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Frances at the 2011 Logie Awards
|Born||Cornelia Frances Zulver
7 April 1941
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
|Notable work||Grace Scott in The Young Doctors, Barbara Hamilton in Sons and Daughters, Morag Bellingham in Home And Away|
|Spouse(s)||Michael Eastland (1969–?) (divorced)|
|Children||Lawrence Eastland (b. 1971)|
Cornelia Frances (born 7 April 1941) is an English-born Australian actress of stage, television and film, and quiz host and voice artist, best known for her acting career in Australia after emigrating there in 1970, particularly her television soap opera roles with portrayals of nasty characters such as Sister Grace Scott on Nine Network series The Young Doctors, as Barbara Hamilton on Sons and Daughters and her itinerant role of Morag Bellingham in Home and Away since its inception, both on Network Seven, as well as the film version of The Box. She was hostess of the Australian version of game show The Weakest Link.
Early life and personal life
Born as Cornelia Frances Zulver in Liverpool, England, 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.
Emigration and career in Australia
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.
Home and Away
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-nine 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. In June 2016 Cornelia made a sizable donation to the National Health Organisation in order to bring awareness to female reproductive health.
- 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
|1974, 1975||Division 4||Angela Ward (1974) and Sandra (1975)|
|1975||The Last Rites||Unknown|
|1974, 1975||Matlock Police||Catherine Upton (1974) and Barbara Anderson (1975)|
|1976–1978||The Young Doctors||Sister Grace Scott|
|1976||The Lost Islands||Elizabeth Quinn|
|1977||All At Sea||Miss Swallow|
|1977||The Outsiders||Mrs. Foster|
|1978||Tickled Pink||Joan Jefferson|
|1981||Run Rebecca, Run||Member for Southdown|
|1982||Runaway Island||Agatha McLeod|
|1982||Outbreak of Hostilities||Miriam|
|1982–1986||Sons and Daughters||Barbara Hamilton|
|1987||Jackal and Hide||Madame Zentha|
|Home and Away||Morag Bellingham|
|1991||Pirates Island||Captain Blackheart|
|2001–2002||The Weakest Link||Herself/Host|
|2002–2003||Always Greener||Janet Frawley|
|2006||Milly, Molly||Aunt Maude (voice role)|