and theatrical.
She is perhaps best known—both locally and internationally—as an actress portraying elderly characters in television soap opera roles, including the original character of convict "Mum" (Jeanette) Brooks in the cult series Prisoner, in which she appeared sporadically from 1979 and 1981, and as devious Dee Morrell in the soap opera Sons and Daughters in 1983. Ward also had smaller roles in Neighbours and Blue Heelers. Her acting career spanned six decades, until retiring in 2000. In 2020, Ward, who resides in Melbourne, turned 105 years old, and was at the time the oldest living actress in Australia. She died at the age of 106 on 19 July 2021.
1 Biography
1.1 Early life and career in England
2 Career: television, stage and film
3 Prisoner and Sons and Daughters
4 The Hendersons
5 Later film and TV
6 Filmography
6.1 Film
6.2 Television
7 References
8 External links
Early life and career in England
Ward was born in Fremantle, Western Australia on 6 March 1915, to a pearler-turned-publican, and was a child during the Spanish flu epidemic
Ward attended boarding school and began acting professionally shortly after leaving high school, and later studied at the Perth drama school, where she befriended mining magnate Lang Hancock. She also studied in England, and worked as a teacher of elocution and meeting Lionel Logue who was a speech therapist who helped King George VI, overcome his stutter. Ward worked in England in repertory, stage, theatre and film, before returning to Australia prior to World War II, when she became one of the first female radio announcers for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (then Commission) during the war, where she was billed as "The Forces Sweetheart". She returned to the English stage, while also performing parts for the British Broadcasting Corporation, and appeared in a cameo role in the 1949 film, Eureka Stockade.
Ward returned to Australia again in the early 1950s, and made her first television appearance as a minor character in detective series The Vise - originally titled Saber of London - in 1954, and in the television movie The High-Flying Head the following year. She had starring roles in the television movies Marriage Lines and The Tower.
Career: television, stage and film
She began working in television full-time in the mid-1970s, appearing in the series Rush, Homicide, and as Aunt Marian Castle in Don Chaffey's Harness Fever with Andrew McFarlane, Robert Bettles and Tom Farley (actor) in 1977. Harness Fever would later appear as a two-part episode, Born to Ride, on Wonderful World of Disney in 1979. She continued her stage work in the 1970s with the Melbourne Theatre Company, remaining with the company until 1983, performing in a David Williamson stage production. Guest roles include series The Young Doctors and A Country Practice
Prisoner and Sons and Daughters
In 1979, Ward first appeared in one of her best known roles, "Mum" (Jeanette) Brooks, on the popular soap opera Prisoner. She portrayed an elderly institutionalised inmate, serving an eighteen-year prison sentence for the euthanisation of her terminally-ill husband Jim Brooks. When the filming schedule for the series increased from one to two hours per week in 1979, she and co-star Carol Burns decided to leave the series. However, her character remained a popular one during the show's early years, and she reprised her role occasionally until her character died off-screen in 1983. She starred with a number of her fellow Prisoner co-stars in the 1981 television movie I Can Jump Puddles as a character called Mrs. Birdsworth.
She before given the prominent role as scheming Dee Morrell in Sons and Daughters during 1983.
The Hendersons
Ward starred in the 1985 television series The Henderson Kids and its 1987 follow-up series The Henderson Kids II.
Later film and TV
During the late-1980s, she had supporting roles in films Jenny Kissed Me and Backstage as well as appearing in more soap guest roles including G.P. and Neighbours in 1989. After starring in the 1989 television movie Darlings of the Gods, she returned again to the theatre and, in 1991, appeared in the play Alive and Kicking.
With the exception of an appearance in the television series The Damnation of Harvey McHugh in 1994, and appearing in the film Amy in 1997. Between 1999 and 2000, she played the recurring character Betty Withers in the police drama Blue Heelers. She retired from the industry in 2000
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