Viewers send messages of support to Jane Rossington

Jane is ‘surrounded by love’ from her family, while fans have been sending their best wishes to the soap icon.

As we reported last week Jane’s husband David Dunger revealed the popular actress had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s following declining health from 2016 onwards.

“It started about six years ago… We used to go a week’s skiing holiday every year. And we were somewhere in the Alps and it was lovely. And she went down in the lift early and I said ‘I’ll meet you at such-and-such a restaurant and if you’re first I’d like a large beer please, and if I’m there first I’ll get you a glass of wine’. Well, that was the first time I noticed she really lost it. She went down the mountain, she didn’t go back to the hotel she didn’t turn up at the restaurant… she was completely lost and befuddled.

“Then little thing started to happen, she came more and more distracted. Her memory went, she became less [physically] able. And it was so distressing to see it happen. There’s little periods where there’s a degree of stability and then, like over the last two weeks, there’s noticeable deterioration.” – David Dunger

Jane is best known to television viewers for her role as Jill in Crossroads, where she played the on-screen daughter of Noele Gordon’s Meg Richardson. Jane starred in the soap from its first episode in 1964 through to its very last in 1988.

She reprised the role once more for a new version of the saga in 2001. Other roles include a cameo as Jill in Channel 4’s gritty Brookside and longer-running parts in ITV medical drama Emergency Ward 10 and BBC radio soap The Archers, where she had two roles.

Viewers have been sharing their love for the 79-year-old performer on ATV Network’s Facebook page, as well as on the Crossroads official fan club’s social media outlets and several other retro pages.

October 1964, Jane records a trailer for the soon-to-launch Crossroads.

What very sad news 🙁 I had a boyhood crush when growing up, she was my idea of the perfect partner!!! noted Peter, while Gaynor added, Lovely Jane sorry to hear hope best wishes her family.”

“Shocked and saddened to hear about Jane. Thinking of her Rob, David, Sorrell and family. A lovely lady always liked her in Crossroads. Emergency Ward 10 before that of course. A famous person I would have loved to have met and chatted about Crossroads with. Sorry to hear this news. Thinking of you Jane Xxx” said Richard, I am so sorry, a beautiful lady.” noted Jim, “I was so sorry to hear the sad news on Jane’s illness. It’s such an awful disease that tears away at the heart. Sending loving energy to Jane and her family.” said Tigg.

Ben recalled “My grandmother had dementia for the last 18 years of her life and this is hitting quite hard. Always seems to happen to lovely intelligent erudite people. You kinda feel robbed of the person if that makes sense. Sending love and blessings to Jane, David and the family.” Tony added Wow. What great and very personal interviews and thank you very much for speaking so personal and from the heart. Bloody dementia or Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease and can affect anyone. Thank you for the interview x”

Jane Rossington as Jill Richardson in Crossroads, 1964.

It’s a tough listen as we all remember Jane at her best but what an amazing family she’s got and the love shines through,” said Phil, Sheila adds, So saddened to hear this news about Jane. It is very brave of her husband, David to chat about this and the way it affects him and his family. It is good to hear that he has a lot of support from the family. It’s such a hard illness to live with and really hard for the family. Jane has always come across as a really lovely person and indeed was on the few occasions I met her outside ATV studios. She was always very family orientated.

Gareth said, A beautiful conversation. All my love to Jane and the whole family. Jane’s condition has been known by many for quite a while now, and because it hasn’t been blabbed or gossiped or spread about shows the love for her by all her fans and admirers. She’s being treated with the respect and dignity she deserves.

Graham noted, Alzheimer’s is an awful thing. So sorry to hear that Jane has it. Bless her heart. She has given us so many wonderful moments as Jill. Lots of love to Jane and her family.💕

Jane’s husband David Dunger spoke about Jane’s life with dementia in a radio interview with his presenter brother Rob, on Felixstowe Radio on June 8th. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behaviour. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

You can hear the full interview with Rob Dunger speaking to David here. For anyone wanting to know more about dementia and the support available visit the Alzheimer’s Society.

Jane is to be portrayed by Antonia Bernath in the forthcoming ITV drama about Noele Gordon, Nolly. Helena Bonham Carter will star as Noele in the Russell T Davies penned three-part series. Crossroads co-creator Peter Ling was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as was co-star John Bentley who played Hugh Mortimer, Meg’s third husband.

1975: Roger Tonge as Sandy, John Bentley as Hugh Mortimer, Jane Rossington as Jill Harvey and Noele Gordon as Meg Mortimer.
Stan and Jill Harvey, Crossroads 1974. (Ed Clayton and Jane Rossington).
Wedding day for Adam and Jill Chance, 1983. (Tony Adams and Jane Rossington).
Jane in a promo for Crossroads, ATV, 1978
Crossroads behind the scenes. Sue Lloyd, Ronald Allen, Sándor Éles and Jane Rossington take direction.
The final photograph, cast and crew gather on the last day of Crossroads’ production, 1987.

Related Article: ATV Icon – Jane Rossington

Jane Rossington as Nurse Kate Ford in ATV’s Emergency Ward 10, 1963
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One thought on “Viewers send messages of support to Jane Rossington

  1. Jane was fantastic as Jill in Crossroads. Sad to hear she is suffering from this cruel illness but it’s good to know she is surrounded by a loving and supportive family. Jane always seemed to appreciate her fans and I am proud to have a signed photo and personalised letter from her. Jane and Tony Adams were a legendary couple in Crossroads.

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