June Salter

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June Salter
June Marie Salter

(1932-06-22)22 June 1932
Died15 September 2001(2001-09-15) (aged 69)
  • actress
  • author
Known forThe Mavis Bramston Show
Certain Women
The Restless Years
A Country Practice
SpouseJohn Meillon (1958–1971)
ChildrenJohn Meillon Jnr

June Marie Salter AM (22 June 1932 – 15 September 2001) was an Australian actress and author prominent in theatre and television, best known for her character roles.


June Salter was born in Bexley, New South Wales, the youngest of six children of Arthur Edward Salter (born c. 1887) and his wife Edna Edythe Salter (died 24 July 1969),[1] who married in 1916 and had a home on Henderson Road, Bexley.[2]

As a child, she studied piano and elocution and attended Kogarah Central Domestic Science Secondary School. She obtained her New South Wales Intermediate Certificate in 1947.[3] While working as a typist-receptionist, she joined the St George Players who played at St James' Hall (later called "Mercury Theatre" then "Phillip Street Theatre") and took further elocution lessons from Rosalind Kennerdale who was married to Lawrence H. Cecil. Largely through their influence, in 1952 she gained acting roles in 2GB's serial Night Beat, continuing her office work part-time until that was no longer possible. With the help of Queenie Ashton, she was accepted onto the books of Central Casting (Ashton's husband John Cover's company). Other jobs followed: Martin's Corner on 2UW, Undercover Carson and Shadows of Doubt on 2GB and Blue Hills for the ABC as Sally Edwards, taking over from original actress Barbara Brunton.[4]

Stage work[edit]

After years of amateur productions, such as St George United Artists' Rookery Nook at St James' Hall[5] in 1953, she was invited to take part in Bill Orr's Hit and Run[6] (the first Phillip Street Revue), then Hat Trick with Charles Tingwell, Gordon Chater, Bettina Welch, John Ewart, Lyle O'Hara and Ray Barrett.[7] This was followed by a prominent role in Hot from Hollywood starring Mel Tormé and Irene Ryan, then Laugh Around the Clock with Billy Russell and Gordon Chater at Tivoli Theatres in Sydney and Melbourne. Her next "Phillip Street Revue" was the long-running Cross Section co-starring first with Ruth Cracknell then John Meillon. It was during this time that in May 1958 John proposed; they were married two months later. They had only been married a few months when John was offered a series of film roles in London. Apart from a few quick trips home they were to remain there together until 1963. But while John was much in demand, there was no call for her talents in London, so when offered a work in the developing television industry she jumped at the chance. She did little stage work until Rattle of a Simple Man for Bill Orr at the Phillip Theatre, co-starring with John who had just returned from London. She starred in There Will Be a Interval of 15 Minutes, again for Bill Orr.

Comedy stints at Frank Strain's "Bull 'n' Bush" theatre-restaurant followed.

Her next major roles were in Crown Matrimonial for Peter Williams as Queen Mary; first at the York Theatre in the Seymour Centre then at the Mayfair Theatre. This was followed by Night Mother with Jill Perryman for Edgar Metcalfe at the Perth Playhouse then nationally.

A string of comedies for Peter Williams followed: Blithe Spirit as "Madame Arcati" for Peter Williams, followed by Relatively Speaking as "Sheila", Bedroom Farce as "Delia", then Mother's Day as "Sophie Greengrass" at the Ensemble Theatre for Edgar Metcalfe and Lettice and Lovage with Ruth Cracknell for Richard Cottrell and the Sydney Theatre Company, opening in 1989 at the Sydney Opera House.

Then came three plays followed at the Marian Street theatre: Love Letters, Rebecca as "Mrs Danvers" and On Golden Pond as "Ethel Thayer". She played Lettice and Lovage again, this time with Judi Farr and directed by Peter Willams.

A one-woman show Legends at the Tilbury Hotel in Woolloomooloo in 1993 received rapturous critique in the Sydney Morning Herald then toured New South Wales.

That was followed by a First Night of the Proms at the Sydney Opera House to celebrate its twentieth anniversary.


June Salter was one of the earliest performers on Australian television, singing "I'm getting nothing for Christmas" from the current Phillip Street Revue at the ATN7 studios in December 1956. Her next (having just returned from London) was a singing spot on Channel 7's Studio A with the Tommy Tycho orchestra, followed appearances in the Mavis Bramston Show comedy series with Gordon Chater, Carol Raye, and Barry Creyton, initially as a guest then co-star.

