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Gwendoline Jean Plumb
2 August 1912
|Died||5 June 2002(aged 89)|
|Occupation||Stage, radio and television actress|
Gwendoline Jean Plumb AM BEM (2 August 1912 – 5 June 2002), was an Australian performer of international appeal, actress and comedian active in literally every form of the art genre, (except circus) including revue, pantomime, vaudeville, interviewing, stage, radio, game shows, live appearances, television soap opera and mini-series and made for TV film. She was considered the Grand Dame of Australian entertainment, best known to local and international audiences as "Ada Simmonds" in serial The Young Doctors aa well as the pilot episode of Home and Away and the ill-fated Richmond Hill She was known for her outrageous, but hilarious "Chook Call".
Gwen started her career in 1930, with Gwen Meredith drama club, she had her first well-known role as Emmie in the longest-running Australian radio serial Blue Hills, and hosted a radio program on Australia's Macquarie Radio Network from 1945 to 1974. She also had a radio show in Sydney opposite Gordon Chater. She was well known for her celebrity interviews, including travelling to Europe to conduct recordings.
Plumb had a long career in the theatre, was a cast member of the debut season of the Old Tote Theatre Company, travelled extensively overseas to interview celebrities for her own radio programme, and once quipped that she "played in just about every form of public entertainment except the circus".
She is probably best remembered for her portrayal of "gossip", Ada Simmonds in the Australian soap opera The Young Doctors for its entire November 1976 – March 1983 run. She released a cook book, What's Cooking with Ada, under her characters name in 1980. Other notable roles were in the mini-series The Harp in the South and Poor Man's Orange in the mid 1980s. She acted in Neighbours as Mrs. Forbes in 1985, appearing in scenes opposite Alan Dale, with whom she had starred in The Young Doctors.
She later played the key role of Mum Foote in the serial Richmond Hill in 1988. Having agreed to act in the planned new series, Plumb was offered, and played, the role of Doris Peters in the pilot of another proposed series Home and Away. When Home and Away also went into production, Plumb opted to honour her earlier agreement to do Richmond Hill. The role of Mum Foote had been specially written with her in mind by show creator, Reg Watson. Richmond Hill had a run of just 12 months, and Plumb stayed with the series for all of that time; Home and Away on the other hand is still running today. In 1995 Plumb returned to Home and Away for a number of episodes, playing a different character.
British and Australian honours
|c.1940s||Blue Hills (Radio series)||Emmie|
|1945-1974||Macquarie Radio Network||Hostess as Herself|
|unknown years||Radio 2GB Radio Show With Gordon Chater||Hostess/interviewer|
|1959||A Tongue of Silver (TV movie)||unknown role|
|1960||Venus Observed (TV movie)||Jessie|
|1961||Corinth House (TV movie)||Mrs. Heysham|
|1962||Consider Your Verdict (TV series)|
|1963||Jonah (TV series)||Lady Jane Franklin|
|1965||Adventure Unlimited (TV series)|
|1965||Write Me a Murder (TV movie)|
|1966-1967||Nice 'N' Juicy (TV series)||Mrs Ada Withers|
|1970||The Rovers (TV series)||Mrs Higgins|
|1973||Boney (TV series)||Miss Parker|
|1978||Bobby Dazzler (TV series)||Dinner Guest|
|1982||Ginger Meggs||Miss Leach|
|1984||A Halo For Athuem (TV movie)||Mother Paul|
|1985||The Man in the Iron Mask (TV movie)||Peronne (voice-artist)|
|1987||The Harp in the South (TV mini-series)||Granny Kilker|
|1987||I've Come About the Suicide (TV movie)||Miss Clemisha|
|1988||Richmond Hill (TV series)||Mum Foote|
|1988||The Flying Doctors (TV series)||Nellie Keene|
|1992||A Country Practice||Morna Peacock|
|1993||Stark (TV miniseries)||Mrs. Tyson|
|1988-1995||Home and Away||2 roles|
-Doris Peters (pilot episode)
|1976-1983||The Young Doctors (TV series)||Ada Simmonds (1,394 Episodes)|
- "Star of the Air". Pittsworth Sentinel (Qld. : 1919 - 1954). 29 June 1946. p. 1. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Gwen Plumb". Muswellbrook Chronicle (NSW : 1898 - 1955). 21 November 1947. p. 3. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Gwen Plumb in BBG's Twenty Questions". South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 - 1954). 11 October 1954. p. 6. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Gwen Plumb to tour with Bea Lillie". Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). 19 October 1954. p. 11. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Women's Interests On The Air Film Star On 2GB". Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). 3 June 1954. p. 5. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "No title". Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). 17 September 1953. p. 7. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Plumb Crazy all these years". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 2002.
- Sheldon, Gordon (3 October 1991). "Cheerful amoral piece". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 15. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Timestyle". Canberra Times. 20 July 1980. p. 19. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Plumb, Gwen (1980). What's cooking with Ada? by Ada Simmonds. Melbourne : Unicorn Books. ISBN 9780867570113.
- "The Harp in the South". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). 21 December 1992. p. 34. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "TV favourites return". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). 24 January 1988. p. 20. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Wallace, Mark (9 August 1993). "Stark". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). p. 25. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Meade, Amanda (30 November 2006). "Not the nine o'clock news". The Australian. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- Plumb crazy / Gwen Plumb
- It's an Honour: BEM
- It's an Honour: AM
- "Colleague's bravery honoured in Sydney ceremony". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). 24 September 1993. p. 6. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Search Australian Honours". It's an honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 17 April 2009.