Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lorraine Bayly

Lorraine Bayly.

Who are you?

Well, Lord Wiki says....

She's an actress....and another person from a children's TV show.

She was born 16 January 1937. Her half birthday is Tim's birthday. And Tim's birthday is her half birthday. Is that exciting or what?

Lord Wiki doesn't really say much about Lorraine Bayly, so I'm going to head over to IMDb.

Bayly's screen career began in 1966 when she started hosting Play School.

I'm going to read Lord Wiki's entry on the show.

It sounds a bit like our Sesame Street, although I think it's actually older. I think Sesame Street started in 1970.

Well, Lord Wiki says it started in 1969. I'm pretty close.

Play School was based on a British version of the show, and they started theirs in 1964.

In 2006, the show was entered into the Logie's Hall of Fame. In most years, a person goes into the hall of fame. Play School is one of only three shows that have made it in so far. Four Corners and Neighbours are the other two shows.

In 2004, there was some controversy regarding the show because it showed a little girl with two mothers. Some people had a fit about this. We had the same ridiculous situation in America with a show called Postcards From Buster.

From what Lord Wiki says, it seems like ABC fought back and didn't chicken out. I don't think the same can be said for America's PBS.

Lord Wiki says what happened there is that the secretary of education (under George W. Bush) got angry, and insisted that PBS return all Federal Funding used in the episode. Oh, this makes me sick. The episode didn't even use the word lesbian or gay. There was nothing sexual about it. It's CRAZY!

Anyway, PBS decided to pull the episode. Sad. Very sad. Fortunately, some TV stations decided to air it anyway. Good!

Here's a clip from the highly dangerous episode of Postcards from Buster. It's scary. Yeah.  I just watched like one minute, and I already feel myself turning a little gay.   Really.   It's amazing how that happens.  

I should get back to Play School. Here's their official website. The stuffed animals are fairly cute. I've been a little creeped out by dolls ever since reading Stephen King's Duma Key. The teddy bears on the site just look a bit stern. It's like they're mad at me. What did I do wrong? Tell me!

Oh wow. If I move my mouse over the bears, a friendly Australian guy tells me their name. It's Big Ted and Little Ted. Now they feel much less frightening to me.

I like Jemima. She seems sweet.

I was hoping to find some old videos of the show on YouTube, but I see only newer episodes. Oh well.

Anyway, my person of the day was on the show from 1966-1978. That's the time that I'd be watching children's television. If I was born in Australia instead of America, I would have probably watched her.

Deborah Mailman was a host of the show at one time. Did I mention that? I remember reading it, but I don't know if I wrote it down. And Christine Anu has done some hosting. Anyone else that I recognize? Ruth Cracknell! Did I mention that when I wrote about her?

In 1966, Bayly also appeared in six episodes of a TV show called The Interpretaris. It was some kind of science fiction thing.

In 1967 and 1968, she had several guest appearances on a TV show called Hunter. I can imagine it was funny for parents to see stars of of their kid's shows on prime time TV.

My mom likes to remind me that Morgan Freeman used to be on The Electric Company.

I'm skipping over some TV appearances in the 1960's and 1970's. She was in one or two episodes of various TV shows...here and there.

Between 1967 and 1971, she guest-starred on four episodes of Homicide. Each time she played a different character.

In 1975, Bayly was in a movie called Ride a Wild Pony. It's a family movie...one of those horse things. IMDb says it was the first full-length Disney film to be made in Australia. So I guess it's an American-Australian movie.

YouTube has the beginning scenes from the movie. Happy music and shots of horses....I know some people greatly enjoy that stuff.

In 1976, Bayly began starring in a soap opera called The Sullivans. She played Grace Sullivan.

In 1978 and 1979, Bayly won Logies for the show.

Lord Wiki says the show was about a family in Melbourne during World War II. Bayly played the mother of four kids. One was anti-war, and another one wanted to rush out and fight.

