Monday, February 7, 2011

Jeanne Little's Health Battle

Just last May TV star Jeanne Little was telling New Idea magazine that rumours of her failing health were greatly exaggerated.

Sadly today her daughter Katie has been giving a series of media interviews to inform the world that Jeanne's health has rapidly deteriorated in the past few months and with her mother suffering from a  particular vicious form of Alzheimer's disease, Jeanne no longer recognises her own family members.

Jeanne Little has been appearing on our screens for over 40 years beginning with the Mike Walsh Show in 1974, the Ray Martin Show, a number of variety shows fronted by her and as a panelist on Beauty & The Beast .

Noted for her outrageous voice she was once flown to London to appear on Michael Parkinson's chat show and was such a sensation that the Evening Standard newspaper TV critic said: "what a woman ! with Jeanne Little in the house, you wouldn't need a TV"

Her successful tribute show about Marlene Dietrich, Marlene toured Australia and the USA to critical acclaim.

Ironically, in the interview Jeanne gave to New Idea eight months ago it was the health of her husband Barry Little that concerned her. Barry had just had two knee replacements and suffered complications. Now fully recovered, Barry who met Jeanne when they were both teenagers is said to be devastated over Jeanne's condition.

Neuroscience Research Australia has set up the Jeanne Little Alzheimer's Research Fund and daughter Katie is urging people to donate :

Mum always poured so much energy into supporting many, many charities for which she was awarded an Order Of Australia." says Katie. "She had huge compassion for people and was always trying to lift people's spirits and inspire them to make a difference. I know she'd love this research fund and would be thrilled to know she's still helping people even when she can't get out there and do it herself." "Can you imagine what she would be saying? It would be like ‘Daaarlings! You've just got to help! You've just got to!'"

Here is a clip of Jeanne Little singing 'Kingsford Smith. We're Proud of You" in 1988 :