Vivean Gray, who played meddlesome neighbour Mrs Nell Mangel in hit Australian TV soap Neighbours, has died aged 92. The British-born actress, who appeared in 292 episodes of the drama between 1986 and 1988, was remembered as one of the pivotal characters during the show’s golden era. Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said: “Mrs Mangel was the ultimate busybody, remembered for her conservatism and her caustic wit. She was a true soap legend and we thank her for all the wonderful memories.” And Rick Maier, head of drama at Network Ten, said: “Vivean’s contribution to Australian drama will never be forgotten. It is a very sad day for the Neighbours family.”
Vivean Gray: Legend many times over.I was privileged to know and work with her. We laughed a lot creating The Mangel Dynasty. RIP.
Mark Little, who played he son, Joe Mangel
The actress was born Jean Vivra Gray in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, the eldest of four children and the daughter of a fish and chip owner. She came to acting late having worked as a photographer’s assistant and a sales assistant in a department store. After moving to Australia in 1953 to look for acting work, she landed roles on the stage and in radio. Although best known as Mrs Mangel, she also appeared as gossipy neighbour Ida Jessup in The Sullivans and was honoured with her image on an Australian stamp for her role as a teacher in cult film Picnic At Hanging Rock.
You’ve just got to have a sense of humour about the whole thing, and rationalise it by saying at least the character is working
Vivean Grey reflects on abuse she received from viewers, which meant she gave up the role of Mrs Mangel after two years