Beloved Australian actor Cornelia Frances has passed away overnight after losing her battle with cancer.
The 77-year-old veteran star, who played Morag Bellingham on the long-running television soap opera Home and Away, was surrounded by friends and family when she died on May 29 in Sydney, reported Newscorp.
“Cornelia Frances was a unique person,” a spokesperson for the Seven Network said in a statement.
“Her on-screen presence inspired a generation of actors. This gift was coupled with an ability to bring a sense of dignity and presence into each room she entered. Her energy and character will be missed.”
Frances was born in Liverpool, England, and moved to Australia in 1970 where she started her career in acting. She was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017.
“I discovered I had bladder cancer. This then spread to my hip bone which fractured, and then I almost died from loss of blood due to an ulcer in my throat. Despite all this, I am still here, as the old song goes,” Frances told The Sunday Telegraph in January this year.
Her son Lawrence shared a moving photo of his mother on Instagram showing her final days.
“A very personal photo of my mum during one of her resting moments, she is so peaceful, soft and serene. I truly love this woman,” he wrote.
A very personal photo of my mum during one of her resting moments, she is so peaceful, soft and serene. I truly love this woman. #fuckcancer #beautiful #cornelia #mum #iloveyou #whatawoman #peace #sleeytime #sleep #rest #divinefeminine #strong #inspiring #iloveyoumum
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Along with Home and Away, the six-time Logie nominee is well known for her role as a game show host on The Weakest Link in the early 2000s. She also played sister Grace Scott in The Young Doctors and Barbara Armstrong in Sons and Daughters.
Ray Meagher, who played Frances’ on-screen brother, Alf, in Home and Away, said that Frances will be missed.
“We had a moment of silence for her on set this morning and she’ll be sadly missed by both cast and crew,” he told Newscorp.