Joan Sydney

Joan Sydney (born 5 September 1938)[2] is a former English-Australian actress, known for her work in radio, theatre, television serials and soap operas, of the latter best known as Valda Sheergold, in serial Neighbours and previously as Maggie Sloan (later Morrison) in A Country Practice and Mary Patchett in E Street.

Joan Sydney
Born (1938-09-05) 5 September 1938
London, England
A Country Practice
E Street
Years active1956, 1977-2012 (screen appearance's only)
FamilyMaggie King (sister)[1]


Joan Sydney was born in London, England, United Kingdom and has had a long career in all genres of the entertainment industry, including radio, television, mini-series and made for television films

After appearing on stage and film in her native Britain, making her debut in 1957 film When We Are Married she immigrated to Australia, where she has become a staple of the small screen since 1978. She remains best known for her long-running Logie Award-winning role as Maggie Sloan, the no-nonsense matron of the fictional "Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital" in the Seven Network drama A Country Practice from 1983 until 1990. Sydney won the Silver Logie Award for Most Popular Actress for her performance in 1989. She was also appeared in numerous s theatre productions locally including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Talking Heads and Dirty Dusters.

In 1993, after twelve seasons on air, A Country Practice was cancelled, but Network Ten picked it up soon afterwards. Production was relocated from (Pitt Town, NSW) to (Emerald, Victoria) and, after having spent time in England, Sydney returned as Matron.

Joan Sydney went on to another popular soap opera, playing publican Mary Patchett in E Street. Later, she played the role of Valda Sheergold in the long-running serial Neighbours between 2002 and 2008, originally on a semi-regular recurring basis, before becoming a permanent member of the cast for the 2007-2008 season.

In 1987 Joan Sydney starred in a movie-length pilot episode for the subsequently unmade series Sisterly Love. She also had guest roles in many other programs including Mother and Son, All Saints, Something in the Air and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

She has also appeared as Cliff Young's mother in the 2013 telemovie Cliffy, based on the life of Australian athlete Cliff Young.

Personal life

Sydney's son Tony Braxton-Smith, was the former CEO of Great Southern Rail.[3] Sydney currently resides in a nursing home in Healesville, Victoria. Sydney is the sister of actress Maggie King.[1]


Year Title Role
1957When We Are MarriedRuby Birtle
1978The Scalp Merchant (TV movie)
1981Falcon IslandMrs Yates
1985One Summer Again
1986Hector's Bunyip (TV movie)Maude Trembalt
1987Flight in to Hell (miniseries)
1988Sisterly LoveJean
1989E StreetMary Patchatt
1992Mother and Son (TV series)Merle MacDonald
1983-1993A Country Practice (Seven Network series)Matron Margaret "Maggie" Sloane
1994Tracks of GloryMrs. Walker
1994A Country Practice (Network Ten)Margaret "Maggie" Morrison
2000Something in the AirRuth Dooley
2001All SaintsMrs. Price
2005Martie's Party (short)Joan
2002-2008NeighboursValda Sheergold; 150 episodes
2008Your Turn (short)Joan
2009Thank God You're Here (TV series)Additional cast
2012 Conspiracy 365 (TV series)
2013Cliffy (telemovie)Cliff Young's mother
2013Miss Fisher's Murder MysteriesMother Aloysius


  • Nunsense
  • Cat on a Tot Tin Roof
  • Talking Heads
  • Dirty Dusters
  • The Deckchair



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