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Entertainment icon Jeanne Little is farewelled at a memorial in Sydney

by Marylou Mickens (2021-01-10)


Gold Logie winner and Australian entertainment legend Jeanne Little has died aged 82 after a long battle with dementia

Entertainment legend Jeanne Little has been remembered as a madcap television talent, serious stage performer and Australian performing icon.

Singers, actors and media figures who worked with Little over her long career gathered on Wednesday for a memorial service to farewell the beloved star.  

Little died on November 7 aged 82 after a decade-long battle with dementia.  

Due to COVID-19 restrictions numbers were capped at 100 for the celebration of Little's life in the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace at Cremorne on Sydney's lower north shore. If you beloved this article and you simply would like to receive more info pertaining to Semi-Private Piano Lessons for all ages as well as Private Voice Lessons i implore you to visit our webpage.  

The art deco cinema is owned by former daytime TV presenter and theatre producer Mike Walsh, who first brought Little into Australians' lounge rooms. 

Her family asked that instead of sending flowers friends and fans donate to the Jeanne Little Alzheimer's Research Fund. 

Celebrant Scott Duncombe gave permission to those in the theatre to 'applaud, to cry, to pray, to laugh or just be present' as they honoured 'an Australian icon'.

To those watching the service on a live stream at home he suggested cracking a bottle of champagne and raising a glass to acknowledge there was now 'one less star on this planet.'

Among the guests were singers Marcia Hines, 67, and Maria Venuti, 79, former federal parliamentary speaker Bronwyn Bishop, 78, ABC chair Ita Buttrose, 78, and commentator Prue MacSween, 68.

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Entertainment legend Jeanne Little has been remembered as a madcap television talent, serious stage performer and Australian performing icon. Among those who attended a memorial service on Monday were singer Marcia Hines (left) and ABC chair Ita Buttrose (right)

Singer Maria Venuti was among those to celebrate the life of Jeanne Little. Venuti, who suffered a stroke four years ago, is pictured with daughter Bianca 

Former federal parliamentary speaker Bronwyn Bishop (pictured) came to celebrate the life of Jeanne Little at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace at Cremorne on Sydney's lower north shore

Due to COVID-19 restrictions numbers were capped at 100 for the celebration of Little's life in the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace at Cremorne on Sydney's lower north shore

Walsh, 82, sent a video tribute to a 'great star and a good friend' while 75-year-old Patti Newton recorded a message from her and 82-year-old husband Bert. 

Fellow Gold Logie winner Denise Drysdale was sorry she could not make it down from the Gold Coast. 'Jeanne Little will be remembered as one of the most beautiful human beings that ever lived and that is no overstatement,' she said.

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Little was born Jeanne Mitchell in Sydney and made her television debut on The Mike Walsh Show showcasing designer maternity wear in September 1974.

Craig Bennett, entertainment reporter and a friend of 40 years, said: 'She fell into television like other people might fall into mud.'

Walsh's producers had seen a photograph of the pregnant Little modelling clothes from her struggling inner-city dressmaking boutique Jeanne Mitchell at Five Ways, Paddington.

Little was born Jeanne Mitchell in Sydney's Paddington in 1938 and made her television debut on The Mike Walsh Show showcasing designer maternity wear in September 1974

Comedian, broadcaster and long-time friend Wendy Harmer (pictured) remembered Little as a trail-blazing female comic

Craig Bennett, entertainment reporter and long-time friend, said: 'She fell into television like other people might fall into mud.' Bennett is pictured delivering his eulogy