Australian Logie-award winning actress Joy Chambers-Grundy has died in her sleep aged 76.
Joy was wife of late multimillionaire television mogul Reg Grundy, who was the creator of iconic Australian television series Neighbours. Grundy died aged 92 in 2016.
Family announced the sad news in a statement on Sunday morning.
‘Joy has passed away in her sleep early this morning surrounded by loved ones,’ the statement reads.
‘Joy will be remembered as a Logie award winning actress, a best-selling author, a poet, a philanthropist and an exceptional business woman who worked alongside her husband to build one of the largest independent production companies in the world.’
Australian actress Joy Chambers-Grundy (pictured) has died in Bermuda aged 76
Joy was born Carolyn Joy Chambers in Ipswich, Queensland, in 1947.
She is known for her roles in several soap operas, including as Rita in The Restless Years, Dr Robyn Porter in The Young Doctors and Rosemary Daniels in Neighbours.
Joy was also a ‘business woman, poet, philanthropist, fine-art collector and writer’, having authored seven historical fiction novels over the past two decades.
‘My life is in the entertainment business,’ her website bio reads.
‘A skilfully written book can be read on many levels but it should always entertain. . . I attempt to do that.’
Joy met Grundy at an audition in the 1960s when she was 18 and the television mogul was in his 40s.
At the time, Grundy was married to Patricia Powell – who he wed in 1954 – and with whom he shared a daughter, Kim.
Joy and Grundy married in 1971 after he divorced Powell, and the couple remained together until his death seven years ago, renewing their vows several times across their 45-year marriage.
Australian entrepreneur Reg Grundy with second wife Joy Chambers- Grundy in 2005
Mr Grundy was behind several long-celebrated soap operas and game shows like Sons and Daughters, The Young Doctors, The Restless Years, Sale of The Century and Neighbours.
He also produced ABBA: The Movie alongside Stig Anderson, and was known to keep his private life out of the public eye.
In 1983, Mr Grundy was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and was made an Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008.
After marrying his first wife in his 20s and divorcing her years later, Mr Grundy lived with his daughter Kim, and his mother in the 1960s while he built his television empire.
Mr Grundy met Joy when she was a panellist on the game show I’ve Got a Secret.
They pair married her four years later and she went to star in several of her husband’s soap operas.
The couple lived at a sprawling property in Bermuda (pictured) up to their deaths
The couple moved to Bermuda in the early 1980s, where they lived in a sprawling mansion with their Shetland sheepdogs up until their deaths.
Joy was embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Grundy’s estranged daughter Kim – who now goes by the name Viola La Valette – over his $900million fortune.
The Neighbours creator left behind assets worth $800million overseas and $71million in Australia at the time of his death.
The Neighbours creator left behind assets worth $800million overseas and $71million in Australia when he died in 2016
Nearly all of his assets went to his wife, while Ms La Valette – who he hadn’t seen in the 22 years before he died – was allocated yearly payments of $250,000.
However, his daughter challenged the figures, claiming her father had suffered Alzheimer’s during his final years which caused him to reduce how much money he left her in the will.
The three-year court battle came to an end after the pair reached a confidential settlement in the NSW Supreme Court in 2020.
At one point the battle for the estate even attracted a third party, former Victorian mayor Simon Russell, who was claiming to be the TV mogul’s long lost son.
The cafe owner claimed he was the ‘love child’ of Grundy, and was born before Grundy married his first wife Lola Powell in 1954.
Russell was first elected as Mayor for Sandringham Council in 1994 and was elected as Mayor a second time in 2001 and 2002 for Bayside Council, when the cities amalgamated.
However Russell dropped his claim against the late media mogul’s estate after DNA tests concluded the two men were not related in June 2019.