This week on Neighbours, prepare yourself to say goodbye to some well-known Ramsay Street faces as Finn Kelly begins his path of destruction. To get you in the mood for some Erinsborough heartbreak, we take a look back at some other deaths that have rocked the show.
The first regular character to die, Daphne’s demise remains a fan favourite and a real tearjerker. Actress Elaine Smith had left the show a few months prior, with Daphne heading off to look after her sick father. When the character was due to return, she was involved in a car accident and left in a coma. She woke up just long enough to say the now infamous words “I love you too, Clarkey,” to husband Des before passing away in his arms. Word is that the Smith learned a double was to be used for the scene and insisted she return to perform it. We’re glad she did.
Todd was a character that we had seen grow from a young boy to a young adult, and his story ended in the most heart-breaking of ways. Having gotten girlfriend Phoebe pregnant, they had agreed to have an abortion due to how young they were. A last-minute talk changed Todd’s mind though and he rushed to try and stop her from going through with it; only to collide with a van as he ran across a busy road, dying later in hospital. He did appear as a ghost to Phoebe in a mirror shortly afterwards and the child was indeed born. As for Phoebe, she met her future husband not long afterwards… while at Todd’s grave of all places.
Jim (Alan Dale), Ramsay Street’s original father figure, became romantically involved with the conniving Fiona Hartman, fell out with his entire family and had all his money stolen when Fiona left him to die of a heart attack among a knocked over fruit bowl on the Number 26 kitchen floor. Not the most dignified way to go for a character of such importance, but it will always be a memorable one.
Perhaps one of the more memorable characters from the early to mid-90’s, Julie was brash, opinionated, yet family orientated and was part of some truly sensational moments during her two-year spell. However, when her contract was up, she decided to try new things and despite her nearly becoming a semi recurring character, ultimately, she was killed off in dramatic fashion. Away at a murder mystery weekend, she had a very public argument with husband Philip and was found at the bottom of a tower the following morning by a shocked Cheryl Stark. Philip was accused of her murder but eventually, it was revealed that she was drunk and slipped rather than anything sinister occurring. Although, the rumour is that the story was originally meant to be suicide before being hastily rewritten.
This one still breaks our hearts. The late Anne Haddy, who played Helen, had been ill for quite some time and her screen time had significantly been cut as a result. Rather than let a beloved original cast member simply slip away off-screen, she returned for one final episode that had us all reaching for the tissues. Surrounded by friends and family, she passed away in her sleep next to her great-granddaughter, Hannah Martin (played brilliantly in this scene by a young Rebecca Ritters). It was a lovely end for the character and the best way they could have handled an upsetting situation. Anne herself passed away a year or so later.
Most of Harold’s Family
In 2005, there was a bit of shift in the show and we got stories that were far more dramatic than we had been used to. None more so than a bomb on a plane that wiped out David, Liliana and Serena Bishop; a move that to this day is still considered controversial. We can see why. Harold was such a beloved character that having him lose so many people, on top of how many he had lost previously, felt cruel and the less said about his stint as an evil would- be murderer, the better. That being said, the plane crash episodes themselves were a treat. A truly dramatic week with a whodunnit that wouldn’t be solved until well into the following year.
Neighbours left were fans devastated when they killed off Stingray, a comedic fixture on the show for around three years by the time he left. Whilst his stories had got darker over time, he was still a breath of fresh air and they killed him off not long after he entered into a relationship with Sky Mangel. The real blow was how he died, quietly in Ramsay Street amongst friends and family following complications from a recent surgery to donate bone marrow to his niece. Honestly, we’re still not sure we’re over this one.
Kate never did have much luck. Part of a family of three orphans following her mother’s death, she moved to Ramsay Street and had numerous relationship issues, an affair with a student, and learned she will never be able to have children; to name a but a few things. It finally seemed like she would get her happy ending though when she reunited with former (and once thought dead) boyfriend Mark Brennan. The two got engaged but before they could celebrate, she was gunned down in what turned out to be a revenge attack for a crime her uncle Paul committed. The lack of blood was thought by some to be an indicator that she didn’t really die but sadly for them, this was just down to the G rating the show had at the time.
It can be argued that there was no need to kill off Josh; the character was due to leave imminently anyway. But alas, he never got to say goodbye to Erinsborough, instead dying in the rubble of Lassiters following an explosion. His death was a powerful one though. Severely injured, resident super doc, Karl Kennedy, realised that unless he moved a pillar (killing Josh in the process), Daniel Robinson could die. Josh gave up his own chance at survival by ordering them to help Daniel and he hung on just long enough to say a tearful goodbye to his family and infant daughter.
Almost certainly the most controversial on this list, Neighbours veteran Eve Morey was reportedly axed for budgetary reasons and when fans found out, they made it known how unhappy they were. What we did get though is perhaps the most devastating death the show has seen as Sonya passed away from a short battle with stage four ovarian cancer. These were some of the best scenes in the shows then 34-year history featuring stellar performances from all involved. But special praise must go to Eve and Toadie actor Ryan Moloney who were exceptional in her two-hander death episode. The ramifications of Sonya’s death are still being felt over a year later, but fans will always debate whether losing our Son’ was worth it in the long run.