Beloved Australian actress Joy Westmore has passed away at the age of 88, it has been confirmed. She had been living with dementia.
The TV icon will be best remembered for her role as prison guard Joyce Barry in Prisoner: Cell Block H, starring in more than 200 episodes of the 1980s soap. She also enjoyed stints on the likes of Neighbours, Bellbird and Blue Heelers.
The news of her death was announced on Channel Seven’s The Morning Show on Friday. Entertainment reporter Peter Ford said: “She had been battling dementia in recent years. Prisoner fans would know her well as Officer Barry for 249 episodes.
“She was almost a bit comic relief. She was the prison guard who was kind of too nice for her own good. Inevitably all these terrible prisoners would end up bashing her and kidnapping her and doing terrible things.
“Really good actress. Did a lot of comedy skits in the old days of Graham Kennedy and Ernie Sigley. We send all our condolences to her family – her four kids. The great Joy Westmore.”
— The Morning Show (@morningshowon7) November 5, 2020
Tributes flooded in for Westmore on social media, with one fan writing: “Vale Joy Westmore #AussieActor I remember her in the earlier Aussie show Bellbird, Cop Shop, The Sullivan’s and of course Prisoner.”
Another commented: “Mrs Barry from Prisoner: Cell Block H aka Joy Westmore has died, aged 88. Awww… so many classic moments!” While another wrote: “So sad. I absolutely loved Prisoner and Joy was fantastic in it.”
— Dan Hollingsworth (@D_Hollingsworth) November 6, 2020