Australian actress Carmen Duncan, who made a name for herself in America as Another World's Iris Carrington and As the World Turns' Lisa Grimaldi, lost her fourth battle with cancer this past weekend. She was 76.
Born in Cooma, Australia, Duncan attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney before going on to have a rich acting career with credits like Hunter, You Can't See Round Corners, The Spoiler, Catch Candy, Number 96, Hotel Story, Skyways, and A Country Practice.
Her American soap opera career got off to a successful start when she was chosen as a recast for Another World's Iris Wheeler Carrington in 1988. Fans and critics weren't initially supportive of the casting choice, as the character had previously been played by daytime television legend Beverlee McKinsey. But Duncan made Iris her own and quickly became a fan favorite until her departure in 1994.
The actress made a brief return to the genre to play Lisa Grimaldi on As the World Turns in 2004, but the remainder of her career included non-soap credits like Ash vs Evil Dead and the Australian series Winners & Losers.
Duncan's film credits include Harlequin, Turkey Shoot, Touch and Go, and Liquid Bridge. One of her final performances was a supporting role in the upcoming Hotel Mumbai, starring Armie Hammer and Dev Patel. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last September and screened at the Adelaide Film Festival in October; it will be released in cinemas in Australia in March.
In addition to performing, Duncan was very active in the film and television community. She joined what was then Actor's Equity in 1962 and later sat on the federal council of what became the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance. She also had a scholarship at the American Arts Film and Television Academy named in her honor.
Later in her life, Duncan became an advocate for women's health, serving as a fundraising manager for gynecological cancer treatment with GO Fund and as an ambassador for breast cancer at the Royal Hospital for Women.
Duncan is survived by her two children, Amelia and Duncan; her brother, Warren; her sister, the actress Paula Duncan; and three grandchildren.
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