Joy Dunstan

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Joy Dunstan
Born (1951-07-20) 20 July 1951 (age 66)
Residence United Kingdom
Occupation Film and television actress
Years active 1976–1985
Spouse(s) Stephen Smithyman

Joy Dunstan (born 20 July 1951) is a retired Australian film and television actress. She is best remembered as the teenage star of Chris Löfvén's 1976 film Oz, a modern-day remake of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, with Graham Matters, Bruce Spence, Gary Waddell, and Robin Ramsay.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

The then 25-year-old former school teacher and part-time cabaret dancer had been working in a musical comedy act at Melbourne's Flying Trapeze Cafe when she was discovered by director Chris Löfvén. Löfvén, in offering the part to Dunstan, had said to her "Come with me and I'll make you a star". Dunstan replied "I don't believe it but yes". She had no prior experience in film or photographic modeling prior to the film.[8]

She also had minor roles in the 1983 television film A Descant for Gossips[9] and in the cult soap opera Prisoner where she portrayed two characters, Penny Seymour in 1982[10] and Marnie Taylor in 1985.[11] She also had a very minor role in a 1985 episode of Neighbours,which was her last performance, with her reportedly "having grown disillusioned with the business", and she retired soon after.

According to a Film Buffs Podcast interview on 21 November 2006, Dunstan currently lives in the United Kingdom. During that interview songwriter and musician Gary Young discussed his memories of working with Dunstan on the film. Young also claimed that following the film, his band the Rockin’ Emus released their sole album with one of the songs he had written, Beautiful Joy, having been about the actress.[12]


  1. ^ Reade, Eric. History and Heartburn: The Saga of Australian Film, 1896–1978. Rutherford, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1979. (pg. 260) ISBN 0-8386-3082-0
  2. ^ Murray, Scott and Peter Beilby, eds. The New Australian Cinema. London: Elm Tree Books, 1980. (pg. 89, 106) ISBN 0-241-10439-4
  3. ^ Stratton, David. The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1980. (pg. 234) ISBN 0-207-14146-0
  4. ^ Dermody, Susan and Elizabeth Jacka. The Screening of Australia Vol. 2: Anatomy of a National Cinema. Sydney: Currency Press, 1988. (pg. 115) ISBN 0-86819-187-6
  5. ^ Young, R.G. The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film: Ali Baba to Zombies. New York: Applause Books, 2000. (pg. 658) ISBN 1-55783-269-2
  6. ^ "Joy Dunstan". National Film & Sound Archive. 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "Oz". AFC Searchable Film Database. Screen Australia. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  8. ^ Wiles, Jo. "The film man did make Joy a star". The Age. 30 Jul 1976
  9. ^ "A Descant For Gossips (1983)". OZTV Credits. 2004. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "PCBH Characters, Section 27". 11 August 2001. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "PCBH Characters, Section 22". 3 March 2001. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Three Triple R (21 October 2006). "21/10/06 Film Buffs Podcast". Film Buffs Podcast. Retrieved 9 August 2009. [dead link]

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