British-born actress Vivean Gray, who famously played Mrs Mangel in the early years of Aussie soap Neighbours, has passed away aged 92
Vivean Gray – the British-born actress who played meddlesome Neighbours character Nell Mangel – has died at the age of 92.
Vivean was best known for her role in the Australian soap, but also played gossipy neighbour Ida Jessup in The Sullivans.
She landed her most famous role, as busybody Mrs Mangel in Neighbours, in 1986.
The actress became an overnight star in the soap, but her role was so convincing that she received abuse from viewers, and decided to leave Neighbours after two years.
“You’ve just got to have a sense of humour about the whole thing, and rationalise it by saying at least the character is working!” she once said of the reaction to her alter-ego.
Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said in a statement: “It’s with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Vivean Gray.
“Mrs Mangel was the ultimate busybody, remembered for her conservatism and her caustic wit. She was a true soap legend and we thank her for all the wonderful memories.”
Rick Maier, head of drama at Network Ten, told Australian blog TV Tonight: “Mrs Mangel and Mrs Jessup were two of our most iconic characters from one our very best character actors.
“Ramsay Street changed forever, and certainly no secret was ever safe, with Mrs Mangel on the lookout.
“Vivean’s contribution to Australian drama will never be forgotten. It is a very sad day for the Neighbours family.”
Mark Little, who played Joe Mangel in the soap, paid tribute on Twitter.
Jean Vivra Gray was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, the eldest of four children and the daughter of a fish and chip owner.
The family moved to Surrey and Vivean came to acting late in life, after working as a photographer’s assistant and a sales assistant in a department store.
She moved to Australia in 1953, looking for acting work, and landed roles on the stage and in radio.
The actress is said to have moved back to West Sussex after leaving Neighbours.
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