Her next significant role was in the long-running ABC series Certain Women as solicitor "Freda Lucas" co-starring with Queenie Ashton, Joan Bruce, Jenny Lee, Judy Morris and Elizabeth Crosby.

She remains best known for her role as schoolteacher Elizabeth McKenzie in the soap opera The Restless Years and for her regular guest appearances in A Country Practice as Matron Hilda Arrowsmith.

She played Jim Robinson's mother Bess, in the first series of Neighbours.

She also had guest appearances (mostly for Crawford Productions) on: Cop Shop, Division 4, Matlock Police, Number 96, G.P., Murder Call, All Saints, Holiday Island, The Sullivans, The Adventures of Skippy and Farscape.

She played in the 1982 telemovie Wilde's Domain.

Salter also featured in the film Caddie.


She married John Meillon in 1958, with whom she had a son, John Meillon, Jr. There were years of separation occasioned by the demands of their separate careers, there had been John's problems with alcohol, but their relationship ended when he found a new love. They divorced in 1971. She and John Jr. then lived for some time with longtime acquaintance Gwen Friend, sister of the painter Donald Friend. She never remarried and was distraught when John Meillon died in 1989.


She was a heavy smoker and died of cancer of the oesophagus aged 69 in 2001.



Year Title Role Type
1973 Love At First Sight unknown Film short
1976 Caddie Mrs. Marks Feature film
1977 Dot and the Kangaroo Mrs. Platypus (voice) Animated Feature film
1981 Doctors and Nurses Lady Cliquot Feature film
1993 Shotgun Wedding Voice Feature film


