Vale Jeanne Little

Vale Jeanne Little

Flamboyant entertainer Jeanne Little has passed away at the age of 82.

Writer Kieran Carroll pays tribute.

Jeanne Little's passing is a sad day for the Australian entertainment industry. Struck down by Alzheimer's disease close to a decade ago, Jeanne's very full and inspiring life was cut short just at the point where she had truly established herself as a cabaret star in the 1990s and early 2000s. Had she remained in good health, I believe Jeanne would still be a prominent fixture on our stages today, perhaps still playing Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe as she did with such aplomb, or finding a new character.

Her brave, fearless and infectious spirit travelled via a tough and humble childhood. She was raised by a diligent and strong mother to aim high. Jeanne travelled to a swinging London of the 60s and this journey had a great impact on her. Soon after, with new husband, Barry, by her side, she made her mark on Sydney fashion. Jeanne then became a national icon on our TV screens, most notably, as a Logie winner in the peak period of The Mike Walsh Show in the mid 70s. 

Australia had not only never heard a voice like it, but were also amazed at Jeanne's eccentric and outlandish fashion sense: a dress made out of toast and a hat made from pizza to name a couple of examples. Australia could not help finding her hilarious, warm, generous and delightfully unstoppable! Everyone was a dahlin!

As the writer and director of 'Dahlin! It's The Jeanne Little Show' starring Caroline Ferguson, the two of us have explored both a wonderfully idiosyncractic personality and a story that continues to inspire and entertain. 

Both Caroline and I hope now to keep Jeanne's bright, loving spirit prominent for many years to come and to keep spreading her highly successful story of persistence and joy.

Kieran Carroll

November 8th, 2020