Australians all over the country were saddened earlier this month when actress Carmen Duncan passed away at the age of 76. The star — who was best known for her role as Helen Sheridan on evening soap Number 96 — died after a battle with cancer. She had battled the disease several times throughout her life.
Her sister Paula, who is also a famous star from shows like The Young Doctor, Cop Shop and Prisoner, has now spoken about the impact her sister’s death had on her on Thursday’s episode of The Daily Edition.
Speaking about the support she received from the community following her sister’s death, she described it as “absolutely extraordinary”.
“I think she would be overwhelmed,” Paula said. “I had at one stage about 3,000 [text messages]. And it sounds ridiculous but I did.”
The star went on to explain that her sister was just as popular with the family as she was with her fans all around the world.
“She really had an amazing life and she was very popular with the family and she was a very family girl and a wonderful wonderful mother and grandmother,” Paula explained.
Despite working in the same industry, however, Paula insisted there was no competition between them when they were growing up.
“I don’t think it was rivalry because I auditioned for NIDA [National Institute of Dramatic Art] and I didn’t get in and she was the one that persuaded me to go back again,” she said. “She was actually the force behind me becoming an actor there were no doubt about it. She wanted me to be an actor.”
Paula went on to say that Carmen “was always behind us” and had been mentoring her daughter and niece, who are both aspiring actresses, before her tragic death.
“And ironically she’s also the force, very much was the force and is the force,” Paula said.
Read more: Number 96 star Carmen Duncan dies aged 76
Throughout her career, Carmen appeared in a number of iconic movies and TV shows. In 1973, most Aussies recognised the star for her role as Helen Sheridan on evening soap Number 96.
She also appeared in A Country Practice as Rowena Elliott, Terence Elliott’s wife, as well as a string of other popular shows including Hunter, Certain Women and Skyways. Later in her career, Duncan showcased her acting talents in other popular Aussie shows including All Saints, Water Rats, Always Greener and Winners and Losers.
In addition to her work as an actress, Carmen also made waves as an activist. In 2006, she became a fundraising manager for Go Fund and spent much of her time focused on research and treatment for gynaecological cancer. She was also an Ambassador for the Breast Care Centre at the Royal Hospital for Women.