YouTube has a clip from the show with Kylie Minogue as one of the guest stars.

Well, Lorraine Bayly wasn't in that clip, but it was fun seeing Minogue as a child.


In 1980, Bayly was a in a family movie that earned her an AFI nomination for lead actress. This was Fatty Fin. It was filmed in Glebe. We went there!

Here's a clip from the movie. Boxing children. For some reason, it reminds me of an old Jodie Foster movie. I don't know why. Maybe that was about boxing too? I'm not sure what movie I'm thinking about. Maybe Foster wasn't even in it.

In 1982, Bayly was in The Man From Snowy River. I'm not sure if her role in that was very big. From what I'm gathering, it seems she had a small role. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Also in 1982, Bayly was in a miniseries called 1915. It was about the war, and won the 1983 Logie for best miniseries.

In 1986, Bayly did another miniseries. This was called The Challenge, and it was about Australia winning the 1983 America's Cup. It's a yacht racing thing. The thing about this competition is that America almost always wins. Australia broke a 132 year winning streak. It was pretty exciting news.

In 1989, Bayly did an Agatha Christie style miniseries called Grim Pickings. It wasn't actually based on something Christie wrote. Rather it was written by an Australian mystery author named Jennifer Rowe. Rowe also writes some children's books under the name Emily Rodda.

In 1992, Bayly did fifteen episodes of Neighbours.

The last screen thing she did was in 2004. That was a miniseries called Through My Eyes. It was about the Lindy Chamberlain (baby/dingo) situation.

Since I haven't yet had luck finding clips that included Bayly, I plugged her name along into YouTube.

I got a few things. I'll watch them.

Here's some short segment of something about getting old. I don't really know what it is, or where it comes from. Maybe it's part of a documentary. I'm not sure which person is Bayly. Well, I know she's not the man. So I have just two people that could be her.

Okay. She's the woman in the middle. I'm curious about who this Kamahl man is. I'm guessing he's Indian?

Well, he's Sri Lanken-Australian Would that count as Indian? Well, the countries are so close.....

At the end of the video, Bayly is asked what her advice is for youth. Bayly says not to take stuff for granted, and think of other people besides yourself. Good advice, but nothing very new or profound.

The whole video in itself was a bit lacking...at least in my opinion. I don't feel like I got any exciting new insights.

Here's Bailey in an ad for Bushells Tea. It's from 1965, so that's BEFORE Play School.

Flavor is more important than price.

Well, I'm going to go and eat lunch. Then I'll try to find some information...maybe some interviews....

I'm back.

Here's an interview on a website about Neighbours.

Bayly says she does mostly theater. She said she was on a show called Carson's Law. I think I missed that on IMDb. Let me go back and check. Okay. It was on from 1983-1984. I think I had assumed she just guest-starred. But I guess she was actually part of the show on a regular basis. Maybe?

Bayly did Neighbours for about six months. She said her character (Faye Hudson) was girly, shallow, self-absorbed but also a little pathetic. That sort of describes me. I'm somewhat girly. I'm very self-absorbed...but also other-people absorbed. I'm obsessed with ALL of us. I'm very pathetic. I'm not very shallow.

Bayly doesn't seem very eager to discuss her role in Neighbours. It's almost as if she's bored by the discussion. I could be imagining it.

She says she doesn't continue to watch Neighbours, but her niece-in-law does.

Here's a whole biography of the character Bayly played.

Faye Hudson was a married woman on various fundraising boards. She kept active in that scene. She had a high-achieving son that made her proud. Life was good. But then husband Kevin died. Faye was left alone with lots of money. She moved in with her relatives who found her to be very annoying.

It sounds like she was a bit of a busy body. For example, she scolded a child for playing with snails in the garden. He had been collecting them for pay.

I found a scene with Faye. I hadn't been able to find one before by searching for Bayly's name with Neighbours. But I could find one using her character's name.

