> Death Is Now My Neighbour by
Billy and Steve
Ramsay Street may have been shocked by the recent death of Cameron Robinson, but it certainly wasn't the first time that the people of Erinsborough have dusted off their funeral outfits. This feature looks back at the many lives that have been claimed during 24 years of Neighbours...
An old friend of Clive Gibbons, Jean Richards came to Ramsay Street to give some business lessons to the residents and Tom Ramsay instantly fell in love with her, unaware that she was hiding a secret. Her husband, Jeff, was a paraplegic and confined to a hospital bed, but Jean couldn't bring herself to start a relationship with another man and quickly ended things with Tom. They agreed to see each other one final time at Des and Daphne's wedding and, at the end of the day, Tom's nephew Shane offered to drive Jean home. Tragically, the car suffered a tyre blowout and swerved into another parked car, killing Jean instantly.
When Gail Lewis arrived in Erinsborough, it wasn't long before her ex-husband, Jeremy Lord, tracked her down, in the middle of a dinner with Paul Robinson. Racing driver Jeremy was determined to get behind the wheel of Number 13, a car that was believed to be cursed, despite the misgivings of Gail who, against her better judgment was starting to fall in love with him all over again. Jeremy ignored the advice of her and others by driving the car, which crashed, killing him instantly. To top it all off, Gail then found out that Jeremy had actually married again, to a woman named Meredith, but had failed to mention her when trying to crack on to Gail again.
The first main cast member to die on the show – Daphne’s death was a truly moving episode. After several months away caring for her terminally ill father, Daphne headed home to Erinsborough after his funeral. On her way, her car was run off the road, leaving Daphne in a coma. Weeks passed, with husband Des keeping a bedside vigil. Sadly, Daphne only awoke briefly to tell Des “I love you too, Clarkey”, before passing away.
Although he was usually an honest, hard-working guy, Rob's decision to use stolen parts in the garage that he owned, ultimately led to him losing his life. When Rob's business partner, Jim, and Jim's son, and Rob's son-in-law, Paul, found out about the dodgy deals, they confronted Rob, leading to a tense argument. Rob stormed out and drove off in the middle of a storm, ending up in hospital after crashing his car. After visits from his wife, Gloria, and daughter, Gail, everyone was shocked when Rob suffered a sudden heart attack and died.
Kerry tragically died in hospital after a protest against duck hunters went horribly wrong. Kerry, who was expecting a baby, was asked by her friend Amber to take part in the protest, unaware of the danger ahead. When a stray bullet hit Kerry, Joe Mangel tried run to her rescue, but it was unfortunately all in vain. Joe, and Kerry's father Harold, were heartbroken at the hospital when the doctor informed them that they had been unable to save the young mum's life.
When Doug Willis found out that one of his old colleagues from a building job had died from asbestos poisoning, he underwent testing and, although he was given the all clear, he found out that another old mate, Garth Kirby, was also seriously ill with asbestosis. Doug visited her, along with his wife, nurse Pam, who agreed to help with his care in his final days. Although Pam was used to dealing with people in such pain, she was alarmed when Garth begged her to help end his life. Pam couldn't go through with it, but when Garth was suddenly found dead, suspicion immediately turned to her and she was charged with murder, but later cleared.
Young Todd’s death came as he was rushing across a busy road to stop his teenage girlfriend Phoebe from having an abortion. As he approached the clinic and rushed to cross a busy road, he was struck down by a van and later died of a heart attack in hospital. In a cruel twist of fate, Phoebe had earlier decided to no longer go through with the abortion and she broke the news to him moments before he died. Their baby’s fate, consequently, was to grow up never knowing her father, but Todd's ghost visited Phoebe and told her that it would be a little girl, a prophecy that turned out to be true when Hope was born six months later.
For a man who spent his time on Neighbours surrounded by his family, it was quite a shock when Jim died alone in his kitchen. After playing with his grand daughter in the garden, he went inside for a lie down – and lie down he did! After suffering a massive heart attack, Jim keeled over, taking with him the dining room chairs and a bowl of oranges. His scheming girlfriend Fiona decided to go to the bank and withdraw all his money instead of calling for an ambulance.
