The outpouring of affection for Cornelia Frances, following news of her passing yesterday has led for calls for her to be honoured by the Logie Awards.
Frances, who died aged 77 yesterday, was nominated for the Logies six times but never won. She was a leading light in at least three dramas: Home & Away, The Young Doctors and Sons & Daughters all of which have graced the pages of TV Week across the decades. As readers are well aware, the imbalance of females in the Hall of Fame will take decades to rectify.
The rule for the Hall of Fame award is such that a person can only be inducted in the next ceremony following their passing, such as Peter Harvey & Brian Naylor.
A Logies spokesperson told TV Tonight this year’s inductee has already been chosen. To extend the honour to 2 names would be a break with tradition, but TV Week can award a stand-alone posthumous award for her, and sources say organisers will doubtless be considering how best to honour her body of work.
TV historian Andrew Mercado told TV Tonight, “Cornelia was actually the complete opposite of the iconic characters she played. In real life, she was warm and funny but on TV, she played complicated and scary women. They were never one dimensional ‘bitches’ though because with Cornelia, she was able to infuse them with vulnerability that let the audience understand why they behaved the way they did.
“Given Corny played memorable and long-running characters in several classic TV shows spanning five decades – and that includes The Weakest Link too – she is more than qualified for Hall of Fame.”
Peter Ford told TV Tonight, “Most performers would love to have one credit that will be remembered after they have gone. Cornelia has 4 big ones and a few lesser ones to boot. Over several decades and in major soapies & a hit game show show she made her mark. That deserves serious respect.”
Frances’ death was reported in Australian, UK and US press. Yesterday industry names also paid tribute to their colleague.
Ray Meagher said, “Cornie was an incredibly loved and valued member of our cast over many, many years. We had a moment of silence for her on set this morning and she’ll be sadly missed by both cast and crew.”
Judy Nunn said, “She died with the same grace and dignity with which she lived. Cornelia was a very close friend. I loved her dearly. I will miss you Corn, we all will.'”
Ada Nicodemou, said: “Cornelia was very loved and respected. She’ll be sadly missed. Lawrence, her family and friends are in our thoughts.”
Lynne McGranger, said “In a way she paved the way for women in Australian TV always playing such strong characters. My thoughts are with Lawrence and her family.”
David Campbell, described her as “A terrific Australian actor and lovely person.”