Dorothy Gordon Jenner

Dorothy Gordon Jenner (1891-1985), journalist and broadcaster, was a daughter of Dora (born Fosbery) and William A. Gordon. Her grandfather was Edmund Fosbery, inspector-general of police. Her father was manager on 'Edgeroi', near Narrabri, and later stock and station agent for the Australian Joint Stock Bank. She was educated at Narrabri, and in Sydney at Ascham and Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School. She visited English relatives in 1911-13 and in 1915 went to Hollywood, where she played minor parts and did stunts for Paramount.

She was married in 1917 to Murray Eugene McEwen, whom she divorced, and in 1922 to George Onesiphorus Jenner whom she left. As a result of a mis-managed abortion she had no children, which later in life she said suited her. Divorced by her second husband in 1925, she returned to Sydney where she starred in The Hills of Hate (1926), and worked on the script and production of For the Term of his Natural Life (1927).

She went to London in 1927 and after a long illness began a column for the Sydney Sun, writing as 'Andrea', mainly about famous people in London, New York, and fashionable European holiday resorts. It was a frothy, gossipy success and except for holiday visits home she remained overseas until 1940. On the eve of the Pacific war she toured south- east Asia as a war correspondent, and was caught in Hong Kong when the Japanese arrived. Dorothy spent nearly four years in Stanley prisoner of war camp.

She had difficulty re-establishing her-self with the Sun, and was aggrieved to receive only half-pay for her years as a POW. She went to the Mirror in 1951 and afterwards moved to broad-casting.

Her first radio work was on 2UE. She became nationally famous in the 1960s when she pioneered 'talk-back' radio on 2GB and became known for her 'Hullo Mums and Dads'. She specialised in light chat, easy interviews and rather lugubrious humour. She left in 1968, eased out and unhappy. Her last years were devoted to helping establish the Wayside Chapel. She died in her Kings Cross flat on 24 March 1985. She published her memoirs under the title Darlings, I've had a Ball (1975).

Heather Radi