When a rivalry started forming between Rick Alessi and Briggsy, it quickly spiraled out of control. As Rick got closer to Cody Willis, she tried to convince him to just back down from their macho fight, particularly after Danni suggested a drag race to decide which bloke was better. Sadly, the race ended up tragedy when the car driven by Briggsy, with Danni as a passenger, crashed into a tree. When Rick and Cody arrived on the scene, they did everything they could to help, but when the paramedics arrived, they could do nothing to save him, and Cody, struggling with the guilt of being unable to help and possibly save her friend's life, was eventually spurred to follow her mother and brother into a career in medicine.
Bitchy Julie Martin was found dead at the bottom of a tower during a Murder Mystery weekend. In the lead up to her death, she had successfully managed to turn all of her friends and family against her, and the suspicious circumstances of her death caused people to wonder if she had fallen from the tower, or if she had indeed been pushed. Accusing fingers pointed at her ever-suffering husband Philip, but luckily her daughter had a flashback to the night in question (a memory she had regressed because of the shock), and remembered seeing Julie slip from the tower’s roof whilst intoxicated.
Helen Daniels thought that she'd been blessed when, for the first time in many years, she found a new man who wasn't a con artist or a bigamist. Sadly, though, he went one step further and announced that he was dying. Only days after their wedding ceremony by Lassiter's Lake, Helen and Reuben were sitting the garden when she realised that he hadn't fallen asleep, but had died. Struggling to control her emotions, Helen laid a rose across his chest and said goodbye to another husband.
A police stake out in Ramsay Street could have only ever had disastrous consequences. Mal Kennedy was fixing up a car which was, unbeknownst to him, a drop off point for the criminals. When they arrived in Ramsay Street to collect their stash, an inquisitive Libby Kennedy asked if they were lost. Panic ensued, shots were fired, and a bullet went through the window of Number 30, injuring an innocent Cody Willis. After a few days in hospital, it looked like she was going to make a full recovery. Her mother, Pam, came to see her and they arranged a family reunion in Darwin, but a cruel twist of fate saw Cody suffer a cardiac arrest and die, leaving her many friends in Ramsay Street devastated, particularly her good friend, Sam, who received a visit from Cody's ghost, telling him not to be sad and to carry on with his life.
Little Louise was out walking with her mother. Whilst Cheryl was talking with Karl Kennedy, Louise wandered out into the road. Cheryl dashed out after her, forgetting to stop, look, and listen. Unfortunately, she was knocked down by a car. Karl raced out and tried to ease Cheryl’s pain by injecting her with morphine, but the medication reacted badly with some anti-depressants she'd been prescribed by another doctor, and proved deadly. A guilt-ridden Karl then decided to give up medicine, only returning to the profession a few months later after saving the life of his son, Malcolm.
Helen hadn't been herself for a long time, following a stroke in 1996 and a serious bout of food poisoning a few months later, she'd been in ill health for a while. After spending several weeks in hospital, she was distressed to hear that the old feud between the Ramsay and Robinson families had been reignited and was determined to settle it. After being allowed home, she down the remaining members of the two clans and played them the home video of Scott and Charlene's wedding, the event that had united the Ramsays and Robinsons back in 1987. Her plan worked and the feud was forgotten. Only moments later, her final act of kindness complete, Helen quietly passed away on the sofa, sitting next to her great-granddaughter, Hannah and Neighbours said goodbye to its final original cast member.
Elderly Lily became a good friend to Anne Wilkinson, after Anne, along with Libby Kennedy, helped her to fight a greedy corporation who were determined to buy her house and knock it down to build on the land. A few months later, Anne was worried to learn that Lily was in hospital, having been taken ill and visited her just in time, as Lily passed away shortly afterwards, leaving Anne her house in her will.
Tess Bell's abusive husband, Brendan, was doing his best to win her back and prove to her that he was a changed man, but when he returned from a business trip to find out that she was out clubbing with her colleague Daniel Fitzgerald, he stormed off in a jealous rage. After speeding out of Ramsay Street, he drove across town and, after dangerously overtaking a bus, straight into the path of Libby Kennedy and Steph Scully, on Steph's motorbike. The resulting crash left Libby with internal injuries that made pregnancy difficult for her, but Brendan paid the ultimate price and he died suddenly a few days later.
