Val Jellay, veteran showbiz performer and wife of the late Maurie Fields, has died at the age of 89.
Son Marty Fields tweeted the sad news earlier today: “My mum, Val, passed away today of pneumonia. She lived an amazing life. She’s back with her beloved Maurie now. I will miss her very much.”
Born in Sydney, Jellay started performing as a four-year-old in the 1930s during the Depression. She later joined the vaudeville circuit where she met fellow performer Maurie Fields.
They married in 1960 and subsequently often worked as a double act. When television arrived in 1956 one of the first variety shows in Melbourne was Sunnyside Up, in which they appeared together.
Jellay made the transition from sketch comedy on TV to acting, with early roles in The Long Arm, Matlock Police, Division 4 and Homicide.
She and Fields worked together again as publicans Vic and Nancy Buckley in the long-running series The Flying Doctors and its spin-off, RFDS.
Other television credits included Prisoner, Carson’s Law, Neighbours, Blue Heelers and The Librarians. She also appeared on music quiz show Spicks And Specks, presented movie reviews on Good Morning Australia and accepted Maurie Fields’ posthumous entry into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame in 1996.