Actress Vivean Gray – who played Neighbours busybody Nell Mangel – has died.
British-born Gray, who also played Ida Jessup in The Sullivans, passed away at the age of 92, nearly three decades after her retirement from acting in 1988.
Network Ten’s Head of Drama Rick Maier told Australia’s 9 News: “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 on Neighbours, was among those paying tribute on Twitter.
Vivean Gray:Legend many times over.I was privileged to know and work with her.We laughed a lot creating The Mangel https://t.co/1sejJjptOO.
— ⭐️MARK LITTLE ⭐️ (@themarklittle) July 29, 2016
Moral guardian Mrs Mangel is one of the Australian soap’s most fondly remembered characters, although her interfering ways earned Gray criticism from fans confusing reality with fiction. Speaking in 1989, the actress said:
“I loved Neighbours and the rest of the cast were marvellous. But because it was so successful I could barely set foot outside my own door without someone screaming abuse at horrid old ‘Mrs Mangel’. People didn’t seem to appreciate it was acting. So I decided to take a break.”
Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer, commented today: “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.”
You can watch Mrs Mangel (and actress Vivean Gray’s) final Neighbours scene below: