Throughout our lives, we have cause to remember both
people and events. Often we relate those people and
events to the decade in which they first leapt into our
consciousness. For me the 1970s was ABBA, The Beach Boys,
'The FJ Holden'
movie, 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', 'Class of '74' and
Margaret Nelson. By what some may see as a strange quick
of fate, Margaret Nelson appeared in both 'Picnic at
Hanging Rock' and 'Class of '74'.
The TV series 'Class of '74' provided a
launch pad into 'Picnic' for a number of actresses, but
for me it was Margaret who attracted my attention. She
had about her a naturalness quite unlike any other
actress on television at the time. There was a depth to
her performances in 'Class of '74' missing from those of
the other cast members, at least for this viewer. So I
did something not unusual for the time, perhaps. I sat
down and wrote a letter to her. It was one of only five
fan letters I've ever written. (To answer your unasked
question, the other four were to Ray Walston, Connie
Hines, Jonathan Harris and Anna Massie). Margaret wrote
back to me and yes, it gave me a great buzz. That short letter is still a treasured memory of the period.
In 2002, an article http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/11/22/1037697872494.html appeared in the Sydney Herald and related
newspapers concerning a new edition of 'Picnic'. The
editor of the book had managed to contact many people
connected with the movie but Margaret Nelson remained the
notable exception. There was no trace of her. Most likely
Margaret married, moved or simply decided she preferred
anonymity to a measure of fame, and who could blame her
in this day and age?
This page will serve as a sourch of
information on Margaret for fans of this fine actress.
Photos are few and far between. The couple which appear
here are publicity photos from an industry publication in
my collection. I did write to one of her agents, but the
agent was unable to provide any information, apart from
surmising that Margaret had dropped out of the acting
profession. The one above is from "Picnic".
Height (from promotional information) 5ft 3"
Dates of photos top of page: Left, pre-1976. Right,
LETTER FROM MARGARET
[ I found this recently.]
21st October, 1974
I really don't mind how many times I hear the type of
statements you wrote. / There might be the opportunity of
publicity with the bus storyline. I hope so because I
would enjoy the travel and meeting people. / Stranger
storylines are yet to come, especially one impractical
one involving Patti and Mike. It will continue into next
year, but I'm not sure if I will.
Margaret Nelson (Patti Farmer)
RECEIVED - COMMENTS NEEDED.
If you have any comments, links or information on
Margaret Nelson, please send to me at the email or
snail-mail addresses which appear below. To avoid
spamming, the email address is not hot-linked or
copyable. You'll have to type it into a blank email form.
Or write to me as follows:
CB&M Editor, PO Box 781, Katoomba NSW 2780
From: Ken Warren
It was nice to see a fan site for Margaret, I became a
fan after watching The Lost Islands. They showed Picnic
on one of the Sky channels over here just yesterday. I
only caught a snippit but she was in most of that.
It's a shame that nobody seems to know what's happened to
Hope you can keep updating the site.
Thanks for your
response, Ken. Hopefully someone who knows, or knew
Margaret, will contact us.
Date: 31/05/09 5:07
From: Martin Phillips
Just something I stumbled across and I don't know whether
you've seen, but the first episode of 'The Lost Islands'
has been posted to YouTube some time ago. Funny, I didn't
even think of looking for it. / But it brought back some
youthful memories, particularly of that cheesy theme song
which now seems strangely reminiscent of the one from
'Gilligan's Island'! How naive we all were as kids! /
And, of course, both Margaret and Jane Vallis in the
cast. It may be something you might want to link to your
Thanks, Martin. As youtube clips have a habit of
disappearing and moving, anyone who wants to check there
for Margaret clips should go to http://www.youtube.com and
put "Margaret Nelson" or "The
Lost Islands" in the search window. Also,
"The Lost Islands" is available on DVD in both
European and Middle East countries, but so far not in
Australia or other English-speaking countries.
I just looked at your website in honour of the brilliant Margaret
Nelson. I first saw her in Picnic At Hanging Rock and was quite taken
by her beauty and couldn't care less for Miranda (haha). Your website
is brilliant and I wanted to thank you for showing the letter she wrote
to you, especially great to see her actual handwriting in this age of
computers and keyboards. The photos are brilliant too. I recall
Margaret from the Young Doctors too and the Lost Islands. I think the
Lost Islands series was released before the Picnic At Hanging Rock movie
but I seem to only remember seeing her in the Lost Islands after seeing
"Picnic". It's a shame Margaret has left behind a relatively small
footprint with regards to film & movie print and it would be wonderful
to know her whereabouts and what she ended up doing all these years. I
hope and pray she is still with us.
Good to hear from you, Marty.
I found your Margaret Nelson dedication page when looking around Google
for PaHR references and wondered if you might be interested in my new
novel, which I have titled, "Dream
Within a Dream". The character of Sarah appears again in my story,
inspired by Margaret's wonderful performance.
It would be good to know that she is still around and well, enjoying a
quiet life in suburbia (if that was what she wanted!).
It seems that interest in PaHR is alive and well and the mystery
continues to capture our imaginations. In my case, it actually inspired
me to write!
On a sad note, were you aware that Christine Lawrance nee Schuler
("Edith"), died in Adelaide last year?
Thanks for your information, Michael. I've linked
your title to Amazon.
Margaret's IMDb page can be found at http://us.imdb.com/name/nm1396816/
SMH article, 'After the Picnic', can be found at http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/11/22/1037697872494.html
This is an
unofficial fan page only and does not intend to infringe any
copyrights or privacy. If you have any concerns, please contact
me as above.