Oh! That was the snail scene. Faye is quite a bitch. I don't like when adults treat children that way. I strongly believe that children should be polite and respectful towards their elders, but only if the adult is acting polite, reasonable, and respectful themselves.

Here's a Talking Heads interview with Bayly.

She had some bad stuff happen in her early childhood, but usually likes to keep that private. The discussion is about how celebrities have to put some stuff out there, but some of them also manage to keep some stuff private.

Bayly was born in Booligal. That's in New South Wales. It's ten hours west of Sydney, eight hours from Canberra, and five hours away from Broken Hill. It kind of seems to be out in the middle of nowhere.

Bayly's dad was a policeman, but he also did amateur stuff as a magician and ventriloquist.

At some point, the family moved to Narrandera. That's about three hours south-east of Booligal.

She says her parents were great. There was happiness...at least in the beginning. I guess the dark stuff didn't happen until later.

Okay. The bad stuff began when she was about five. Her father was transfered, and her parents marriage was failing.

This is sad. When her parents divorced, Bayly's younger sister was sent to live with her mom. Bayly ended up with her dad. They split up the children. Do courts still ever do that? I hope not!

If I'm reading this right, the family was in Batemans Bay when the divorce happened. Then Bayly's dad was transfered again. They went to Batlow. Bayly says this was far from Batesman Bay. I'm having trouble with Google Maps, so I'll trust Baly's words about this.

Later, Bayly and her dad moved to Sydney. She was nervous about moving to a big city, but ended up liking it.

Bayly loved high school. She did three plays there.

After high school she worked at a bank. Her heart was into acting. She took some acting classes with an American living in Sydney named Hayes Gordon. She, Gordon, and others established the Ensemble Theater Company. The theater has a restaurant named after Bayly. It seems decent to me. They have some good vegetarian options. They have gluten-free options as well.

They go back to talking about Bayly's childhood. She didn't just have the problem of being separated from her sister. She also had to deal with the whole stepmother situation. She says one of her stepmothers started out decent. But this woman wanted a child of her own. When she couldn't have one, she became emotionally disturbed. At one point, she threatened to throw acid in Bayly's face. Bayly was very traumatized by this.

Bayly somewhat defends this stepmother. She says she was a nice person. Bayly believes she was going through some kind of psychological crisis.

Yeah. We all go a little crazy sometimes.

Bayly said she saw this stepmom years later, and she was back to her normal nice self. Well, that's good.

Bayly didn't like the second stepmother at all. She left home because of her.

It sounds like she loved doing Play School. She did that during the day, and could still do theater at night.

She said people often assume Play School is ad libbed, but she says most of it is tightly scripted.

Bayly says she did a program called Slim as You Clean. It was about getting in shape as you clean. Bayly acts as if the whole thing is silly. I think it makes sense! Why not use cleaning as a form of exercise? It's like killing two birds with one stone.

Bayly suffered from panic attacks....like Rebecca Gibney. And there's other celebrities who share the infliction. This website lists some of them.

Bayly says for her the attacks come from a heavy workload....the stress of performing. So she lightened her load a bit.

Ah! She actually retired from the theater. And IMDb says she's not doing much screen work either. I guess she's relaxing. That's good. If it makes someone feel better, it's probably the right thing to do.

She says family is her top priority. She has a close relationship with her sister, and niece and nephew. She doesn't have children of her own. Bayly is asked if this was a conscious choice. It wasn't. It's just not something that happened for her. She was busy with her career, and the next thing she knew....it was rather too late.

It doesn't sound like much regrets the childless life. She says she had a good life.

She says her last partner was her soulmate Steve. She's asked what a soulmate is. Her answer: Well, a soul mate is someone that you can just totally relax with and you can feel things together and you don't have to work at it. The relationship just happens and it's comfortable, and that's how it was with Steve and I.

I like that definition a lot. I hear people say that marriage and love isn't easy. You have to WORK at it. I don't know. I think if you're with your soulmate, it shouldn't be that challenging. I mean not that every moment is going to be perfect. There's always going to be rough patches. But I think for the most part it SHOULD be easy. Things should click. There should be a magical happy connection.