The only Ramsay still living in Ramsay Street in 2001, Coffee Shop queen Madge, and her husband, Harold, were alarmed when, after experiencing terrible stomach cramps, she was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and given only months to live. As she and Harold came to terms with the news and arranged her dream trip to see Paris in the Spring, it was tragically cut short when she took a fall at home and cut herself. Unable to fight the infection, she was given only days to live and died peacefully at home, with Harold and their two foster sons, Paul and Tad, by her side. After the funeral, Paul and Harold took the trip to Paris to honour her final wish.
Drew and Libby had just made the biggest decision of their lives – to live in Oakey with Drew’s parents. They embarked on a celebratory horse ride, which ended in tragedy. Drew’s temperamental horse threw him to the ground, causing him internal injuries which he never recovered from. Eighteen months after their marriage, and a year after his son’s birth, Libby was widowed, and Ben was left without a father. Ironically, Drew's ghost was another that paid a return visit to Erinsborough, but not to see Libby, who had already moved on and moved away, but rather to visit Steph, who had once been in love with Drew, to warn her that her cancer had returned.
Toadie and Dee’s wedding day went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful ceremony in which all their family and friends attended to wish them well for their future as husband and wife. Their union was to be short-lived however, as after driving away from the ceremony, Toadie lost control of the car, drove over a cliff, and crashed into the sea below. To this day, Dione’s body has never been recovered. It is presumed that she drowned.
Having only found out that he was her birth father in 2003, Lyn Scully was shocked when she met fisherman Charlie Cassidy, who admitted that he was dying and probably wouldn’t have much longer left. However, he lasted long enough to reunite with Lyn's mother, Valda and for the pair to marry. After a long honeymoon, they returned to Australia and Charlie realised that he didn't have much more time, so he decided to spend his final Christmas in Erinsborough with Lyn and her family. During that time, he grew close to granddaughter Steph, who found herself in deep water when she was alone with Charlie when he passed away and, as Lyn returned with Charlie's son, Michael, they saw her standing over their father with a pillow, immediately suspecting the worst.
David, Liljana and Serena Bishop
The Bishops boarded the doomed flight to Tasmania which was in celebration of Lassiter’s 20th anniversary. Whilst over the Bass Strait, a bomb planted on the plane exploded, sending it crashing into the sea. David’s body was recovered a week after the crash by the rescue services. Serena slipped under the waves after she removed her life jacket to escape the wreckage, and Liljana was never found. Harold struggled to deal with his grief following the tragic events, culminating in him strangling Paul Robinson, who he felt was to blame for the bomb being planted in the first place.
Economics professor Alex Kinski had just found love for the second time, with teacher Susan Smith, following the death of his first wife, and mother to his three children, Francesca, when he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. After eventually breaking the news to Susan and two of his children, he was reunited with his other child, Katya, who had been thrown out of home at 16 and become estranged from her father and siblings. The family reunion was awkward, but timely, as Katya arrived to see Alex and Susan marry, before he died later that night.
The nicer half of identical twins Robert and Cameron Robinson, there was a certain irony when, only weeks after Robert was imprisoned for his psychotic crimes, Cameron was mistaken for him and run down by Max Hoyland. After a few days in intensive care, and making his dad Paul promise to change his ways, the pain became too much for Cameron to conceal from his concerned family. He was rushed in for an emergency operation which he did not survive and his death changed the lives of many Ramsay Street residents for good.
After a year of alcoholism and a relationship with under-age Rachel Kinski, Stingray Timmins started 2007 well, attending AA meetings and beginning a new relationship with Sky Mangel, the mother of Stingray's baby niece, Kerry. When Kerry was diagnosed with leukaemia and her father, and Stingray's brother, Dylan, was found to be an unsuitable donor, Stingray stepped in. Despite a few hairy moments, the operation went well and both Stingray and Kerry were declared to be in the clear. But, during a street party for Janelle, Stingray's mum, he sat down to take a breather only to suddenly pass away from an aneurysm that had gone undiagnosed.
