Vale: Elaine Lee
Actress Elaine Lee, best known as Vera Collins in Number 96, has died, aged 75.
Lee had some 30 years on Australian television following her career in South Africa.
She came to Australia in 1970, with actor husband Garth Meade, and was cast as fashion designer Vera Collins in the ground-breaking, ribald soap.
She played the role for four an a half years, before being cast as Principal Margaret Gibson in Glenview High.
She also had roles in ANZACs, Bullpitt!, A Country Practice, Heartbreak High, All Saints, Dogwoman, Home and Away and Blackjack.
Film credits included Petticoat Safari, The Sum of Us, Dallas Doll with Sandra Bernhard and the big screen version of Number 96 plus stage roles for the Queensland Theatre Company, Q Theatre, Marion Street Theatre and the Australian tour of Sweet Bird of Youth with Lauren Bacall.
TV historian Andrew Mercado told Fairfax, “In many ways darling Elaine and Vera were the same woman: charming, funny and delightfully sexy,” he said.
“Vera Collins was often unlucky in love but the much-loved character was also a sophisticated self-employed businesswoman who didn’t need a man by her side to consider herself a success.”
Number 96 creator David Sale said, “She was incapable of giving a bad performance.”