Logie Prize-winning Australian actress Joy Chambers-Grundy has died in her sleep aged 76.
Joy was the wife of the late multimillionaire television mogul Reg Grundy, creator of the iconic Australian television series Neighbors. Grundy died in 2016 at the age of 92.
The family announced the sad news in a statement on Sunday morning, saying Joy passed away “surrounded by her loved ones.”
“Joy will be remembered as a Logie Prize-winning actress, best-selling author, poet, philanthropist and extraordinary businesswoman who, together with her husband, built one of the largest independent production companies in the world,” the statement said.
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 Rita on The Restless Years, Dr. Robyn Porter in The Young Doctors and Rosemary Daniels in Neighbors.
Joy was also a “businesswoman, poet, philanthropist, art collector and writer” and has written seven historical novels over the past two decades.
“My life revolves around the entertainment industry,” her website bio reads.
“A skillfully written book can be read on many levels, but it should always entertain.” . . I’m trying 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 – whom he married in 1954 – and with whom he had 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 over the course of their 45-year marriage.
Australian entrepreneur Reg Grundy with his second wife Joy Chambers-Grundy in 2005
Mr. Grundy was behind several long-acclaimed soap operas and game shows such as Sons and Daughters, The Young Doctors, The Restless Years, Sale of The Century and Neighbors.
He also produced ABBA: The Movie alongside Stig Anderson and was known for keeping his private life out of the public eye.
In 1983, Mr Grundy was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honors 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 building his television empire.
Mr. Grundy met Joy, an author and actress, when she was a panelist on the game show “I’ve Got a Secret” and married her four years later.
She appeared in several of her husband’s soap operas.
The couple lived on a sprawling estate in Bermuda (pictured) until their deaths.
The couple moved to Bermuda in the early 1980s, where they lived in a sprawling mansion with their Shetland sheepdogs until their deaths.
Joy has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Grundy’s estranged daughter Kim – now named Viola La Valette – over his $900 million fortune.
The Neighbors creator left assets worth $800 million overseas and $71 million in Australia at the time of his death.
The Neighbors creator left assets worth $800 million overseas and $71 million in Australia when he died in 2016
Almost all of his assets went to his wife, while wife La Valette – whom he had not seen in the 22 years before his death – received annual payments of $250,000.
However, his daughter disputed the figures, claiming her father suffered from Alzheimer’s in his final years, which led him to reduce the amount he left her in his will.
The three-year court battle ended after the couple reached a confidential settlement in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2020.
At one point, the battle for the property even attracted a third party, former Victorian mayor Simon Russell, who claimed to be the television mogul’s long-lost son.
The cafe owner claimed he was Grundy’s “love child” and was born before Grundy married his first wife, Lola Powell, in 1954.
Russell was first elected mayor of Sandringham Council in 1994 and was elected mayor of Bayside Council a second time in 2001 and 2002 when the towns merged.
However, Russell dropped his lawsuit against the late media mogul’s estate after DNA testing in June 2019 revealed the two men were not related.