Judy Morris

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Judy Morris
Judith Ann L'Armand

13 December 1947 (1947-12-13) (age 73)
Queensland, Australia
  • Actress
  • film director
  • screenwriter

Judith Ann Morris (born 13 December 1947) is an Australian character actress, as well as a film director and screenwriter, well known for the variety of roles she played in 58 different television shows and films, starting her career as a child actress and appearing on screen until 1999, since then she has worked on film writing and directing, most recently for co-writing and co-directing a musical epic about the life of penguins in Antarctica which became Happy Feet, Australia's largest animated film project to date.[1][2]

Early career[edit]

Morris’s first role came at the age of 10 when she was part of the cast of the television episode "Picture of the Magi" a Family Theater production which aired about 1957 on the Mutual Broadcasting System in the United States.[2] She then performed in two other roles in the USA, at the age of 10 on the Loretta Young Show, and in 1960, at the age of 13, on The Chevy Mystery Show hosted on that occasion by Vincent Price.[3]


Returning to Australia, Morris's next role was not to come until she reached the age of 20 when, in 1967, she worked in the ABC television series, Bellbird. Impressing casting agents, she was cast in numerous well known television series, including (see drop-down filmography list for further details) seven episodes in Division 4, four episodes in Matlock Police and three episodes in Homicide series.[2]

In 1970, she starred in the short portmanteau film 3 to Go. During this time she also moved to more provocative (for its time) television, especially in the sex series of Alvin Purple,[2] and then under the direction of Tim Burstall as Sybil the babysitter in Libido: The Child (one of four parts of a portmanteau film that showed various aspects of human sexuality). In this part Morris awakens the sexuality of the boy that she is babysitting. For her part, Morris won the 1973 Australian Film Industry (AFI) Best Actress in a Lead Role.[4][5][6] Morris then played the part of "Sam" in the 1978 movie In Search of Anna, before receiving top billing as the wife "Jill Cowper" in the 1979 black comedy The Plumber, which began its life as a small 6 week television series directed by Peter Weir but following its success was produced as a DVD titled The Mad Plumber.[7]

The 1980s brought further success. She starred in Maybe This Time (1980), Strata (1983), Phar Lap (1983) as Bea Davis, the wife of Phar Lap's owner David J. Davis, and played the part of "Catherine Faulkner", the mother of the main character, "Kat Stanton", (played by Nicole Kidman) in Bangkok Hilton (1989).[8] In 1986 Morris was cast as Margaret 'Meg' Stenning in the miniseries The Last Frontier, that also starred Jason Robards as her father Edward Stenning, fellow Australian Jack Thompson as her brother, the black sheep of the family, Nick Stenning, and American actress Linda Evans as Kate Adamson-Hannon. (This miniseries was released on 3 November 1986). During and after this work she also played the role of "Liz Beare", the daughter-in-law of "Maggie Beare" (played by Ruth Cracknell) in the Mother and Son series that ran from 1984 to 1994. She also starred as an American photographer in Razorback.

Following this, amongst other work, she was cast in the role of "Mrs Muggleton" in eight episodes of the Spellbinder (1995) television series.

In 1996, she had voiced Melba the Crocodile from an animated tv show called Crocadoo.

Writing and directing[edit]

Morris wrote and directed the comedy Luigi's Ladies in 1989. Later she teamed up with George Miller and Dick King-Smith to write Babe: Pig in the City in 1998. An episode of Dinotopia in 2002 and then most recently co-wrote the story to the film Happy Feet (along with Warren Coleman, John Collee, and once again, George Miller). Happy Feet was the first Australian animated film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and for her part in writing it Morris was nominated for an Annie Award. She later wrote the screenplay for Fred Schepisi's 2011 film, The Eye of the Storm, based on the novel of the same title.


