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Neighbours star Miranda Fryer who played Sky Mangel in the long-running soap has died aged 34.
The former child actress, who first appeared in the Australian soap back in 1989 – aged 18 months – as the daughter of Joe (Mark Little) and Kerry (Linda Hartley) for three years has ‘died suddenly in her sleep’ at her home in Glen Iris, Melbourne, her heartbroken family has revealed.
In real-life, Miranda married Arthur Pothitis in November 2020 and her family told TV tonight, “True soulmates, Miranda and Arthur (Pothitis) were making plans to start their family, when one day last week she went to sleep and never woke up. We do not know why.
“She had had some health issues with her heart, maybe her beautiful persona was just too good for this world of ours. We, who all loved her so much, shall treasure the memories she has left us with and mourn our loss forever.”
“A beautiful child, stunning teenager, beautiful inside, and out … a woman, with so much love and happiness given and received. So many friends, so much still to offer this world, gone,” they added.
The soap, which was first broadcast on BBC One back in 1985, before moving to My5 in recent years, saw the youngster join Ramsay Street in 1989 when character Kerry Bishop moved into the street to live with her father Harold. Kerry was a single parent to Sky but she soon bonded with neighbour Joe Mangle and they spent a lot of time together much to her father’s dismay.
Neighbours fans might recall baby Sky getting bitten with a red-backed spider while out on a picnic with her mum and grandfather one afternoon and Joe was the first on the scene at the hospital after – an act which made Kerry realise he was the one for her. They later married – Joe’s son Toby was Page Boy and Sky as Flower girl and the family moved into number 32 Ramsay Street and Joe later adopted Sky as his own child.
Her on-screen character Sky had a complex childhood, following the death of her mother Kerry, her birth father Eric Jensen got custody of Sky and Joe briefly went on the run with his adopted daughter before returning her to her birth father.
But unhappy living with Eric, Sky returned to live with Joe. And Sky was written out of the soap when Joe went travelling around Europe with his new wife Melanie.
You can watch one of the classic Neighbours episodes below featuring Miranda as Sky…
Following her time on the show, off-screen Miranda completed her high school education and went on to get a certificate in hospitality and an art diploma.
Putting acting firmly behind her, Miranda got her nursing degree last year Monash University and was due to start her postgraduate at Monash Hospital in the neuroscience department in February 2022.
Fans have paid tribute to the child star, one fan put, ‘We are sad to learn of the passing of Actress Miranda Fryer who played the original Sky Mangel/Bishop in @neighbours from 1989-1991.
Sky is the Daughter of Joe Mangel (@themarklittle) and Kerry Mangel/Bishop, who previously played Roach Waters in Prisoner).
Miranda is believed to have passed away suddenly in her sleep on 6th January 2022, aged 34.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends.
‘The role of Sky was re-cast to Stephanie McIntosh (Jason Donovan’s Sister) when the character was reintroduced to Neighbours in 2003.’
And another fan added, ‘So sad ???? ????’
And after an absence from screens, the character of Sky was reintroduced to storylines in 2003 but a different actress, Australian actress, and singer Stephanie McIntosh was recast for the teenage role and appeared on screen until 2007.
Longtime casting director Jan Russ told TV Tonight, “I feel so very sad to lose one of my cast and especially one so young as Miranda who spent her very young years on the show …I love them like my own and feel the loss when they pass.”