Vale: Barbara Jungwirth

Barbara Jungwirth, one of the longest-serving cast members on Prisoner, has died.


Character actress, Barbara Jungwirth, one of the longest-serving cast members on Prisoner, has died.

According to social media she never recovered from a fall at Christmas.

Jungwirth played the role of Lorna Young every season, from 1979 – 1986. Her character was frequently seen in the background as part of Wentworth Detention Centre’s resident inmates before more prominent appearances.

Friend Simon Hall posted on Facebook, “Barbara was born in London and retained a fondness for the country of her birth (“I would love to come back and paddle in the English Channel”). At the age of 17 she married an Australian serviceman, and emigrated with him after World War II. Life as a so-called ‘bush bride’ was not always easy, but Barbara soon found work as a singer before landing a job as the compere of a leading Melbourne club. Studying at Crawfords Drama School (where she was given a Master Class by no less than Bud Tingwell), she soon found work in shows like Homicide, Division 4, Skyways, The Box, and The Sullivans. Then in 1978 her agent put her forward for a new Channel 10 drama set in a women’s prison… and the rest is history: ‘Who could have foreseen 20 episodes would go onto 8 years?'”

She also appeared in Neighbours, The Flying Doctors, Good Guys Bad Guys, Something in the Air, The Damnation of Harvey McHugh, The Lancaster Miller Affair and Melvin, Son of Alvin and Dogs in Space.

A fervent supporter of Prisoner‘s fan reunion events, she was once asked about being one of the show’s longest serving cast member.

“Yes, along with Elspeth Ballantyne and Hazel Henley. I was first seen when Bea is returned to Wentworth, I was in the garden, and right through to the series end!” she said.

“The children in the street know me and they would stop me and ask me what I was in for. I’d say, ‘I shot my parents because I wanted to go to an orphans picnic!’ I often got asked why I was in Prisoner and I’d just come up with the one about the frozen leg of lamb!”

5 Responses

  1. yeah great article, obviously a lady who had a wicked sense of humour, just love that bit about the orphans picnic! but i don’t get the comment on the frozen leg of lamb…

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