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Gwendoline Jean Plumb
2 August 1912
Stanmore, New South Wales Australia
|Died||5 June 2002 (aged 89)|
Kirribilli, New South Wales Australia
|Occupation(s)||Stage, radio and television actress|
Gwendoline Jean Plumb AM BEM (2 August 1912 – 5 June 2002), was an Australian performer of international appeal, actress and comedian active in literally every form of the art genre, (except circus) including revue, pantomime, vaudeville, interviewing, stage, radio, game shows, live appearances, television soap opera and mini-series and made-for-TV film.
She was considered the Grand Dame of Australian entertainment, best known to local and international audiences in serial The Young Doctors as gossip Ada Simmonds, the ill-fated Richmond Hill as Mum Foote and the pilot of Home and Away as Doris Peters.
Gwen started her career in 1930, with the Gwen Meredith drama club, she had her first well-known role as Emmie in the longest-running Australian radio serial Blue Hills, and hosted a radio program on Australia's Macquarie Radio Network from 1945 to 1974. She also had a radio show in Sydney opposite Gordon Chater. She was well known for her celebrity interviews, including travelling to Europe to conduct recordings.
Plumb had a long career in the theatre, was a cast member of the debut season of the Old Tote Theatre Company, travelled extensively overseas to interview celebrities for her own radio programme, and once quipped that she "played in just about every form of public entertainment except the circus".
She is probably best remembered for the Australian soap opera The Young Doctors as Ada Simmonds for its entire November 1976 – March 1983 run. She released a cook book, What's Cooking with Ada, under her characters name in 1980. Other notable roles were in the mini-series The Harp in the South and Poor Man's Orange in the mid-1980s. She acted in Neighbours as Mrs. Forbes in 1985, appearing in scenes opposite Alan Dale, with whom she had starred in The Young Doctors.
She later played the key role of in the serial Richmond Hill as Mum Foote in 1988. Having agreed to act in the planned new series, Plumb was offered, and played in the pilot of another proposed series Home and Away as Doris Peters. When Home and Away also went into production, Plumb opted to honour her earlier agreement to do Richmond Hill. The role of Mum Foote had been specially written with her in mind by show creator, Reg Watson. Richmond Hill had a run of just 12 months, and Plumb stayed with the series for all of that time; Home and Away on the other hand is still running today. In 1995 Plumb returned to Home and Away for a number of episodes, playing a different character.
Plumb also appeared in the mini-series Stark, based on Ben Elton's novel of the same name.
Plumb's lifelong partner was Australian radio, stage and screen actress Thelma Scott, best known for serial Number 96 as pompous socialite Clair Houghton.
Plumb wrote her autobiography, Plumb Crazy which was published by Pan Macmillan in 1994.
British and Australian honours
Plumb was awarded a British Empire Medal in 1973, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993. Both awards recognised her community and charity work.
|c.1940s||Blue Hills (Radio series)||Emmie|
|1945–1974||Macquarie Radio Network||Hostess as herself|
|unknown years||Radio 2GB Radio Show With Gordon Chater||Hostess/interviewer|
|1960||The Sundowners||(uncredited)||Feature film, US/AUSTRALIA|
|1982||Ginger Meggs||Miss Leach||Feature film|
|1958–1963||Women's World||Herself – Host||TV series|
|1959||A Tongue of Silver||Role unknown||Teleplay|
|1960||Venus Observed||Role unknown||Teleplay|
|1961||Corinth House||Mrs. Heysham||Teleplay|
|1962||Consider Your Verdict||Guest role||TV series, 1 episode|
|1962||Jonah||Guest role: Lady Jane Franklin||ABC TV series, 1 episode|
|1965||Write Me a Murder||Elizabeth Wooley||TV film|
|1965||Adventure Unlimited||Guest role||TV series, 1 episode "Crocodile"|
|1965||The Mavis Bramston Show||Herself – Various Characters||TV series|
|1966||Wall to Wall||Role unknown||ABC Teleplay|
|1966||Australian Playhouse||Guest roles: Mrs. Cooper / Elsie Hopewell||ABC TV series, 2 episodes "The Prowler"|
|Nice 'n Juicy||Guest role: Mrs. Withers||TV series, 2 episodes|
|1969||The Don Lane Tonight Show||Herself – Guest||TV series, 1 episode|
|1969||Gwennie and Noel||Herself – Host||TV series|
|1970||The Rovers||Guest role: Gaylene Higgins||TV series, 1 episode|
|1973||Boney||Guest role: Miss Packer||TV series, 1 episode|
