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Jan Adele (1936 in Australia – 27 February 2000) was an award-winning Australian actress and entertainer active in many fields including circus, vaudeville, theatre, film and television. Jan was best known for her recurring comedy role of Trixie O'Toole in the 1970s television soap opera Number 96.
Adele enjoyed a long and varied entertainment career. As a teenager she performed in the circus as an acrobat on the high wire, and as a contortionist. At the age of 19 she began a three-year stint entertaining US troops in Korea and Japan. After this she performed steadily in vaudeville theatre and as a show girl.
In the 1970s she moved into television with guest spots in the Crawford Productions police dramas Homicide and Division 4. Subsequent to this she was spotted by Number 96 producer Bill Harmon in a pantomime show and he devised the character of Trixie – a warm and funny stage and nightclub entertainer who has been treading the boards for years – for her. Indeed, the character and experiences of Trixie were not far removed from those of her portrayer.
Some of the humour of her Number 96 character was built around Adele's 15 stone figure. When joining the series Adele happily signed the nudity clause present in all cast member's contracts reasoning that she would never be called upon to strip. She was later horrified to learn she would need to appear semi nude for a comedy sequence in the show, however went ahead with the scenes. In the late 1970s she also was frequent comedy performer on The Mike Walsh Show.
Adele subsequently acted in several Australian films. These included High Tide (1987), Daisy and Simon (1988), ...Almost (1990), Greenkeeping (1992), Fatal Bond (1992) and The Sum of Us (1994). Adele's role in the film High Tide was as another warm and brassy nightclub singer. Yet this was a serious dramatic role which also included singing scenes. Jan was also a frequent guest on Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton.