Judy Morris

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]

Judy Morris
Judith Ann L'Armand

13 December 1947 (1947-12-13) (age 72)
Queensland, Australia
  • Actress
  • film director
  • screenwriter

Early career

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

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:


Her roles as a child actress in the United States are not listed.

Year Production Role
1967Bellbird (TV series)
1970Mrs. Finnegan (TV series)Receptionist
1971Three to GoJudy (in segment Judy)
1971The Comedy Game (TV series)
1972Barrier Reef (TV series)Gail Smith
1972The Final Countdown
1972The Spoiler (TV series)Fancy
1972-1973Boney (TV series)2 roles
-Kathy Markham (1972)
Jill Madden (1973)
1973LibidoSybil (segment: The Child
1973Ryan(TV series)Jan Taylor
1972-1973Over There (TV series)Elizabeth Kirby
1973Avengers on the ReefAirline Hostess
1973-1974Certain Women (TV series)Marjorie Fisher
1970-1974Homicide (TV series)3 roles
-Margaret Gillespie
Caroline Murray
Prue Flether
1974Between WarsDeborah Trenbow
1971-1975Matlock Police (TV series)4 roles
-Jenny Fletcher
-Bel Harris
Sheila Kelly
Jill Thompson
1970-1975Division 4 (TV series)7 roles
-Sandra Morris
-Liz Chandler
-Judy Sutton (as Judith Morris)
-Helen Ford
-Helen Roche
-Evie Morris
-Lynne Clarke
-Kim Baker/Police Officer Kim Baker
1975Cash and Company (TV series)Mary Fincham
1975The Great MacArthy (TV series)Miss Russell
1975Scobie MaloneHelga Brand
1976Luke's Kingdom (TV series)Ellen
1976The Trespassers (Dee)
1976Alvin Purple (TV series)Sophie
1976Master of the World (TV movie)Voice
1976The Outsiders (TV series)Karen
1977The Picture Show ManMiss Lockhart
1977Mama's Gone A-Hunting (TV movie)Tessa Goodman
1977The Dave Allen Show in Australia (TV series)Various
1978The Geeks (TV movie)Lee
1978In Search of AnnaSam
1978Cass (TV movie)Margo
1979The Plumber (TV movie)Jill Cowper
1979Skyways (TV series)Robin Davies
1979The First Christmas (TV movie)Movie
1980The Girl Who Met Simone de Beauvoir (film short)
1981...Maybe This TimeFran
1982Spring and Fall (TV series)Anne Lawrence
1983Phar LapBee Davis
1984RazorbackBeth Withers
1985Colour in the Creek (TV series)Ellen Fletcher
1985Time's Raging (TV movie)Lauren
1985Best EnemiesPatricia
1986The More Things ChangeConnie
1986The Last Frontier (TV movie)Meg Stenning
1987Going SaneAinslee Brown
1987The Last of the Mohicans (TV movie)Voice
1988The Dirtwater Dynasty (miniseries)Frances Eastwick
1989Bangkok Hilton (miniseries)Catherine Faulkner
1991Eggshells (TV series)Kathy Rose
1992The Other Side of Paradise (TV movie)Miss Sowerby
1993Crocadoo (TV series)Melba
1984-1994Mother and Son (TV series)Liz Beare
1996Twisted (TV series)Veronica
1995-1997Spellbinder (TV series)
1997Heartbreak High (TV series)Fiona
1998Crocodoo IIMelba
1999Ballykissangel (TV series) Laurie Woskett


Year Production Role
1989Luigi's LadiesWriter
1998Babe: Pig in the CityWritten by
2002Dinotopia (TV series)Writer - 1 episode (The Matriarch)
2006Happy Feet (film)Written By
2008Meerkat Manor: The Story BeginsCommentary
2009Legend (film short)Written by
2010Written by
2011The Eye of the StormScreenplay
2011Happy Feet IICharacters - Writer
In ProductionChasing SatellitesScreenplay

Film Director

Year Production Role
1989Luigi's LadiesDirector
2006Happy FeetCo-Director

See also


  1. "The Penguin Suite". Fairfax Digital. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  2. "Judy Morris (1)". IMDB. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  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. 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.
  9. "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
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