|1974||Mac and Merle||Lead role: Merle McInerney||TV pilot|
|1975||Celebrity Squares||Herself||TV series, 1 episode|
|1976||This Is Your Life||Herself||TV series, 1 episode|
|1976–1982||The Young Doctors||Regular role: Ada Simmons||TV series, 1394 episodes|
|1977||Bobby Dazzler||Guest role: Dinner Guest 1||TV series, 1 episode|
|1980||Telethon '80||Herself||TV special|
|1981||Parkinson in Australia||Herself – Guest||ABC TV series, 1 episode|
|1982||The Daryl Somers Show||Herself – Guest||TV series, 1 episode|
|1983||The Mike Walsh Show||Herself – Guest||TV series, 1 episode|
|1985||Neighbours||Recurring Guest role: Mrs. Forbes||TV series, 10 episodes|
|1985||The Man in the Iron Mask||Peronne (voice)||TV film|
|1986||A Halo for Athuan||Lead role: Mother Paul||ABC TV film|
|1987||The Harp in the South||Recurring role: Grandma Kilker||TV miniseries, 3 episodes|
|1987||Poor Man's Orange||Recurring role: Grandma Kilker||TV miniseries, 2 episodes|
|1987||I've Come About the Suicide||Support role: Miss Clemesha||TV film|
|1987||The Flying Doctors||Guest role: Nellie Keene||TV series, 1 episode|
|1988||Richmond Hill||Regular role: Mum Foote||TV series, 38 episodes|
|Home and Away||Recurring Guest role: Doris Peters||TV series, 4 episodes|
|1992||In Sydney Today||Herself – Guest||TV series, 1 episode|
|1992||A Country Practice||Guest role: Morna Peacock||TV series, 1 episode|
|1993||The Late Show||Herself||ABC TV series, 1 episode|
|1993||Stark||Recurring role: Mrs. Tyron||ABC TV miniseries, 3 episodes|
|1994||Under The Skin||Role unknown||SBS TV film series, 1 episode "The Family Spirit"|
|1994||At Home||Herself – Guest||TV series, 1 episode|
|1994||Today||Herself – Guest||TV series, 1 episode|
|1994||TVTV||Herself with The Young Doctors cast||ABC TV series, 1 episode|
|1995||Home and Away||Recurring Guest role: Elizabeth Clarke||TV series, 4 episodes|
|1999||Funny By George: The George Wallace Story||Herself||ABC TV special|
|1976–1983||The Young Doctors||Ada Simmonds (1,394 Episodes)|
- ^ "Star of the Air". Pittsworth Sentinel (Qld. : 1919 – 1954). 29 June 1946. p. 1. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Gwen Plumb". Muswellbrook Chronicle (NSW : 1898 – 1955). 21 November 1947. p. 3. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Gwen Plumb in BBG's Twenty Questions". South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 – 1954). 11 October 1954. p. 6. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Gwen Plumb to tour with Bea Lillie". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954). 19 October 1954. p. 11. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Women's Interests on the Air Film Star on 2GB". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954). 3 June 1954. p. 5. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Untitled". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954). 17 September 1953. p. 7. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Plumb Crazy all these years". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 2002.
- ^ Sheldon, Gordon (3 October 1991). "Cheerful amoral piece". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). p. 15. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Timestyle". The Canberra Times. 20 July 1980. p. 19. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ Plumb, Gwen (1980). What's cooking with Ada? by Ada Simmonds. Melbourne : Unicorn Books. ISBN 9780867570113.
- ^ "The Harp in the South". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). 21 December 1992. p. 34. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "TV favourites return". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). 24 January 1988. p. 20. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ Wallace, Mark (9 August 1993). "Stark". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). p. 25. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ Meade, Amanda (30 November 2006). "Not the nine o'clock news". The Australian. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- ^ Plumb crazy / Gwen Plumb
- ^ "It's an Honour: BEM". Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- ^ "It's an Honour: AM". Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- ^ "Colleague's bravery honoured in Sydney ceremony". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). 24 September 1993. p. 6. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- ^ "Search Australian Honours". It's an honour. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
- Gwen Plumb at IMDb