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Monica Maughan (15 September 1933[1] – 8 January 2010[2]) was an Australian
Australian
actor with roles in film, theatre, radio, television and ballet over a career spanning 52 years.

Contents

1 Early life and education 2 Acting career 3 Awards 4 Age 5 Personal life 6 Death 7 References 8 External links

Early life and education[edit] She was born Monica Cresswell Wood in Tonga
Tonga
to Australian
Australian
missionaries Rev. Dr A. Harold Wood and medical doctor Olive Wood (née O'Reilly). She had 5 brothers and sisters, including Dr Elizabeth Wood-Ellem and Rev. Dr H. D'Arcy Wood. The family moved to Sydney, Australia, in 1937 – Monica was three and a half and spoke no English – and shortly afterwards to Melbourne, where her father became principal of Methodist Ladies' College (MLC) and her mother his informal deputy. Monica attended MLC, where she received her only formal drama training with speech teacher Dorothy Dwyer, and went on to study French at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1959 with a BA.[citation needed] Monica was a member of the Melbourne University Dramatic Club where she adopted the stage name Maughan. She made her stage debut opposite Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
in Ben Hecht's fast-paced satire The Front Page in April 1954.[3] While studying part-time, she worked as a secretary at St Ives Hospital in Melbourne.[4] In 1960, she returned to MLC to teach speech.[5] Acting career[edit] Monica Maughan launched her professional career with the Union Theatre Repertory Company (UTRC) in 1957 playing Capulat in Jean Anouilh's romantic comedy Ring Round the Moon at Union Theatre, Parkville. Her first lead role came that same year in Beauty and the Beast. The UTRC, Australia's first professional theatre company, became the Melbourne Theatre
Theatre
Company (MTC) in 1968. Maughan appeared in more plays for that flagship company than any other actor. She also directed 2 plays for the MTC. Her last MTC performance was in the premiere production of David Williamson's Scarlett O'Hara at the Crimson Parrot in 2008. Cast in J.C. Williamson productions in the early 1960s, Maughan spent 1963–66 working in the UK, where she appeared in various West End productions – including stepping in for Moira Lister
Moira Lister
when the latter was sick. Maughan appeared in at least 7 plays in her first year back in Australia, most of them lead roles, and throughout the late sixties was hailed for her stage performances, such at the title role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1968), directed by MTC founder, John Sumner (theatre director) (1924-2013). In 1971, she won the Melbourne Theatre Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of pregnant spinster Anna Bowers in Donald Howarth's Three Months Gone. Coincidentally, Maughan was three months pregnant at the end of the play's run.[6] She worked with almost every major theatre company in Australia, including Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard
The Cherry Orchard
and Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus for the Queensland Theatre
Theatre
Company in 1978, and the role of Aggie in A Hard God produced by the State Theatre
Theatre
Company of South Australia and Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Sydney Theatre
Theatre
Company, both in 1981. Her best-known stage role may have been as Miss Prism in the MTC's The Importance of Being Earnest. The production, co-starring Frank Thring, Ruth Cracknell and Geoffrey Rush, was so popular that it toured Australia between 1988 and 1992, and was televised by the ABC. In 1999, she created the role of Suzanne Beckett in Justin Fleming's Burnt Piano at Belvoir Company B, and demonstrated a command of classical piano played live in each performance. In 2003, she starred in Inheritance by Hannie Rayson.[citation needed] Early television roles in Crawford's dramas led to ongoing television parts that made Maughan a recognisable face around Australia, including prim secretary Jean Ford in the first year of The Box (1974–75) and downtrodden prisoner Pat O'Connell for five months in women's-prison drama Prisoner in 1979–80. Working extensively with ABC TV and radio over nearly 50 years, Maughan received an AFI Award and a Silver Logie Award
Logie Award
for her role as Monica McHugh in the ABC's black comedy mini-series, The Damnation of Harvey McHugh (1994). Monica Maughan extended her repertoire to include non-dancing roles with the Australian
Australian
Ballet, including Doreen's mother in The Sentimental Bloke (2002) and Effie's mother in La Sylphide
La Sylphide
(2005). Her 20 or so feature films include A City's Child (1971), Road to Nhill (1997), Crackerjack (2002) and Strange Bedfellows (2004), plus a number of films by Dutch- Australian
Australian
director Paul Cox. Her last film role was in Blessed, directed by Ana Kokkinos in 2009, and described by 3RRR film critic Brian MacFarlane
Brian MacFarlane
as Maughan's best ever. She did not live to play the title role in Belvoir Company B's Gwen in Purgatory in 2010, a part written for her by Tommy Murphy and directed by Neil Armfield. Awards[edit]

