Moya O'Sullivan

Moya O'Sullivan Macarthur (8 June 1926 – 16 January 2018)[1] was an Australian-born actress who worked both locally and briefly in the United Kingdom. She was best known for her long-running role as the popular character Marlene Kratz in the soap opera Neighbours between 1994 and 1997.[2] Alex Fletcher from Digital Spy made Marlene their "DS Icon" on 7 January 2011, calling her a legendary and special character.[3] Fletcher also stated that "Marlene, played by the delightful Moya O'Sullivan, was a crucial cog in the Golden Age of Neighbours in the '90s."[3]

Moya O'Sullivan
Moya O'Sullivan MacArthur

8 June 1926
Melbourne, Australia
Died16 January 2018 (aged 91)
Known forNeighbours

Early life and careerEdit

O'Sullivan was born to Eugene and Nancy O'Sullivan (née Morgan) and had an older brother, Peter. Having graduated from school, she was tutored in drama classes under Dorothy Hemingway and started her career as a stage performer in the 1950s with the Mosman Theatre Company.[4]

Radio, theatre, teleplays and telemoviesEdit

She trained in radio under Rosalind Kennerdale, and through her gained agent John Cover, the husband of actress Queenie Ashton, who had a company, Central Casting. O'Sullivan appeared in numerous radio productions, such as Dr. Paul, When a Girl Marries, Blue Hills and Life with Dexter.[4]

With the advent of television, she became a familiar face in televised plays, as well as featuring in commercial adverts. She made her debut in 1960 in the ABC production Farewell, Farewell Eugene, and appeared in The Slaughter of St Teresas Day, occasionally popping up in made-for-TV films.

Career in EnglandEdit

By the mid-1960s, O'Sullivan had decided to try her luck in England, where she featured in radio, television and on the West End stage circuit. Notable roles were in J.P. Donleavy's production A Singular Man, and A Harp in the South for BBC TV. She returned to Australia in 1965, where she featured in the theatrical production Inadmissible Evidence.

Television rolesEdit

O'Sullivan was a staple on the small screen in soap operas and serials in Australia, beginning in 1961 with the daytime soap opera The Story of Peter Gray. Her early roles included playing several parts in Homicide and Division 4. A prominent role was her three-month stint in the serial Number 96 as Phyllis Pratt in the 1970s.

She subsequently appeared in Sons and Daughters as Aileen Keegan, and had several roles in A Country Practice throughout the 1980s.

She continued acting throughout the 2000s, including Home and Away in 2002, and several guest appearances in All Saints from 2001 and 2008. O'Sullivan never had any other long-standing roles; she was a well-recognized feature player as a prominent guest artist of many a television series spanning over 60 years, later portraying hapless old grannies.

In 2005, she reprised the role of Marlene Kratz, along with many ex-cast members, for an episode commemorating the Neighbours 20th anniversary in a reunion special.[5]

O'Sullivan also became popular via memorable guesting appearances in Cop Shop as Lorna Johnson (later O'Reilly),[6] Hey Dad..! as Grandma Lois Kelly,[7] and later in The Adventures of Skippy as Thelma Woods in the 2000s. She had previously appeared in the earlier 1960s original series in television's younger days as Mrs Mason.[8]

Her final part was in Tricky Business in 2012.


O'Sullivan died aged 91 in Bondi Junction, New South Wales, Australia on 16 January 2018.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Farewell, Farewell, Eugene TV movie
1961 The Story of Peter Grey Anne Vail TV series
1962 Jonah Pompy Episode: "Ship of Fame"
1964 ITV Play of the Week Grace Martin Episode: "The Offence"
1965 Undermind Edith Bishop Episode: "Onset of Fear"
1969–74 Division 4 Eileen Vickers Six episodes
1977–78 Cop Shop Lorna Johnson/O'Reilly
1982 Sons and Daughters Aileen Keegan
1986 Playing Beatie Bow Granny Bow
1987–91 Hey Dad..! Grandma Lois Kelly
1992–93 Skippy the Bush Kangaroo Thelma Woods
1994–97 Neighbours Marlene Kratz Regular role (393 episodes)
2001 Home and Away Gladys Adams
2005 Neighbours Marlene Kratz Guest appearance (Episode 4773)
2012 Tricky Business Lorraine Webb Episode: "Skyrockets in Flight"


  1. ^ a b "Notices". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  2. ^ Herbison, Jason (9–22 August 1997). "Marlene's moving out!". Inside Soap (81): 38.
  3. ^ a b Fletcher, Alex (7 January 2011). "DS Icon: Marlene from 'Neighbours'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Moya O'Sullivan, actor whose career reached from Skippy to the West End".
  5. ^ Green, Kris (14 April 2005). "More Neighbours returns confirmed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Thursday TV". The Age. 15 June 1978. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  7. ^ Oliver, Robin (13 May 1990). "From the page to stage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  8. ^ Beck, Ken; Clark, Jim (2002). The Encyclopedia of TV Pets: A Complete History of Television's Greatest Animal Stars. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 978-1-55853-981-5.

External linksEdit