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Patsy King
Born (1930-09-16) 16 September 1930 (age 93)
  • Actress (stage, radio, television, film)
  • television presenter
  • director
  • commercial voiceover
Years active Theatre actress: 1951–1984, theatre directing 1989-1990
TV and Film: 1961–1984
Known for Prisoner
Notable work
Bellbird, Play School, Adventure Island
Spouse(s) John Sumner (years unknown)

Patsy King (born 16 September 1930) is an Australian retired actress known for work in both theatre and television. She has been a children's television presenter, theatre director, playwright and worked in commercials, and in radio and voice over work, particularly in her early career in the United Kingdom.

King started her career exclusively as a radio and classical stage actress, with roles in everything from Shakespeare to Peter Pan starting from 1951 until 1990. with a brief return to the stage post-retirement in 2009. Her career in television and children's entertainment started in the early 1960s and extended until 1984.She is known best internationally as an original cast member of the TV series Prisoner, internationally known as Prisoner: Cell Block H, appearing for 351 episodes as well-coiffured Governor/Warden Erica Davidson.


Early life

King was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 16 September 1930. She aspired to become a dress designer and spent her early years in the United Kingdom. Returning to Australia and opting to work in the theatre, she trained as a Shakespearean actress with Melbourne's National Theatre. In 1959, she married English-born theatre impresario John Sumner. They divorced in 1967.



King started her career exclusively in theatre starting in the early 1950s, appearing in dramatic and period pieces and had numerous stage credits including Victoria Regina, The Miser, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Richard II, Blithe Spirit. Absurd Person Singular, Half a Sixpence, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Love for Love and Love Letters

King earned awards including the Erik Award and the Melbourne Critics Awards for Agnes in Four Poster before retiring the stage in 1984, however she turned her hand to writing and directing her own plays in the late 1980s.


After appearing in a few made-for-TV movies in the early 1960s she appeared in a variety of television serials from the late-1960s, including a prominent role in the rural series Bellbird and guest roles in the Crawford Productions series Hunter, The Box, and in their police procedurals Matlock Police, Division 4 and playing 14 different character parts in Homicide. She also acted in Power Without Glory, The Sullivans, Chopper Squad, Bluey, Cop Shop, Out of Love and the comedy series Good Morning, Mr. Doubleday. She was an early presenter on the ABC TV show Play School, and also appeared on The Magic Circle Club and Adventure Island.

She portrayed Erica Davidson, the first governor of the fictional Wentworth Detention Centre, on the cult soap opera Prisoner, as well as appearing in a spin-off stage play in the UK . King left Prisoner in 1983, but returned for guest appearances in 1984, after which she retired from television.

Selected roles


Source = AusStage

Title Year Playwright Director
Victoria Regina 1951 Laurence Housman Ray Lawler
Summer and Smoke 1956 Tennessee Williams Wal Cherry
The Miser 1956 Jean Baptiste Moliere William P. Carr
The Wind of Heaven 1957 Emlyn Williams Malcolm Phillips
Our Town 1957 Thornton Wilder Wal Cherry
The Queen and the Rebels  ? Ugo Betti Wal Cherry
The Matchmaker 1957 Thornton Wilder Wal Cherry
Tonight in Samarkand 1957 Jaquels Deval Wal Cherry
Ring Round the Moon 1957 Jean Anouilh Wal Cherry
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1957 Tennessee Williams Wal Cherry
A View from the Bridge 1957 Arthur Miller Wal Cherry
Peter Pan (pantomime) 1957 J.M. Barrie John Carroll
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll 1958 (tour, 27 performances) 1957-1960 Ray Lawler
See How They Run 1960 Philip King Malcolm Roberts
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab 1961 The Importance of Being Ernest adopted by novel Fergus Hume George Ogilvie
The Importance of Being Ernest 1961 Oscar Wilde Brian Crossley
Romanoff and Juliet 1961 Sir Peter Ustinov John Sumner
Dracula 1962 Bram Stoker Moira Carleton
The Good Ship Walter Raleigh 1963  ? Peter Batey
Richard II 1963 William Shakespeare Raymond Westwell
The Fourposter 1963-1965 (tour, 32) Ray Lawler Ronald Densen
The Happy Invalid 1963 Jean Baptiste-Molière Wal Cherry
The Glazed Look 1965 Terence Journet Irene Mitchell
The Cavern 1966 Jean Anoulit Irene Mitchell
Half A Sixpence 1967  ? Fred Hebert
Marching Song 1969 John Whiting Paul Eddey
Love for Love 1969 William Congreve Irene Mitchell
The Slaughter of St Theresa's Day 1974 Peter Kenna Bruce Kerr
Absurd Person Singular 1976 Alan Ayckbourne Malcolm Robertson
Innocent Bystanders 1978 Gordon Graham Malcolm Robertson
A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur 1983 Tennessee Williams Murray Copeland
Farewell Brisbane Ladies  ? Doreen Clarke Malcolm Robertson
Love wiih the Lights Out 1989 Patsy King Graham Turner
A Constant Lover 1990 Gaytana Adorna Patsy King
An Office Romance 1990 John Price Patsy King
Love Letters (charity performance) 2009 A.R. Gurney



