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Noeline still going strong

Noeline Brown in Noosa.
Noeline Brown in Noosa. Contributed

WHEN it comes to playing a part in Australia's cultural fabric, no one has nailed it better than actress Noeline Brown.

From spoofing a third-rate English performer called Mavis Bramston, to singing alongside Gough Whitlam in 1972 to the tune of It's Time, protesting the Vietnam War, helping make a Naked Vicar famous, being one of the witty wags of Blankety Blanks and last, but not least, becoming Australia's Ambassador for the Aging.

"It seems like one thing led to the other - life's a happy accident," Noeline said in Noosa last Thursday where she was helping celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Association of Independent Retirees Noosa branch.

For younger generations not aware of the Mavis Bramston Show, which introduced home-grown Aussie satire to our black and white TV sets in the early 1960s, Noeline tucked into the part of a Pom sent packing from her own show on her first appearance.

Part of the Australian cultural cringe back then was that most variety shows felt they had to import overseas "stars" no matter how much talent they lacked, otherwise the audience would not want to tune in.

In the 1970s Noeline had moved on from another landmark comedy series, My Name's McGooley - What's Yours, to be a star of the Naked Vicar Show. She married the hit show's script writer and producer Tony Sattler.

They still work together in their production company and she has continued to perform on stage and in film.

Noeline was last in Noosa to launch her 2005 autobiography, Noeline Brown - Longterm Memoir.

She was asked to become the Ambassador for the Aging in 2008, which was not as easy a gig to come by as some of her other roles.

"They had to do a security check - I would have thought that ASIO would have had a file on me after my Mavis days," Noeline said.

"It's supposed to be a part-time job but it's become a full-time job.

"It's about realising that we're getting older and the sky is not falling down."

Topics:  actress, culture, noeline brown


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