Panda Lisner

Panda Lisner (born Joan Dorothy Kelly; 29 August 1930[1] – 2011) was an Australian television presenter, most notable for her work during the early days of Australian television.[2][3]

Lisner is arguably best known for her time as a "barrel girl" on variety show, In Melbourne Tonight.[4]

Personal life

She was born in Claremont, Western Australia.[5] In 1961, Lisner married American entertainer Jimmy Allen and relocated to the United States of America.[6]


Apart from In Melbourne Tonight, Lisner also appeared on Astor Showcase, The Bob Dyer Show, The Panda Show, Merry Go Round and The Happy Show.

During her television career, she won a number of Logie Awards including the TV Star of the Year Award (which was renamed the Gold Logie) at the first Australian television awards ceremony in 1959.[6] Lisner was also awarded Logies for being Best Female Personality (Nine Network) in 1960, Most Popular Female (Victoria) in 1961 and Most Popular Female (Victoria) in 1963.

Australian actress Kate Doherty portrayed Lisner in the 2007 biographical film about Graham Kennedy, The King.

Lisner moved back to Australia before she died in 2011.[6]



  1. "Panda Lisner".
  2. "Gold and Silver Logie Awards, 1969 & 1970". State Library of New South Wales.
  3. "TV Week Award, 1959". National Film and Sound Archive. February 2019.
  4. Bye, Susan (1 May 2009) Debating the Barrel Girl - The Rise and Fall of Panda Lisner, SAGE Journals. Accessed 9 November 2018.
  5. Kennedy, Graham; Emery, Carol (1958) Edition Details: Graham Kennedy and Panda with other people, National Library of Australia. Accessed 9 November 2018.
  6. Lennon, Troy (7 May 2016) Winning a Gold Logie is not always a passport to stardom, The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  7. "1969 Final Tarax Show". Australian food history timeline. 21 September 1960.
  8. "Death of a TV giant". The Age. 26 May 2005.
  9. "Inscription on a TV Week Award, 1959". National Film and Sound Archive. February 2019.
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