Judith McGrath

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Judith McGrath
Born(1947-04-21)21 April 1947
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Died20 October 2017(2017-10-20) (aged 70)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Other namesJudy McGrath
Years active1969–2012
Notable work
Prisoner (1979–1984)
A Country Practice (1992–1993)
All Saints (1998–2009)

Judith McGrath (21 April 1947 – 20 October 2017) was an Australian actress. She was known for her television roles as Prison Officer/Deputy Governor Colleen Powell in Prisoner (1979–84), Bernice Hudson on A Country Practice (1992–93), and for her Logie Award-nominated role as Nurse Von Ryan in the medical drama All Saints (1998–2009).

Early life[edit]

Born in Brisbane, McGrath began her career at the Brisbane Arts Theatre, and was a member of Twelfth Night Theatre under artistic director Joan Whalley. She also played Grace in the 1969 film Age of Consent.


McGrath is probably best known to international audiences for her role as fair-minded but sarcastic Deputy Governor Colleen "Po Face" Powell in the cult Network Ten series Prisoner.[1] Initially a minor character, appearing in 12 episodes in the first two series (1979–80), she became a permanent cast member in 1981 and went on to appear in a total of 263 episodes, before leaving the series in 1984.

After leaving Prisoner, McGrath appeared in guest roles in Neighbours in 1985 and The Flying Doctors in 1986 and 1988, before appearing in the first series of the children's television show Round The Twist in 1989, playing Matron Gribble.[2] She went on to be a regular cast member on A Country Practice as Bernice Hudson from 1992 until 1993.

McGrath played the long-running role of Yvonne "Von"' Ryan in television medical drama series All Saints on Network Seven from its debut in 1998, opposite co-star Georgie Parker. She was the only original cast member to stay with the series until it concluded in late 2009.[3]


McGrath died in Brisbane at the age of 70 on 20 October 2017.[4][5]


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Age of Consent Brisbane Bird: Grace Feature film
1977 Young Ramsay Rosemary Billings Season 1, Episode 8 – "Lame Duck"
1977 Bluey Mrs Thompson Season 1, Episode 22 – "The Fat Cat"
1978 Cop Shop Mrs Bond Season 1, Episode 23
1979 Skyways Mrs Mason Season 1, Episode 15 – "Who Killed Cock Robyn?"
Season 1, Episode 16 – "Mercy Dash"
Unknown Dr Mendleshon Episode: "The Return of Bessie Langhurst: Part 1 (unknown season)
Episode: "The Return of Bessie Langhurst: Part 2" (unknown season)
Unknown Zoe Lawrence Episode: "Up the Down Staircase" (unknown season)
1980 Young Ramsay Ethel Dean Season 2, Episode 5 – "Gift Horse"
1984 Special Squad Unknown role Season 1, Episode 26 – "Farewell to Comerade"
1979–84 Prisoner Colleen Powell Seasons 1–6 (263 episodes)
Recurring role (seasons 1 & 2) / Main role (seasons 3–6)
1985 Neighbours Margaret Hayward Season 1 (2 episodes)
1986 Sword of Honour Dietician Miniseries – Episode 4
1986 The Flying Doctors Cynthia Cumberland-Brown Season 1, Episode 18 – "Eye of the Beholder"
1988 Caroline Longley Season 3, Episode 22 – "One Final Request"
1989 Round the Twist Matron Gribble Season 1 (9 episodes)
1992–93 A Country Practice Bernice Hudson Seasons 12 & 13 (149 episodes)
1995 Police Rescue Hazel Season 4, Episode 3 – "Wrong Side of the Road"
1996 Naked: Stories of Men Margaret Season 1, Episode 3 – "Blind-Side Breakaway"
2005 Fink! Centrelink Woman Feature film
1998–2009 All Saints Yvonne 'Von' Ryan Seasons 1–12 (493 episodes)
Nominated: Logie Award of Most Outstanding Actress in a Series
2010 Scone Wars Mavis Hepstead Short film
2011–12 Winners & Losers Maria Crawley Season 1, Episode 9 – "One Door Opens"
Season 1, Episode 14 – "Two Point Oh"
Season 2, Episode 21 – "Perfect Match"


  1. ^ "It's Saints and winners". Manchester Evening News. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  2. ^ Children's show with a twist[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Idato, Michael (26 October 2009). "All Saints fades away". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  4. ^ Knox, David (22 October 2017). "Vale: Judith McGrath". TV Tonight. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  5. ^ Smith, Sophie (23 October 2017). "Australia mourns loss of Logie nominated All Saints soap star". Herald Sun. Retrieved 23 October 2017.

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