Troublemaker Jessica was never the most popular girl in school, but was close to best friend Taylah Jordan, and together they had plotted to split Ringo Brown from his girlfriend Rachel Kinski. Sadly for Jess, it was just as she and Ringo were finally getting close and she was starting to open up to him and show that she wasn't a complete bitch that she was killed. Many of the teenagers from Erinsborough High had been attending an illegal rave in a warehouse, when the building had collapsed, leaving several of them trapped. Though everyone else was rescued, it was too late for Jess, whose injuries and blood loss meant that help arrived too late.
Marco Silvani had never really set Ramsay Street alight, which was ironic, as he fell victim to a bushfire in the nearby national park. As he helped to search for missing volunteers, Marco became separated from the group as he stopped to pick up baby Chloe's formula bottles, and he was unable to get into the pumping station, which everyone else was using as shelter, when the fire passed through. Though he seemed outwardly fine, the heat had caused a great deal of damage to his internal organs and, in hospital, he was told that he didn't have long to live. With Carmella believing that Marco still stood a chance of recovery, a small wedding ceremony was arranged at the hospital and later, as the newlyweds sat together on his bed, he quietly passed away.
The deaths of minor characters were more common in Neighbours' early years. As well as Jean Richards in 1986, that year also saw the death of elderly Mrs York, who had been too embarrassed to admit that she had fallen on hard times and almost given up eating. By the time her neighbours realised what was wrong, it was too late. 1985 had also seen a couple of deaths. The first was young Bernie Sutton, son of Ramsay Street's Bob and Jan, who, despite warnings from Jim Robinson, rode his bike out onto the main road and was knocked down and killed. Later that year, criminal Charles Durham was murdered by Terry Robinson as he threatened to reveal her past. Although Daphne Lawrence was almost charged with the crime, Terry's husband Paul worked out her guilt and she shot him too, before fleeing, later being caught and imprisoned.
In 1994, Mark Gottlieb finally decided to return to his hippy roots and visit his parents on their commune, but was alarmed to realise that his mother, Sally, was in the final stages of terminal cancer. She died in her son's arms, causing him to reassess his life. And in 1998, Anne Wilkinson was busy interview homeless Fred Parkes for a school assignment, when he promptly died on her sofa. In more recent times, Rebecca Napier's father, Alan, died in hospital after losing his battle with a heart condition, while her ex-partner Richard Aaronow died a few months later, after going into renal failure. Later in 2008, promising young footballer Chris Knight died after falling and hitting his head during a scuffle with Bridget Parker, who he'd been trying to force to have sex with him. Though the head injury knocked him out, it was internal injuries, caused by Bridget kicking him away, that led to him suffering a heart attack.
Several residents also met their makers miles from Ramsay Street, in deaths that we only got to hear about through a telephone call or letter. In 1986, Paul Robinson was busy moving on with his life when he heard Terry wanted to see him. Paul decided not to go and, a few days later, heard that Terry had committed suicide. The following year, Mike Young also got a morbid blast from the past when he heard that his father, David, had died of a heart attack. And in 1988, it was Daphne's turn to mourn when her father, Allen, died. Daphne was with him at the time and it was during her trip back to husband Des in Ramsay Street that she was involved in a car accident which ultimately claimed her life.
Joe Mangel was in for a shock in 1989 when his ex-wife, Noelene was killed in a road accident, meaning that their son, Toby, returned to live with his dad. Annalise was the next Ramsay Street resident to lose her mother, when the villainous Fiona was involved in a car crash, several months after she'd left Erinsborough. Annalise was torn over whether to visit but by the time she decided to go, it was too late and Fiona had died from her injuries. In 2003, Lyn Scully heard that her mother had suffered a stroke and rushed up to Queensland to nurse Connie through her final days, kicking off a story that revealed that Connie's sister, Valda, was actually Lyn's mum. And in 2005, Paul Robinson feared for his life, the target of a stalker, but thought that he was safe when word came through that Tony Corbett had been found dead, unaware that the real killer, Paul's psychotic son, Robert, was still on the loose. In 2006, another couple of people, businessman Sean Dempster and Irishman Connor O'Neill also went missing after dealings with Robert, but so far, no bodies have been found. No bodies were found, and, months later, Connor got in touch, having apparently been travelling in China.