She was and is, an Australian Tv celebrity. Skinny, loud grating voice and quick sense of humour. She made a dress once out of green garbage bags for one show which was quite effective, and despite being tiny she was larger than life.

Today I heard that her bright mind has been taken by Alzheimers. It is a cruel illness that that takes away memory, and Maria Venutti, a very close friend of Jeanni, is hardly recognised by Jeanni now, and Maria is normally unforgettable!

It is many years since I met Jeanni Little. I was organising a week-long festival in Singleton, New South Wales. Singleton was in transition from a dairying to a mining country town that had grown to 13,000.

This time the festival combined with the Hunter Valley Wine Show.

Jeanni was the Guest Star, (courtesy of the Lions Club),at the height of her tv career, -and here she was in front of the mirror in the motel room, accompanied by her husband Barrie and a small daughter, if I remember rightly (this was back in around 1979).

I had come to welcome them on behalf of the Singleton and District Tourist Association. John Gale and his wife would be looking after them. In fact the two families became firm friends.

“Come dahling”, she called, and introduced me to Barry, an affable soul who Jeanni made obvious was her strength and dupport.

Jeanni was not wearing her wig,or her fake eyelashes that looked like two centipides lying on her fesk.

She made no apology for being seen with her normal fine dark hair and minus stage makeup, -and we chatted away while she applied her Jeanni Little face and then added a mid-length wig of blonde curls and finally outrageously long eyelashes, all the while chattering away in her famous raspey voice. 

John arrived to take her to the event and of of course she was a smash, just being herself!
I liked her a lot, and her family. No pretention- showbiz without the drama, and very Australian.

Sad that I have this memory of a lady who has lost her memories. What more can I say? Love you Jeanni.

More details on Jeanni Little’s illness

Photo from Google/


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