Year Title Role Type
1972 The Journey Role unknown Film short


Year Title Role Type
1961 The General Motors Hour Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1961 The Rivals Role unknown Teleplay
1962 Suspect Janet Teleplay
1964 Wind from the Icy Country Ella Teleplay
1965-1975 Homicide Guest roles: Sarah Adams / Helen Taylor / Trin Turner / Shirley Wallace / Kay Loder / Policewoman Burke / Janet Smith / Pat Palmer / Sybil Cochrane / Mary Hamilton / Joan Preston / Carol Long / Betty Nyberg / Joy TV series, 14 episodes
1965 A Time to Speak Annie TV film
1965 Photo Finish Role unknown Teleplay
1966 Australian Playhouse Guest role ABC TV series, 1 episode "The Decision"
1966 Play School Herself - Presenter ABC TV series, 10 episodes
1967 Bellbird Recurring role: Kate Andrews ABC TV series
1967 Adventure Island Regular role: Miss Behaviour ABC TV series
1968 Hunter Guest role: Jean Gallagher TV series, 1 episode
1969 Good Morning, Mr. Doubleday Guest role: Bridget O'Connor TV series, 1 episode
1969 Dynasty Guest role: Kathy Mason ABC TV series, 1 episode
1970-1975 Division 4 Guest roles: Mrs. Carr / Susan Hill / Carol Foster / Marion Dalton / Valerie Fisher TV series, 5 episodes
1970 The Long Arm Guest role: Naomi TV series, 1 episode
1971-1974 Matlock Police Guest roles: Lily / Joan / Jan Ross TV series, 3 episodes
1974 Marion Recurring role: Mrs. Finnegan ABC TV miniseries, 3 episodes
1974 This Love Affair Guest role ABC TV series, 1 episode 2: "Tilting At Windmills"
1974 The Box Recurring Guest role: Gloria TV series, 2 episodes
1974 Out of Love Guest role ABC TV series, 1 episode 2: "It Will Never Work"
1976 Power Without Glory Recurring role: Vera Maguire ABC TV miniseries, 4 episodes
1977 Bluey Guest role: Tina Golding TV series, 1 episode 33: "Final Devotion"
1977 Hotel Story Guest role TV series, 1 episode
1977 The Sullivans Recurring role: Beryl Fletcher TV series, 4 episodes
1978 Cop Shop Guest roles: Sara Fitzsimmons / Julie Gibbons TV series, 2 episodes
1978 Chopper Squad Guest role: Iris Deacon TV series, 1 episode 5: "8:52 A.M."
1979-1984 Prisoner Regular role: Governor Erica Davidson / Erica TV series, 353 episodes
1979 The Franky Doyle Story Governor Erica Davidson TV film
1981 Prisoner In Concert Herself / Erica Davidson TV special
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