Lorraine Bayly

Lorraine Daphne Bayly AM (born 16 January 1937) is an Australian actress of film, television and theatre, best known for her role as matriarch Grace Sullivan in serialThe Sullivans

Lorraine Bayly
Bayly in 2012
Lorraine Daphne Bayly

(1937-01-16) 16 January 1937
OccupationFilm and television actress
Years active1958–present

Lorraine Bayly was born in Narrandera, New South Wales. Her first performance was at age 3, playing tambourine with the Salvation Army. At ages 5–9, she wrote, directed and starred in plays in the local jail; her father being a policeman, amateur magician and ventriloquist. At age 9-10, she had a ventriloquist act which 35 years later she performed part of on The Parkinson Show in 1984, using Michael as her dummy. At age 11-12, she played classical piano Saturday afternoons live on Radio 2UE and at 21, was a founding member of the Ensemble Theatre at Kirribilli in Sydney. Over the next 55 years Bayly has played 43 roles in various theatre companies all over Australia.



Some of Lorraine's theatre roles include Chase Me Comrade with Stanley Baxter, playing Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller's The Last Yankee, Sheila in John Misto's Shoehorn Sonata, Mrs Patrick Campbell in Dear Liar, Margaret in Rough Justice, D H Lawrence's The Daughter-in-Law, David Williamson's Travelling North and Birthrights, Bella in Gaslight and The Male of The Species with Edward Woodward. In 2010 Lorraine starred in the well known play Calendar Girls and more recently in David Williamson's When Dad Married Fury.


Listed among Lorraine's many television credits: The miniseries 1915 (ABC), The Challenge playing Eileen Bond, Betsy Tender in Grim Pickings (SAFC) and as Lindy Chamberlain's mother Avis Murchison in Through My Eyes: The Lindy Chamberlain Story. Lorraine was also a popular presenter and original cast member on the children's television show Play School from 1966 to 1978.

Bayly is perhaps best known to television audiences for her portrayal of Grace Sullivan, the mother figure in the drama series The Sullivans (1976–1979), dealing with life for an ordinary Australian family during the Second World War. Indeed, Lorraine's character had one of the more iconic storylines when her character was killed by a V-bomb in England.

From 1982 to 1984, Bayly played the lead role of progressive solicitor Jennifer Carson in another period television drama Carson's Law set in 1920s Melbourne. The episodes revolved around the cases taken on by Jennifer and the various personal intrigues of her family. The series also starred Kevin Miles as Jennifer's father-in-law Godfrey Carson and Gregg Caves, as Billy Carson. The series Carson's Law was written specifically for Bayly.

From 1991 to 1992, Bayly played Faye Hudson, in the long running Australian soap opera Neighbours. Faye was a "busybody" who moved in with her brother Doug Willis (Terence Donovan) and his family.[1]


Lorraine's film roles include Fatty Finn (AFI nominated), Ride a Wild Pony for Disney and The Man From Snowy River alongside acting legend Kirk Douglas.


Lorraine was made a Member of the Order of Australia by The Queen in the Australia Day Honours List 2001.


Lorraine has won 10 awards from 14 nominations including three Silver Logies in 1978, 1979 and 1983 for Most Popular Actress in The Sullivans and Carson's Law respectively. She was also named in "Australian Variety's 100 Entertainers of the Century" in 2006.

Personal life

Lorraine is a staunch advocate for organ donation and a supporter of the Australian Kidney Foundation. She is also a life member of the RSPCA.


  1. Dempsey, Shelley (20 June 1992). "Airwaves". The Sun-Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
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