Actress Betty Bobbitt’s resume features several of Australia’s best known entertainment exports.
The star, best known for her roles in Prisoner: Cell Block H and the Crocodile Dundee films, has died aged 81 following a stroke.
Born in New York in 1939, Bobbitt moved to Australia aged 23 after being approached by a television producer who asked her if she “wanted to come to Australia and be funny”.
Having originally planned a six-month stay down under, she never left the country.
She soon appeared as a regular on Melbourne television variety show Daly at Night, and from the mid-1960s she was a fixture on Australian television, with guest roles in drama series and soap operas including The Flying Doctors, which was later shown in the UK on the BBC.
Worldwide fame arrived in 1980, when she first appeared in Prisoner: Cell Block H, in which she portrayed the character Judy Bryant.
Though her character was only intended for 13 episodes, Bobbitt proved so popular in the role that she was retained in the series.
She went on to become the show’s second longest serving actor, starring in 429 episodes.
After leaving the series in 1985, she concentrated on theatre roles and made guest appearances in television and film, most recently in the soap opera Neighbours in 2019.
Her most notable guest appearances in film came in the Crocodile Dundee franchise starring Paul Hogan.
She played roles in Crocodile Dundee II, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (also known as Crocodile Dundee III), and The Very Excellent Mr Dundee.
Away from acting, she was also a singer and performed across Australia in a three-woman troupe called The Mini Busettes, with fellow Prisoner: Cell Block H cast members Jane Clifton and Colette Mann.
In 2011 she published her memoirs, From the Outside, documenting her life and career.
In a statement, Bobbitt’s son Chris described his mother as “a legend, an inspiration, a mentor and icon for so many.”
Bobbitt died in Melbourne yesterday.