Lyn James, best known to Australians as hospital secretary Helen Gordon in The Young Doctors, has died at the age of 87.

Born in Wales, James made her professional debut in 1949 as Marilyn James, working as a theatre actor in the UK, and then moving onto television roles. Some of her television credits included Nicholas Nickleby, medical drama Emergency Ward 10 and its spin-off, Call Oxbridge 2000.

She married fellow actor Eric Tayler and with their two young children came to Australia in the mid 1960s, when Tayler was offered a contract with ABC.

James scored guest roles in various Australian dramas including Contrabandits, Hunter, Homicide (pictured with co-star Kenric Hudson), Dynasty, Catwalk, Matlock Police, Division 4, Ryan, The Evil Touch, Silent Number and Case For The Defence.

In 1976, she scored the role of secretary Helen Gordon in the Nine Network‘s new series The Young Doctors.

At the time of the show’s debut, James (pictured with co-stars Michael Beecher and Alfred Sandor) described Helen as “a straightforward lady and even though she has the best intentions she tends to interfere a bit. It’s an interesting role and it does give me the chance to smile again. When I’ve done parts for Crawfords I always seem to be playing a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”

The series was a hit in Australia and also gained a following in the United Kingdom.

James was one of only a handful of cast members to stay with The Young Doctors for its entire six-year duration.

Later TV credits included telemovies The Rock Pool and Olive, children’s series Coral Island and police dramas Bony and Young Lions.

Lyn James is survived by her two children, Nicholas and Sally, and grandchildren. Husband Eric died in 1997.

Source: Daily Telegraph, ATV Today, IMDB. TV Week, 5 September 1970. TV Times, 4 December 1976. TV Times, 18 November 1978.




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