Margaret Christensen

Australian actress and radio host, Margaret Christensen, who spent several years in the UK performing in theatre and ATV Network serial Crossroads has died aged 88.
 
Born on January 8th 1921 she moved to Sydney when she was three and began her career in entertainment aged six. By 1943 she was established as a radio voice, and has been described as “one of the last great stars of the halcyon days of Australian radio.” Christensen would become a frequent voice on the medium during the 1940s and 50s in Australia – hosting programmes ranging from variety, drama and comedy. 
 

The pinnacle of her radio career came in 1953 when she was awarded a Macquarie Award a forerunner of Australia’s BAFTAS – known as the Gold Logie awards – for best actress in her leading role in The Petrified Forest as Gabby. By the mid-1950s Margaret ventured into movies, her first being Smiley. She is also credited as being Australia’s first female ‘disc jockey’ hosting early pop music programming.

 

In 1959, following in the footsteps of her former radio acting co-stars such as Charles “Bud” Tingwell – who moved to England and appeared in ATV Network’s Emergency Ward 10 medical series – Christensen re-located to Britain in the hope of a wider range of acting work. Living in the UK she worked for the BBC in radio, the theatre – including in the West End in Noel Coward’s Sail Away and in television in the UK’s first full-length daily soap opera, Crossroads, for ATV Network.

 

A short spell in New York, America, followed before returning to the UK. Margaret returned to Australia in 1966 where she forged a long theatre and television career starring in A Country Practice, All Saints, Number 96 and Blue Heelers to name a few. She also returned to movies with a small role in Babe 2: Pig In The City.

 

In 2008 she was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia. She leaves behind children Wendy and Sean, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.