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|Born||Cornelia Frances Zulver
7 April 1941
|Spouse(s)||Michael Eastland (1969–?) (divorced) 1 child|
|Children||Lawrence Eastland (b. 1971)|
Cornelia Frances (born Cornelia Frances Zulver; 7 April 1941) is an English actress best known for her acting career in Australia, and particularly her soap opera roles with portrayals of characters such as Morag Bellingham on Home and Away, Barbara Hamilton on Sons and Daughters and sister Grace Scott on The Young Doctors.
Early life and personal life
Born in Liverpool, she was educated at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her early work was in British-made feature films as an extra and bit-part player. This included bit parts in two films directed by her uncle Michael Powell: Peeping Tom (1960), and The Queen's Guards (1961). Frances has one son, named Lawrence.
Frances' acting career flourished after she had emigrated to Australia. After taking a lead role in the film version of sex-comedy soap opera The Box in 1975 she became known across Australia for her long running role of the strict and acidic Sister Grace Scott in daily soap opera The Young Doctors. After leaving that series to move to Melbourne with her husband who had been transferred there, she worked as a television reporter on "light" stories for a current affairs program hosted by Peter Couchman.
During this period she also made a brief appearance in Prisoner which was taped in the same studio as the Couchman show. Later she acted in guest starring television roles, before taking another well-remembered role, that of Barbara Armstrong (later Hamilton) in Sons and Daughters, a role she played from 1982 until 1986. She also hosted the Australian version of quiz show The Weakest Link (2001–2002) and provided the voice of Tortoise on the Australian/Chinese children's series, Magic Mountain. In the early 2000s Frances worked for a winery in the Hunter Valley when she could not get acting work. Her autobiography And what have you done lately? was published in 2003.
In 1988, Frances made her first appearance in Home and Away as Morag Bellingham, a judge, and sister of Alf Stewart (Ray Meagher). Frances has played the recurring role of Morag for twenty three years. She has expressed a desire to play Morag full-time on the show and admitted that she does not like the coming and going as it is "very unsettling."
In 2011, Frances joined the Australian Orangutan Project (AOP) as its first Ambassador in an effort to raise awareness about critically endangered orangutans. Frances travelled to the island of Borneo, Indonesia on Sunday 16 October 2011 to see the first hand effect of the widespread deforestation of orangutan habitat, and how orangutans are being rehabilitated.
- Peeping Tom, as Girl in sports car leaving studio, 1960
- The Queen's Guards, as Officer's girl friend, 1961
- The Box, as Dr. S M Winter, 1975
- Outbreak of Hostilities (1981)
- The Man from Snowy River II, as Mrs. Darcy, 1988
- Minnamurra, as Caroline Richards, 1989
- Ned, as Tina, 2003
- Dynasty, as Georgina Clausen, 1970
- Catwalk, as Cornelia Heyson, 1971–1972
- Boney, as Stella Borredale, 1973
- Ryan, as Amelia, 1973
- Essington, as ?, 1974
- Silent Number, as Ivy, 1974
- The Last Rites, as ?, 1975
- Division 4, as Angela Ward, 1974 & Sandra, 1975
- Matlock Police, as Catherine Upton, 1974 & Barbara Anderson, 1975
- Murcheson Creek, as ?, 1976
- The Young Doctors, as Sister Grace Scott, 1976–1978
- The Lost Islands, as Elizabeth Quinn, 1976
- Homicide, as Julie Kurnow, 1974–1976
- King's Men, as ?, 1976
- All at Sea, as Miss Swallow, 1977
- The Outsiders, as Mrs. Foster, 1977
- Tickled Pink, as Joan Jefferson, 1978
- Skyways, as Susan Winters, 19??
- Prisoner, as Carmel Saunders, 1980
- Run Rebecca, Run, as Member for Southdown, 1981
- Bellamy, as Aretha, 1981
- Punishment, as Cathy Wells, 1981
- Runaway Island, as Agatha McLeod, 1982
- Outbreak of Hostilities, as Miriam, 1982
- Kingswood Country, as Doctor, 1980–1982
- Sons and Daughters, as Barbara Hamilton, 1982–1986
- Future Past, as Mother, 1987
- Jackal and Hide, as Madame Zentha, 1987
- Home and Away, as Morag Bellingham, 1988–89, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004–07, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012–2013, 2016
- Pirates Island, as Captain Blackheart, 1991
- The Ferals, as Teacher, 1995
- Milly, Molly, as voice of Aunt Maude, 2006
- Magic Mountain, as voice of Tortoise, 1997
- The Weakest Link, host, 2001–2002
- Always Greener, as Janet Frawley, 2002–2003