Erik Kuttner Award for Acting (1968) for the title role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (MTC) Erik Kuttner Award for Best Actress (1971) as Anna Bowers in Three Months Gone (MTC) AFI Award (Hoyts Prize) for Best Performance (1971) for the lead role in A City’s Child (dir. Brian Kavanagh) Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actress (1983) as Mollie in Gulls (MTC) Television
Television
Society of Australia Commendation for performance by an Actress in a supporting role in a mini-series (1985) for her role in Flying Doctors (Crawford's) Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actress (1987) as Mme Arcati in Blithe Spirit (MTC) Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actress (1990) as Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest
(MTC) Silver Logie Award
Logie Award
Most Outstanding Actress (1995) as Monica McHugh in The Damnation of Harvey McHugh (ABC) AFI Award for Best Actress in a TV Drama (1995) as Monica McHugh in The Damnation of Harvey McHugh (ABC) Green Room Award for Best Actress (1998) for her role in Tear from a Glass Eye (Playbox) Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress (2008) as the teacher Mrs Walkham in The Toy Symphony (Belvoir St Company B)

Age[edit] Maughan was always coy about her age and many sources gave her year of birth as 1938. When celebrating 50 years of professional acting in 2007, Maughan said she was "20 or 21" on her first acting tour in 1954 and admitted she "always lied about my age".[7] Personal life[edit] Maughan's first marriage was to Brian Essex, then a medical student, in December 1954, with her father officiating.[8] Her second marriage, in January 1968, was to Melbourne solicitor Rowland Ball;[1][6] the couple had three daughters. Death[edit] Maughan died of complications from cancer at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne on 8 January 2010.[citation needed] References[edit]

^ a b Carman, Gerry (9 January 2010). "'Wonderful' thespian a real trouper". Sydney Morning Herald.  ^ "Actress Monica Maughan dies". ABC News. 8 January 2010.  ^ "Students in tense play". The Age. 23 April 1954.  ^ "Fry Play". The Age. 16 April 1955.  ^ "Wide Interests Among Graduates". The Age. 25 February 1960.  ^ a b "Winning Monica lives the part". The Age. 6 March 1971.  ^ "A lady never reveals her age". Sydney Morning Herald. 16 November 2007.  ^ "When The Bells Peal Out". The Age. 31 December 1954. 

External links[edit]

Monica Maughan on IMDb Monica Maughan – Stage acting credits "The Importance of Being Earnest" – (information and photos):

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]

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AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Monica Maughan (1971) Jacki Weaver
Jacki Weaver
(1972) Judy Morris (1973) Julie Dawson (1974/1995) Helen Morse (1976) Pat Bishop (1977) Angela Punch McGregor (1978) Michele Fawdon (1979) Tracy Mann (1980) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1981) Noni Hazlehurst (1982) Wendy Hughes (1983) Angela Punch McGregor (1984) Noni Hazlehurst (1985) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1986) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1987) Nadine Garner
Nadine Garner
(1988) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1989) Catherine McClements
Catherine McClements
(1990) Sheila Florance
Sheila Florance
(1991) Lisa Harrow (1992) Holly Hunter
Holly Hunter
(1993) Toni Collette
Toni Collette
(1994) Jacqueline McKenzie
Jacqueline McKenzie
(1995) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(1996) Pamela Rabe
Pamela Rabe
(1997) Deborah Mailman
Deborah Mailman
(1998) Sacha Horler
Sacha Horler
(1999) Pia Miranda
Pia Miranda
(2000) Kerry Armstrong (2001) Maria Theodorakis (2002) Toni Collette
Toni Collette
(2003) Abbie Cornish
Abbie Cornish
(2004) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2005) Emily Barclay
Emily Barclay
(2006) Joan Chen
Joan Chen
(2007) Monic Hendrickx (2008) Frances O'Connor (2009) Jacki Weaver
Jacki Weaver
(2010) Judy Davis
Judy Davis
(2011) Deborah Mailman
Deborah Mailman
(2012) Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne
(2013) Sarah Snook
Sarah Snook
(2014) Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
(2015) Odessa Young
Odessa Young
(2016) Emma

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