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Barbara Ann Llewellyn

The Actress

Barbara Llewellyn was born into Show business.  Her father was an actor and her mother owned and operated the top Theatrical Agency in Sydney, Australia.

Father, John, was touring Queensland with the stage production of Rusty Bugles, when he received news of the birth of his only daughter.  He proudly announced her arrival during curtain calls that evening, and was given the biggest applause of the night.

As a Child

At the age of five, Barbara won The Jack Davey Radio Show talent contest.  She was the youngest contest finalist and, left till last on the bill, fell asleep waiting her turn on stage.  The other competitors finished their songs, and Barbara was awoken to try her luck and talent with the more alert world.  She came through like a trooper - yawning and singing her way into the hearts of Australia.

Two years later Barbara became an Australian icon by starring in the now famous Aeroplane Jelly television commercial.  She mimed the well-known Aeroplane Jelly jingle, and was ever-after identified as The Girl on the Swing.

Barbara's childhood and early teenage years were then filled with work in commercials, documentaries, film (The Sundowners) and theatre (including the original Sydney production of The Sound of Music). 

The National Institute of Dramatic Art

At age 17, Barbara was accepted as a student into Australia's most prestigious drama school, the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).  While there she performed in numerous stage productions.  30 years later she was still remembered as "Solveig" in the outstanding production of "Pier Gynt".

She graduated in 1971, and holds a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting).


Barbara began a long and successful career as a lead actress for stage and screen as soon as she graduated from NIDA.  Her first foray after NIDA was as the singing co-lead, along with fellow NIDA graduate Kris McQuad, in a pop opera.  She then began working with the Queensland Theatre Company.  Barbara also worked with the Tasmanian Theatre Company before furthering her singing career in more musicals and reviews.


Barbara worked consistently with ABC television over several years, starring in such productions as Seven Little Australians ("Meg") and Joe and Mary ("Mary").

Barbara is also still fondly remembered as "Nora Hayes" in Class of '74 and Class of '75 and as the endearing "Julie Lambert" in the Seven Network’s Young Ramsay series and as the eternal virgin in the popular 0 Network series The Box ("Babs McArthur), amongst many other memorable roles.

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