Morris has been nominated for several awards in her career including:



Year Title Role Notes
1971 3 to Go Judy Segment: "Judy"
1973 Libido Sybil Segment: "The Child"
1974 Between Wars Deborah Trenbow
1975 The Great MacArthy Miss Russell
1975 Scobie Malone Helga Brand
1976 The Trespassers Dee
1977 The Picture Show Man Miss Lockhart
1978 In Search of Anna Sam
1981 ...Maybe This Time Fran
1983 Phar Lap Bea Davis
1983 Strata Margaret
1984 Razorback Beth Winters
1985 Best Enemies Patricia
1986 The More Things Change... Connie
1987 Going Sane Ainslee Brown


Year Title Role Notes
1970–71, 1974 Homicide Margaret Gillespie, Caroline Murray, Prue Fletcher Episodes: "Wheels", "Thursday's Child", "The Last Season"
1971–72, 1975 Matlock Police Jenny Fisher, Bel Harris, Sheila Kelly, Jill Thompson Episodes: "Early One Morning", "The Milk & Honey Man", "Cat & Mouse", "Baby Doll"
1972 Barrier Reef Gail Smith Episode: "Sea Fever"
1972 The Spoiler Fancy Episode: "Catch as Catch Can"
1972–1973 Boney Kathy Markham, Jill Madden Episodes: "Boney and the Claypan Mystery", "Boney and the Paroo Bikeman"
1972–1973 Over There Elizabeth Kirby Main role
1973 Ryan Jan Taylor Episode: "The Little Piggy Went to Pieces"
1973–1974 Certain Women Marjorie Faber Regular role
1975 Division 4 Kim Baker Episodes: "What Will My Friends Say?", "A Bird in the Hand", "Two Hours of Madness"
1975 Cash and Company Mary Fincham Episode: "Dolly Mop"
1976 Luke's Kingdom Ellen Episode: "The Land Lovers"
1976 Alvin Purple Sophie Episode: "O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?"
1976 The Outsiders Karen Episode: "Bad Dream Town"
1977 Mama's Gone A-Hunting Tessa Goodman TV film
1978 The Geeks Lee TV film
1978 Cass Margo TV film
1979 The Plumber Jill Cowper TV film
1979 Skyways Robyn Davies Regular role
1982 Spring & Fall Anne Lawrence Episode: "Jimmy Dancer"
1984–1994 Mother and Son Liz Beare Main role
1985 Colour in the Creek Ellen Fletcher Regular role
1985 Time's Raging Lauren TV film
1986 The Last Frontier Meg Stenning TV film
1988 The Dirtwater Dynasty Frances Eastwick TV miniseries
1989 Bangkok Hilton Catherine Faulkner TV miniseries
1991 Eggshells Kathy Rose Regular role
1992 The Other Side of Paradise Miss Sowerby TV film
1995–1997 Spellbinder Mrs. Muggleton Recurring role
1996 Crocadoo Melba (voice) Recurring role (series 1)
1997 Heartbreak High Fiona Episodes: "6.37", "6.38"
1998 Twisted Veronica Episode: "The Test"
1999 Ballykissangel Laurie Woskett Episode: "Eureka"

Other works[edit]

Year Title Notes
1989 Luigi's Ladies Writer, director
1998 Babe: Pig in the City Writer
2002 Dinotopia Writer, "The Matriarch"
2006 Happy Feet Writer, co-director, co-producer
2008 Meerkat Manor Writer
2009 Legend Writer
2010 Before the Rain Writer
2011 The Eye of the Storm Writer
2011 Happy Feet Two Writer
2013 Adoration Script editor
2013 Goddess Musical director
20?? The Last Party Musical director, script consultant
20?? Emu Plains Writer



  1. ^ "The Penguin Suite". Fairfax Digital. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "Judy Morris (1)". IMDB. Retrieved 12 April 2007.[unreliable source?]
  3. ^ "The Chevy Mystery Hour – "Dead Man's Walk"". TV.com. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  4. ^ "The Genesis of Libido". Senses of Cinema. Archived from the original on 22 March 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  5. ^ "News Flash – Libido lives on DVD". Producers and Directors Guild of Victoria. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  6. ^ "The Best In Australian Film". film.org.au. Archived from the original on 5 March 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  7. ^ "The Plumber". IMDB. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  8. ^ "Bangkok Hilton (mini)". IMDB. Retrieved 12 April 2007.[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ a b "AFI Award Winners 1969–2005" (PDF). Australian Film Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 February 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  10. ^ 'Annie Awards' List of Award Nominees and Winners Archived 3 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ 'Annie Awards' List of Award Nominees and Winners Archived 3 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]