NEIGHBOURS and Prisoner: Cell Block H actress Joy Westmore has died following a battle with dementia.
The soap veteran, who played kindly guard Joyce Barry in more than 200 episodes of the prison-based drama, was 88.
Joy Westmore shot to fame as Prisoner’s soft-touch guard Joyce BarryCredit: ITV Gold
She also played Mrs Forster in Neighbours in 1991, returning in a different role as Dee’s grandmother Nancy Bliss in 2003.
Joy, who was tonight described as an “icon” and “great comedy actress” by viewers, also starred alongside Dame Edna Everage star Barry Humphries.
Fans were devastated to hear the news that the actress, who leaves behind four children, had died.
One Prisoner viewer paid tribute to her tonight, writing: “So sad. I absolutely loved Prisoner and Joy was fantastic in it.”
She appeared as Dee’s gran alongside Mark Raffety’s Darcy TylerCredit: Rex Features
She was in Prisoner: Cell Block H throughout the early 1980sCredit: ITV Gold
Joy’s death was revealed on Australian breakfast TV on Friday morningCredit: seven network
Another wrote: “The lovely Joy Westmore. I adored the character of Joyce and wrote a letter to Joy to say so (I was a teenager heavily into drama at the time).
“I was astonished to receive a lengthy hand-written reply from her a few weeks later.”
Joy’s death was announced on Aussie breakfast programme The Morning Show on Friday.
Viewers were told: “She had been battling dementia in recent years. Prisoner fans would know her well as Officer Barry for 249 episodes.
The actress was a mainstay on Australian television during the 1980sCredit: Network 9
“She was almost a bit comic relief. She was the prison guard who was kind of too nice for her own good.
“Inevitably all these terrible prisoners would end up bashing her and kidnapping her and doing terrible things.
“Really good actress. Did a lot of comedy skits in the old days of Graham Kennedy and Ernie Sigley.
“We send all our condolences to her family – her four kids. The great Joy Westmore.”
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