Year Title Role Type
1959-1960 Gaslight Music Hall Herself - Regular TV series
1959 They Were Big, They Were Blue, They Were Beautiful unknown ABC Teleplay
1962 Jonah unknown ABC TV series, 4 episodes
1963 ITV Play of the Week Tess TV series UK, 1 episode
1963 The Scales of Justice Receptionist TV series UK, 1 episode
1964-1966 The Mavis Bramston Show Various characters TV series
1964 Studio A aka 'On Stage' Herself - Regular TV series
1965 Rusty Buggles unknown TV movie
1965 My Brother Jack unknown ABC TV series, 1 episode
1969 The Candidates unknown TV special
1969 A Hard Day's Week unknown TV series
1969 I've Married A Bachelor Margie Bates TV series, 1 episode
1969-1971 Division 4 Mrs. Harvey / Lillian Jordan / Pam Sloan TV series, 3 episodes
1969 News Revue Various characters TV series
1970 Rose And Crown Herself - Regular TV series
1970 The Link Men Judy Raymond TV series, 1 episode
1970 The Kelly Gang unknown TV pilot
1971 Matlock Police Ellen Carey TV series, 1 episode
1971 The Godfathers Madame Zelda TV series, 1 episode
1971 Mavis Bramston Herself TV special
1971-1972 Catwalk Paula Healy TV series, 14 episodes
1972 Redheap Role unknown ABC TV series, 3 episodes
1972 Birds in the Bush aka 'The Virgin Fellas' Role unknown TV series, 1 episode
1972 A Nice Day at the Office Senate Committee Woman ABC TV series, 1 episode
1972 Boney Mrs. Larkins TV series, 1 episode
1972-1977 Certain Women Frieda Lucas ABC TV series, 257 episodes
1973 Seven Little Australians Miss Ada ABC TV miniseries, 1 episode
1973 The Evil Touch Louise Carlyle TV series, 1 episode "The Upper Hand"
1976 Bluey Lilly Morris TV series, 1 episode
1976 The Celebrity Game Herself TV series
1977;1978 Graham Kennedy's Blankety Blanks Herself - Panellist TV series, 2 episodes
1977 Hotel Story Annabelle Lee TV series, 1 episode
1977 Number 96 Meg Robinson TV series, 4 episodes
1977 The Young Doctors Elizabeth Neilsen TV series, 5 episodes
1977;1979 Sammy Awards Herself TV special
1977-1982 The Restless Years Miss Elizabeth McKenzie / Miss McKenzie TV series, 814 episodes
1978 Because He's My Friend aka 'Love Under Pressure' Val ABC TV movie, US/AUSTRALIA
1978 Bill Collins Showbiz Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1978 Cappriccio Herself ABC TV series, 1 episode
1978 This Is Your Life Herself - Surprised Guest TV series, 1 episode
1979 Sammy Awards Herself TV special
1980 Celebrity Tattletales Herself TV series, 2 episodes
1981 Parkinson In Australia Herself ABC TV series, 1 episode
1981 Holiday Island unknown TV series, 2 episodes
1981 The Saturday Show Herself - Guest ABC TV series, 1 episode
1981 The 1981 Australian Film Institute Awards Herself - Presenter ABC TV special
1982 Wilde's Domain Hannah Wilde ABC TV movie
1983 Cop Shop Pauline Clarke TV series, 2 episodes
1982 The Sullivans Role unknown TV series
1982 Living Together Role unknown TV pilot
1982 Secret Valley Guest role ABC TV series, 1 episode
1983;1985-1986;1987;1989 A Country Practice Guest role: Hannah Green TV series, 2 episodes
1983 The River Of Giants Herself - Narrator TV documentary
1983 Learned Friends Guest role ABC TV series
1984 Who Killed Hannah Jane? Mrs. Edwards ABC TV movie
1984 The Last Bastion Eleanor Roosevelt TV miniseries, 3 episodes
1985 The Adventures of Robin Hood Voice Animated TV movie
1985 Neighbours Bess Robinson TV series, 6 episodes
1985-1986 A Country Practice Recurring role: Matron Hilda Arrowsmith / Hilda Arrowsmith TV series, 12 episodes
1986 Butterfly Island Guest role TV series, 1 episode
1986 The Lancaster Miller Affair Recurring role: Maud Lancaster TV miniseries, 3 episodes
1987 A Country Practice Recurring role: Matron Hilda Arrowsmith / Hilda Arrowsmith TV series, 2 episodes
1988 Emma: Queen of the South Seas Recurring role: Mrs. Dr. Lane TV miniseries, 2 episodes
1989 A Country Practice Recurring Guest role: Matron Hilda Arowsmith / Hilda Arrowsmith TV series, 2 episodes
1989 Rafferty's Rules Guest role: Diedre Potter TV series, 1 episode
1991 Boys from the Bush Guest role: Sarah TV series, 1 episode
1991 In Sydney Today Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1991 Tonight Live With Steve Vizard Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1992 The New Adventures of Skippy Guest role: Eleanor TV series, 1 episode
1993;1995 At Home Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1995 Good Morning Australia Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1995 After the Beep Regular role: Kath Dillon TV series, 7 episodes
1995 At Home Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1996 G.P. Guest role: ABC TV series, 1 episode
1998 Search for Treasure Island Recurring role: Mrs. Silver TV series, 8 episodes
1998 FCTV Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1998 Murder Call Guest role: Dolly Carlisle TV series, 1 episode
1998 All Saints Recurring Guest role: Sister Maguire TV series, 2 episodes
1999 Farscape Guest role: Dimensional Being (voice) TV series, 1 episode
1999 Time And Tide Dorothy TV movie
1999 Fox Studios Australia: The Grand Opening Herself TV special


  • Penguin Award 1975, 1976 for her role in Certain Women.
  • Sammy award for her part in the short-lived Hotel Story TV series
  • The Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
  • Golden Sammy award for Certain Women
  • Appearance on Channel 7's This Is Your Life
  • Glugs award for Crown Matrimonial 1978
  • Member of the Order of Australia (AM), Australia Day Honours 1982, "for service to the performing arts"[8]
  • Salter was the subject of the second episode of Face Painting with Bill Leak, which aired on ABC TV on 24 November 2008.


  1. ^ "Family Notices". The Canberra Times. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 25 July 1969. p. 14. Retrieved 12 February 2020 – via Trove.
  2. ^ "Tram Guard Injured". The Propeller. New South Wales, Australia. 21 October 1927. p. 3. Retrieved 12 February 2020 – via Trove.
  3. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 31 January 1948, p. 5
  4. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 13 May 1954
  5. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 7 June 1952
  6. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 18 September 1954
  7. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 4 November 1954
  8. ^ It's an Honour


External links[edit]