Lorraine Bayly

Lorraine Daphne Bayly AM (born 16 January 1937) is an Australian actress of film, television and theatre, presenter, singer, dancer, pianist and theatre director and writer.

Lorraine Bayly
Lorraine Bayly.jpg
Lorraine Bayly in 2012, at the premier of Annie (musical)
Lorraine Daphne Bayly

(1937-01-16) 16 January 1937 (age 85)
Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia
  • Film television and theatre actress
  • presenter
  • pianist
  • singer
  • dancer
  • theatre founder
  • director
  • writer
Years active1940–2016[1]

She is perhaps best known to small screen audiences for her soap opera roles, especially in the World War II period piece drama The Sullivans as Matriarch Grace Sullivan, as well as roles in legal drama Carson's Law and serial Neighbours[2]

Early lifeEdit

Bayly was born in Narrandera, in the Riverina district in Southern New South Wales. Her first performance was at age 3, playing tambourine with the Salvation Army. At ages 5–9, she wrote, directed and starred in plays in the local jail; her father being a policeman, amateur magician and ventriloquist.

At age 9–10, she had her own ventriloquist act which 35 years later she performed part of on The Parkinson Show in 1984, using host Michael Parkinson as her dummy.

Classical pianoEdit

At age 11–12, she played classical piano Saturday afternoons live on Radio 2UE.



Bayly was a founder of the Ensemble Theatre at Kirribilli, she has appeared in professional theatre since 1954, some of Lorraine's theatre roles include Chase Me Comrade with Stanley Baxter, playing Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller's The Last Yankee, Sheila in John Misto's Shoehorn Sonata, Mrs Patrick Campbell in Dear Liar, Margaret in Rough Justice, D H Lawrence's The Daughter-in-Law, David Williamson's Travelling North and Birthrights, Bella in Gaslight and The Male of The Species with Edward Woodward. In 2010 Lorraine starred in the well known play Calendar Girls and more recently in David Williamson's When Dad Married Fury and The Sound of Music[1]


listed among Lorraine's many television credits: The miniseries 1915 (ABC), The Challenge playing Eileen Bond, in Grim Pickings (SAFC) as Betsy Tander and as Lindy Chamberlain's mother Avis Murchison in Through My Eyes: The Lindy Chamberlain Story. Lorraine was also a popular presenter and original cast member on the children's television show Play School from 1966 to 1978.

Bayly is perhaps best known to television audiences for her portrayal in the drama series The Sullivans (1976–1979), as the motherly Grace Sullivan dealing with life for an ordinary Australian family during the Second World War. Indeed, Lorraine's character had one of the more iconic storylines when her character was killed by a V-bomb in England.

From 1982 to 1984, Bayly played the lead role of in another period television drama Carson's Law as progressive lawyer Jennifer Carson set in 1920s Melbourne. The episodes revolved around the cases taken on by Jennifer and the various personal intrigues of her family. The series also starred Kevin Miles as Jennifer's father-in-law Godfrey Carson and Gregg Caves, as Billy Carson. The series Carson's Law was written specifically for Bayly.

From 1991 to 1992, Bayly appeared in serial Neighbours as Faye Hudson. Faye was a "busybody" who moved in with her brother Doug Willis (Terence Donovan) and his family.[2]


Lorraine's film roles include Fatty Finn (AFI nominated), Ride a Wild Pony for Disney and The Man From Snowy River alongside acting legend Kirk Douglas.

Honours and awards (selected)Edit

Association Award Year Work Results
Australian Government Order Of Australia 2001 Honoured
Australian Variety Variety's 100 Entertainer of the Century 2006 Lifetime honour Honoured
Logie Awards Silver Logie Award for Most Popular Actress 1978 The Sullivans as Grace Sullivan Won
Logie Awards Silver Logie Award for Most Popular Actress 1979 The Sullivans as Grace Sullivan Won
Logie Awards Silver Logie Award for Most Popular Actress 1983 Carson's Law as Jennifer Carson Won

Lorraine was made a Member of the Order of Australia by The Queen in the Australia Day Honours List 2001.

Lorraine has won 10 awards from 14 nominations including three Silver Logies in 1978, 1979 and 1983 for Most Popular Actress in The Sullivans and Carson's Law respectively. She was also named in "Australian Variety's 100 Entertainers of the Century" in 2006.

Personal lifeEdit

Lorraine is a staunch advocate for organ donation and a supporter of the Australian Kidney Foundation. She is also a life member of the RSPCA.

Selected TV and film rolesEdit

Production Year Role
The Interpretaris (TV mini-series) 1966 Vera Balovna
Hunter (1967 TV series) 1967-1968
  • Karen Savage
  • Dian Mannering
  • Sharon Reid
Division 4 (TV series) 1969
  • Jenny Noble
  • Linda Szabo
Play School (TV series) 1969 Presenter
The Rovers (TV series) 1970 Virginia Shaw
The Link Men (TV series) 1970 unknown
Homicide (TV series) 1967-1971
  • Moira Simmons
  • Jennifer Tracy
  • Margaret Stevens
  • Audrey Shepherd
Spyforce (TV series) 1971 Julia Carpenter
Silent Number (TV series) 1974 Jackson
Ride a Wild Pony 1975 Mrs. Ellison
Case for the Defence (TV series) 1978 Sister Barrett
Fatty Finn (film) 1980 Maggie McGrath
The Man from Snowy River 1982 Rosemary Hume
1915 (TV mini-series) 1982 Helen Gilchrist
The Sullivans 1976-1979 Grace Sullivan
Carson's Law (TV series) 1983-1984 Jennifer Carson
The Challenge (TV mini-series) 1986-1987 Eileen Bond
Grim Pickings (TV mini-series) 1989 Betsy Tender
Home Brew (TV movie) 1989
A Country Practice (TV series) 1989 Jean Richmond
Rafferty's Rules (TV series) 1988-1990 Gwen Forster
Neighbours (TV series) 1991-1992 Faye Hudson
G.P. (TV series) 1995 Pat Shepherd
Pizza (TV series) 2001 The Fairy
Through My Eyes (TV mini-series) 2004 Avis
Locks of Love 2014 Doris
To My One and Only (film short) 2015 Doris

Selected theatreEdit

source = AusStage

Chase Me Comrad
Death of a Salesman
The Last Yankee
Shoehorn Sonata
Dear Liar
Rough Justice
The Daughter-in-Law
Travelling North
The Male of the Species
Calendor Girls
When Dad Marries Fury
The Sound of Music


  1. ^ a b "Lorraine Bayly". AusStage.
  2. ^ a b Dempsey, Shelley (20 June 1992). "Airwaves". The Sun-Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 February 2012.

External linksEdit