Son shares sad final photo of Cornelia Frances
MUCH loved Australian actor Cornelia Frances has lost her battle with cancer.
The 77-year-old star of Home and Away is understood to have been surrounded by close family and friends when she died overnight in Sydney.
Frances was a veteran of Australian acting, having played Morag Bellingham on long running Seven soap Home and Away.
"Cornie was an incredibly loved and valued member of our cast over many, many years,"
Frances' son Lawrence shared a touching photograph of his mother's final days.
"A very personal photo of my mum during one of her resting moments, she is so peaceful, soft and serene. I truly love this woman," he wrote on Instagram overnight.
Home and Away actor Ray Meagher, who played her on screen brother, Alf, said. "We had a moment of silence for her on set this morning and she'll be sadly missed by both cast and crew."
She also hosted Seven game show The Weakest Link.
Her other credits include Sons and Daughters, Prisoner, Young Doctors and Kingswood Country.
Channel 7 also paid tribute to the actor.
"Cornelia Frances was a unique person," a Seven spokeswoman said. "Her on screen presence inspired a generation of actors. This gift was coupled with an ability to bring a sense of dignity and presence into each room she entered. Her energy and character will be missed."
Frances was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017 before being told it had spread to her hip.
The actor spoke to The Sunday Telegraph from her Royal North Shore Hospital bed in January.
"I swear I have had a hex placed on me for the past 12 months," she said.
"I discovered I had bladder cancer. This then spread to my hip bone which fractured, and then I almost died from loss of blood due to an ulcer in my throat. Despite all this, I am still here, as the old song goes."
Frances found out she had cancer when going for a general check-up and, ironically, she received the cancer news at Royal North Shore Hospital, which was used as the set for the fictional Albert Memorial Hospital in Young Doctors.
"I was told that I did indeed have cancer and it had metastasised to my pelvic bone. I just froze as I heard that word, and thought: Oh please God, I know I haven't been a practising Catholic for many years but I am still a believer, help me," she said in January.
Frances also joked about her time in hospital last year.
"I had only just come out of surgery, and dealing with a fractured hip, which hurt like hell, when this nurse came to my bed and said: 'Get up and walk'! I thought: This is worse than Sister Scott," Francis said with a hearty laugh, in reference to the character from the 1970s soapie Young Doctors.
"She wasn't joking either. But I soon adopted my 'Morag stance' and politely put her in her place.
"It turned out she hadn't checked my charts and was unaware I had just had surgery. Now, Sister Scott would never made such a careless mistake."
At the time, Frances spoke of her hoped to return to acting as Ray "Alf" Meagher's evil sister Morag.
"I would dearly love to go back to Summer Bay but haven't heard anything as yet," she said.
Frances is survived by her son, Lawrence.