“Neighbours” is an Australian soap opera set in the fictitious Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough. It originally followed three families on Ramsey Street: the Clarkes, Ramsays, and Robinsons. On the long-running programme, which has devoted viewers for decades, interpersonal drama and comedy frequently mix. “Neighbors” is one of Australia’s most successful cultural exports, with hundreds of episodes under its belt (not including Vegemite).
The programme has been nominated for 76 awards, with 25 of them being won. According to The Guardian, “Neighbours” was a hit in the United Kingdom, where it was “sold to more than 60 nations,” despite its failure in the United States. Nonetheless, according to a 2016 report from TV Tonight, the series has been a huge hit, averaging over 200,000 viewers every episode.
The inaugural episodes of “Neighbours” aired in 1985, and the show has been on the air since since. With such a storied history, it’s no wonder that the series has produced a slew of rising stars, including Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Guy Pearce, and Russell Crowe. In reality, while speaking with the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Robbie said that she “was working at Subway” prior to her “Neighbours” popularity. Pearce is still haunted by his time on “Neighbours.” In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, he joked that his “Mare of Easttown” co-star Kate Winslet would frequently sing the show’s theme song to him.
Although not all of the cast members are still alive, they are not forgotten.
Mrs. Forbes, played by Gwen Plumb in “Neighbours,” was a pleasant and sympathetic farm owner. Mrs. Forbes is a minor character who meets up with several of the main characters in a 10-episode storyline during the first season of the programme in 1985.
Plumb was born on August 2, 1912, and died on June 5, 2002. She had a lengthy and varied career, performing in a variety of mediums such as radio, vaudeville, television, cinema, and theatre. She is likely most recognised for her brief appearance on “The Young Doctors,” which was at the time Australia’s longest-running series (via The Sydney Morning Herald). “Richmond Hill,” “Stark,” and “Home and Away” are among Plumb’s other acting credits.
Plumb was an important part of Sydney’s 2GB radio station’s success, and he was named a star. “One of the rare women… who can blend female authority, friendliness, and role model on broadcast,” said John Brennan, a 2GB director. Plumb also released her own autobiography, “Plumb Crazy,” in 1994. Plumb’s old friend Gordan Chater, who wrote the preface to the Plumb autobiography, stated, “This book will help you solve a lot of issues. It will make me giggle when I’m depressed (via The Sydney Morning Herald).”
Plumb was even made a member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for her charitable contributions and involvement in the entertainment industry (via Trove). Gwen Plumb’s longtime companion was Thelma Scott, a fellow performer well remembered for her role in “Number 96.”
On April 25, 2013, Johnny Lockwood, who portrayed Harry Henderson on “Neighbours,” died. Harry Henderson is most known for winning a game of cards and becoming the proprietor of a coffee business (apparently Australian Poker is high stakes). Johnny Lockwood began his career as a completely humorous actor, but he went on to feature in soap operas and dramas, including “E Street,” “Spyforce,” and, probably most memorably, “Number 96.”
Lockwood, who was born on December 7, 1920, took a hiatus from the entertainment industry to serve in the Royal Air Force during World War II, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Joanna Lockwood, Lockwood’s daughter, is also an actor who has appeared in films such as “Cop Shop” and “E Street.” Joanna commented (on TV Tonight) about her father, “His talents and career spanned far more than just one show. Dad had a hard exterior and a mushy inside. He aided anybody in the business he came across without their knowledge. He was a great assistance to folks who were going through difficult times due to illness or other circumstances.”
In 2010, on his 90th birthday, the old cast of “”Number 96” reunited, with Lockwood declaring (Now To Love), “This is probably the last time we’ll ever get together like this.” I was orphaned when I was 11 years old. These folks were incredibly crucial to me while we were doing the programme in the 1970s. It’s like being part of a family.”
Stewart Adam, who portrayed Aaron Barkley, a mechanic on “Neighbours,” died unexpectedly on June 21, 2004. Despite the fact that Aaron was not a key character on “Neighbours,” The Sydney Morning Herald noted that the up-and-coming actor who played the amiable mechanic had a significant influence on the rest of the ensemble. In 2003 and 2004, he appeared in three episodes of “Neighbours,” which was his sole significant acting role. Stewart Adam worked as a professional model before joining the cast.
Adam, who was born in 1980, was just 24 years old when he died of a blood clot caused by a disorder known as deep vein thrombosis.
“The cast was taken aback. When the announcement was made in the Green Room, they were all taken aback. I’m not sure anyone believed what they were hearing at the time “In 2004, a representative for the programme claimed (via The Herald Sun). Deborah Miller, Adam’s manager, also told the magazine, “He had everything. He was the most unique and attractive person you could ever meet. He hadn’t been modelling for long, but he had a bright career ahead of him. He was brilliant, good-looking, well-mannered, and exceedingly professional, and he drew international attention. He possessed everything. His demise was tragic.”
On May 6, 2017, Val Jellay died of pneumonia. On “Neigbours,” Jellay portrayed Lyn O’Rourke’s mother, Connie O’Rourke, for an eight-episode run in 2000. Connie was mostly a sidekick to Lyn, although it was later revealed that she was not Lyn’s original mother.
Jellay, who was born on September 25, 1927, had a long career in the entertainment industry. She is the mother of comedian Marty Fields and has worked as an actor, playwright, and dancer. “It was quite wonderful moving into television actually because we had come from theatre, the vaudeville guys, and we understood how to manage props and how to quiet up while the other one was speaking and how to remember lines,” Jellay told a radio station in 2011.
Val Jelly married Maurie Fields in 1960, and the couple remained married until Fields’ death in 1995. “Matlock Police,” “Homicide,” “Cop Shop,” “Prisoner,” and “The Flying Doctors” are among Jellay’s acting credits. She began acting at the age of four and performed in “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” alongside her son, Marty Fields. Jellay’s son commented (through Television.au) on the day of her death, “She had an incredible life. She’s finally reunited with her beloved Maurie. I’ll miss her terribly.”