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Elspeth Ballantyne
Born (1939-04-20) 20 April 1939 (age 76)
Adelaide, South Australia
Other names Elly Ballantyne.
Occupation actress
Spouse(s) Dennis Miller (1968-1977; divorced)
Children 2

Elspeth Ballantyne (born 20 April 1939 in Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian actress known in theatre, film and television, she is perhaps best known for her soap opera roles as firm but compassionate prison officer Meg Jackson later Meg Morris in the international cult hit soap opera Prisoner, better known as Prisoner: Cell Block H in the USA and UK, and Cathy Alessi in Neighbours.


Elspeth is the daughter of Colin Sandergrove Ballantyne[1] an Australian actor, playwright and photographer who was head of the South Australian theatre company . Having started her career as a laboratory Technician with the Royal Adelaide Hospital, she then attended the prestigious drama school, the National Institute for Dramatic Arts. She went on to act in the rural soap opera, Bellbird, as librarian Lori Chandler screened on ABC.

Ballantyne subsequently played compassionate prison officer Meg Jackson in the soap opera, Prisoner. Ballantyne was the only actor to stay with the series for its entire eight-year run. She would later reprise her famous role of Meg in the original stage tour of Prisoner: Cell Block H – The Stage Play, which toured the UK in 1989.

In the early 1990s, she had a stint in Channel Ten soap opera, Neighbours, playing Cathy Alessi. She later appeared in feature films The Caterpillar Wish as Mrs. Woodbridge, and in Moonlight & Magic as a thrift shop owner Desma. In this latter film, she was reunited with former Prisoner co-stars Maxine Klibingaitis and Reylene Pearce. Ballantyne also appeared in the drama short film, Twenty Five Cents (2007), and as the wheelchair-bound matriarch in the short The Last Tupper (2011). She played Maxine in the Boronia movies, Boronia Boys (2009) and Boronia Backpackers (2011) and Paper Giants in 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Ballantyne has two children from her marriage to actor Dennis Miller, whom she was married to from 1968-1977. She is the sister of film producer Jane Ballantyne.



  1. ^ Peter Ward (2007). "Ballantyne, Colin Sandergrove (1908-1988)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elspeth_Ballantyne — Please support Wikipedia.
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19 news items


Wed, 20 Jan 2016 17:41:15 -0800

Actors (L-R) (rear) Elspeth Ballantyne, Jane Clifton, Wayne Jarratt, Betty Bobbitt, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Judith McGrath; (front) Val Lehman, Sheila Florance, Patsy King, Jentah Sobott and Amanda Muggleton, in the 1970s TV show 'Prisoner'. She played Bea ...

ABC Online (blog)

ABC Online (blog)
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:25:15 -0700

Elspeth Ballantyne was born in Adelaide to theatrical parents, worked as a lab technician for Basil Heltzel and then succumbed to the acting gene and appeared in Bellbird, Prisoner and numerous TV police dramas. She spoke with Michael Smyth on 891 ...

Den Of Geek

Den Of Geek
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 22:38:34 -0800

Meg Jackson/ Morris's (Elspeth Ballantyne) entire story arc. Born in a prison herself, Meg initially treats the inmates with empathy until her hubby is stabbed, then she goes bonkers and refers to them as 'animals'. She ends up locked up herself, for ...

The Advertiser

The Advertiser
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:29:03 -0700

VAL LEHMAN: It has. We wrapped up a brilliant season in Perth, we played to 2000-seat houses every night and after Adelaide we're going back to Melbourne because it played for three months to full houses. M: What was your first day of rehearsals like?

ATV Today

ATV Today
Mon, 04 Jan 2016 17:52:30 -0800

Fans of the Australian soaps won't be disappointed either because the show features Ian Smith and Vivean Gray from Neighbours; Michael Beecher and Judy McBurney from The Young Doctors; Sheila Florance, Patsy King and Elspeth Ballantyne from ...

The Conversation

The Conversation
Mon, 05 May 2014 13:44:42 -0700

These include Maggie Kirkpatrick (Joan “The Freak” Ferguson), Val Lehman (Bea Smith), Sheila Florance (Lizzie Birdsworth), Collette Mann (Doreen Anderson/Burns), Amanda Muggleton (Chrissie Latham), Betty Bobbitt (Judy Bryant), Elspeth Ballantyne ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Sun, 28 Apr 2013 23:11:15 -0700

Elspeth Ballantyne, who appeared in every episode of Prisoner as warden Jackson, also bears no grudge about missing out on what could be tens of thousands of dollars. She puts it down to bad luck and says she is grateful for having a permanent job as ...

ATV Today

ATV Today
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 05:52:30 -0800

The town's librarian Lori Chandler (Elspeth Ballantyne) was local royalty, her family had been the original settlers in the district and the town had taken its name from her enormous home which was called Bellbird. Lori would eventually marry horse ...

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