HomeNeighboursNeighbours' real-life deaths - brain tumour, backstage collapse and dead at 24

Neighbours’ real-life deaths – brain tumour, backstage collapse and dead at 24

Since its inception in 1985, Australian serial Neighbours has lost many of its outstanding actors, including actress Miranda Fryer, who died earlier this year.

Anne Haddy and Cathy Godblod, who played Helen Daniels and Sondra Pike, respectively, as well as Miranda Fryer, are just a few of the performers who have passed away in the decades since the serial originally aired.

The deaths, some of which occurred unexpectedly while the stars were still starring on Neighbours, have left fans and fellow cast members distraught.

The Daily Star takes a look back at the Neighbours stars who have passed away.

Anne Haddy (Helen Daniels)

Anne Heddy was one of Neighbours’ longest-serving on-screen matriarchs, and her on-screen and real-life deaths left viewers devastated.

Helen had romantic relationships with people such as Reuben White and James Condon, witnessed the strange disappearance of members of her family, and put viewers in tears following her terrible death in her sleep while watching Scott and Charlene’s wedding in 1997.

In 1987, she won the Penguin Award for Sustained Performance by an Actor in a Series for her portrayal of Helen.


Away from the screen, Anne had struggled with a variety of health issues, including a heart attack that necessitated numerous bypass operations, angina, and renal problems, prompting her to retire in 1997.

The actress, however, died on June 6, 1999, at the age of 69, barely two years after leaving Neighbours.

Cathy Godbold, (Sondra Pike)

Cathy Godbold was one of Australia’s most well-known television actors, having starred in both Home And Away and Neighbours, as well as The Saddle Club’s Deborah Hale Regnery.

Sondra Pike, who was featured in plot lines such as her renowned love triangle with Darren Starke and Libby Kennedy, was cast as Sondra Pike in Neighbours in 1997.

In 2007, however, the actress was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy to remove a brain tumour.

Unfortunately, the illness reappeared in 2018, and a second tumour had formed, and the actress died on May 4, 2018, at the age of 43.

“Cathy was a great, young woman and a very brilliant young actress,” one of her close friends said in a statement to 9 News.

“However, it gradually took control, and it was a horrible, tragic finish, as with all brain tumours.”

“We were also reading to her from her scrapbooks, so there were some wonderful, poignant moments as well.”

Cathy was laid to rest alongside her mother, Australian TV legend Rosemary Margan, who died of cancer in December 2017 at the age of 80.

Myra De Groot, (Eileen Clarke)

When Neighbours first aired in 1985, Myra De Groot was one of the original cast members, and her character, the meddling Eileen Clarke, quickly became a fan favourite.

She became well known for shrieking “Desmond” in a high pitched voice during her stint on the serial, much to the chagrin of her son – and many of the Ramsay Street inhabitants.

However, three years later, on April 4, 1988, at the age of 50, the actress died of cancer.

Miranda Fryer (Sky Mangel)

Sky Mangel has been played by a number of actresses over the years, notably Miranda Fryer, who rose to popularity as a young actress on the drama.

She was just 18 months old when she was cast in the part of Sky, opposite Mark Litte and Linda Hartley-Clark, who played her on-screen parents.

Miranda later quit the show and decided to train to be a nurse rather than pursue a career in acting.

Miranda, however, died in her sleep on January 6, 2022, at the age of 34, at her home in Melbourne, with her family saying that the actress had suffered heart difficulties – however the cause of death was not established.

“True soulmates, Miranda and [husband] Arthur were making preparations to start their family when one day last week she went to sleep and never woke up,” her family stated in a statement. We have no idea why.

“She had been having some heart problems.” Perhaps her lovely persona was just too excellent for this earth. We, who all adored her, will cherish the memories she has left us with and mourn her death for the rest of our lives.”

Adam Stewart (Aaron Barkley)

Stewart Adam starred as sexy mechanic Aaron Barkley on Neighbours from 2003 to 2004, and his sudden death startled his fellow Neighbours cast members and viewers.

Steward died from a blood clot on June 21, 2004, at the age of 24 years old, after feeling ill at his parent’s house and a post-mortem revealed he had suffered deep vain thrombosis.

“The cast was stunned,” a Neighbours spokeswoman said after his death.

“When the announcement was announced in the Green Room, they were all stunned. “I’m not sure anyone trusted what they were hearing.”

Gerda Nicolson, (Robyn Taylor)

In 1989, Gerda Nicolson debuted as Robyn Taylor on Ramsay Street, and despite only appearing in ten episodes, she left an indelible effect on viewers, including a scene where viewers thought she was having an affair with Harold Bishop.

The actress was also known for her role as the Governor of Wentworth Prison in the soap opera Prisoner, in addition to her involvement in Neighbours.

Gerda fainted backstage while preparing for a theatre performance three years after her Neighbours debut, and died on June 12, 1992, at the age of 54.

Val Jellay (Connie O’ Rourke)

Val Jellay was another well-known Australian actress who began her career in Vaudeville before obtaining roles in TV shows like The Flying Doctors.

She also appeared in several episodes of Neighbours in 2000 as Connie O’ Rourke.

The actress retired after a long playing career, but she died in May 2017 at the age of 89, from complications related to pneumonia.

Marty Fields, her son, wrote a Twitter tribute to her passing, saying, “My mother, Val, passed away today of pneumonia.” She had an incredible life.

“She’s back with her beloved Maurie now,” says the narrator. I’ll miss her terribly.”

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