TV icon: ‘I’m going to fight this thing’
SHE'S the Aussie TV legend who graced our screens for six decades.
With her flame red hair and formidable presence, Cornelia Frances appeared in some of Austalia's most iconic soapies such as Home and Away, Sons and Daughters and The Young Doctors.
But the popular actress is now undergoing the fight of her life as she battles cancer.
The 76-year-old was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017 before being told it had spread to her hip.
In an interview from her hospital bed, Frances told A Current Affair she was determined to fight the disease. "It's a hard road but we'll get there," she said.
"I'm feeling fine, albeit what's inside me. The pain comes and goes but that's par for the course. We're going to fight this, by God, I am."
In a bizarre twist of fate, Frances, is now being treated at the Sydney hospital which was used as the set for the fictional Albert Memorial Hospital in Young Doctors.
She played the villainous Sister Scott in the soapie, the role that shot her to fame in the 1970s.
In her ACA interview, Frances laughingly referred to being a patient as "a different thing altogether".
She joked that her image made her the perfect candidate for "evil" characters.
"Take a look at the face - red hair, green eyes. Very strong. I've always played the strong ladies."
Frances, who has had a recurring 29-year role as Morag in Home and Away, was also the stern quiz show queen in The Weakest Link.
Describing her lengthy career as "a wonderful road", she told ACA she had "loved every minute".
Frances revealed to The Daily Telegraph last month how she almost died due to her latest health issues.
"I discovered I had bladder cancer. This then spread to my hip bone which fractured, and then I almost died from loss of blood due to an ulcer in my throat. Despite all this, I am still here, as the old song goes."
Frances told The Daily Telegraph that if it were not for the work of some brilliant surgeons and the love of her son, Lawrence, she would never have made it.
"When I got the ulcer in my throat, I did truly believe that this time my luck had finally run out," Frances said.