Tributes paid to Neighbours actress who lived in Sussex

Vivean Gray - the British-born actress who played meddlesome Neighbours character Nell Mangel - who has died at the age of 92.  Picture: FremantleMedia Ltd/PA Wire

Vivean Gray - the British-born actress who played meddlesome Neighbours character Nell Mangel - who has died at the age of 92. Picture: FremantleMedia Ltd/PA Wire

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TRIBUTES have been paid to West Sussex-based actress Vivean Gray, best known for her role in hit Australian soap Neighbours, who has died aged 92.

Vivean was well known as the meddlesome character Nell Mangel, and also played gossipy neighbour Ida Jessup in The Sullivans.

The actress, who spent time living in Shoreham, landed her most famous role in 1986, becoming an overnight star, but left after two years to return to England, moving to Shoreham.

She gave up acting after the show, complaining of the verbal attacks she received from people who could not distinguish her from her on-screen character.

Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said in a statement: ‘It’s with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Vivean Gray.

‘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.’

Leading online tributes was actor Mark Little, who played her on-screen son Joe Mangel in the soap.

He tweeted: ‘Vivean Gray: Legend many times over. I was privileged to know and work with her. We laughed a lot creating The Mangel Dynasty.’

Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said in a statement: ‘It’s with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Vivean Gray.

‘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.’

Rick Maier, head of drama at Network Ten, told Australian blog TV Tonight: ‘Mrs Mangel and Mrs Jessup were two of our most iconic characters from one our very best character actors.

‘Ramsay Street changed forever, and certainly no secret was ever safe, with Mrs Mangel on the lookout.

‘Vivean’s contribution to Australian drama will never be forgotten. It is a very sad day for the Neighbours family.’

Jean Vivra Gray was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, the eldest of four children and the daughter of a fish and chip owner.

The family moved to Surrey and Gray came to acting late in life, after working as a photographer’s assistant and a sales assistant in a department store.

She moved to Australia in 1953, looking for acting work, and landed roles on the stage and in radio.

Gray then moved back to Shoreham after leaving Neighbours.

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