I know. I'm probably idealistic.

I think I'd divide marriages into three types.

A) soulmates who happily and easily stay together for many decades.
B) People who accidentally married someone who is NOT their soulmate. As soon as they realize this, they quit, divorce, and try to find something better.
C) People who realize they didn't marry their soulmate, but think ah, what the heck. We might as well try to make this work.

Sadly, Bayly's soulmate died from Kidney disease. It pushed her into campaigning for organ donation.

In her retirement days, Bayly does stuff to ward off Alzheimer's. She exercises her brain by doing crossword puzzles, playing the saxophone, and learning Italian. That sounds fun to me.

Anyway, I think I'm done exercising MY brain. Now I need to go and exercise my body.

16 comments:

Andrew said...

Forever Grace Sullivan in my mind. She has some rather extreme right wing views but I forget the details.Caring parents make sure their children watch Playschool rather than Sesame Street, lest the child grows up saying zee instead of zed.

Dina said...

Andrew,

I didn't read anything about her being right-wing. But it wouldn't surprise me at all. From what I read, I can imagine it.

And of course we don't want little Austrians saying "Zee". The horror!

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you listed so many TV guest appearances but missed Carson's Law. She wasn't just "maybe a regular" on it, but the show was actually written for her. Best site for info on the show is this one:

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~fangora/carsons.html

There's also a very short clip of it here:
http://www.crawfords.com.au/libary/drama/carsons_law.shtml

And some related videos on Youtube.

Also, if you looked up her name on Youtube, there's a promo clip for one out of the 50 theatre plays she did - Rabbit Hole (2007).

And there are some more text and audio interviews on the net, not as extensive as the Talking Heads one but some are more recent.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the Older & Wiser clip is from the last NSW Seniors Week.

Dina said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for the information!

Michael said...

I liked her as Grace Sullivan. Was it really 1976? Wow!

Andrew said...

Austrian, nice work.

Martin said...

Actually, Austrians say zed, too (although pronounced more like tset).

Dina said...

Michael: Time flies! And thanks for being my Facebook friend.


Andrew: I'm embarrassed by my mistake. Sorry about that. Maybe this post is the beginning of my downfall. I left out essential information in the post. Then I confused Australia with Austria.

Martin: Cool. See? Maybe subconsciously I felt it was time we all talk about Austria.

Anonymous said...

You are welcome.

And btw, I think you missed another - very large - category of marriages - people who knowingly marry someone who's not their soulmate, because they didn't find their soulmate, got tired of waiting, wanted a family, didn't want to be alone, etc.

Dina said...

Anonymous,

I also missed those who marry for money, those who marry because they're horny and don't believe in premarital sex, those who are pregnant and feel they must marry, and those who are trying to hide their homosexuality.

So, how, why, and when did you become a fan of Bayly?

Anonymous said...

Lol. Fair enough. I just meant that there are a lot of people - ordinary people, who just make do what who they could find. It would be lovely if everyone married because they found their soulmate, but unfortunately I suspect this is often not the case.

To your second question - how? Carson's Law. Why? Because of an extraordinarily brilliant portrayal in a great series. When? I suppose I could say 1990.

Andrew said...

Oh, I thought you were making a joke. Me making a stand against American imperialism on our tvs and you putting me back in my place by not even getting the name of our country right. A lot of mail for Australia ends up going via Austria.

Dina said...

Andrew,

lol. And I can't quite stop laughing. I wish it had been a joke.

MissyBoo said...

And here I am 35+some years later watching Playschool with my daughter, but I grew up with Lorraine :)

Dina said...

Missyboo,

That's so sweet : )

I never really had that with Sesame Street. I mean I watched it when I was a child, but Jack never showed much interest. There was too much other stuff to choose from, and he preferred the other stuff.