Cornelia Frances: Home and Away actor dies aged 77

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The veteran actress had several other iconic roles on Australia's small screen, including as host of the local version of game show The Weakest Link.

She was born in Liverpool, England, and moved to Australia in 1970 where her career took off.

"I've been very lucky and I really thank all the producers who hired me, because it ain't easy to put a bitch on television", she told Channel 9 earlier this year about the role of Morag.

"Cornie was an incredibly loved and valued member of our cast over many, many years", Meagher said in a statement.

She played the hard-as-nails hospital enforcer Sister Grace Scott on the popular TV soap The Young Doctors, where she remained until 1978. "I've loved every soapie I've been on".

Since the sad news broke, plenty of her co-stars and friends have paid tribute to the popular actress.

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Frances is survived by her son Lawrence Eastland, who yesterday shared a touching photo of his "peaceful" mother.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph at the time, Corney said "I was told that I did indeed have cancer and it had metastasised to my pelvic bone". 'This then spread to my hip bone which fractured, and then I nearly died from loss of blood due to an ulcer in my throat, ' she said. She'll be sadly missed.

Fans have also paid tribute to the late actress on Twitter, saying she was a "fantastic actor", "Aussie icon" and "a real classy woman".

Channel Seven said: "Cornelia Frances was a unique person". That 60 years in the industry ... it's been a wonderful road and I've loved every minute of it. "This gift was coupled with an ability to bring a sense of dignity and presence into each room she entered", a company spokesperson said. In a way she paved the way for women in Australian TV always playing such strong characters.

Cornelia played the character for 30 years, and also appeared in The Young Doctors, Sons and Daughters and Prisoner: Cell Block H.

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