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DS Icon: Marlene from 'Neighbours'

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Neighbours has thrown up plenty of legendary characters down the years - Lou & Harold, Phil Martin, Helen Daniels, Dr Karl, Bouncer - but none more special than Marlene Kratz. Spending only three years on Ramsay Street, Marlene made an emotional impact on viewers who loved her wheeler dealer lifestyle (selling VCRs, running a bric-a-brac shop), constant scrapes and bantering with daughter Cheryl and son-in-law Lou Carpenter. Marlene, played by the delightful Moya O'Sullivan, was a crucial cog in the Golden Age of Neighbours in the '90s.

Adding to the mystery and allure of Marlene was her unusual exit 13 years ago. Departing for a three-month cruise in October 1997, most viewers expected her to return at some point in the future to Erinsborough. However, three months soon turned into a year, which quickly became five and then a whole decade had passed without a word. The only glimpse we got of Marlene was a short clip in the 2005 anniversary show, where she was shown still sailing the seas. While that finally put to rest the rumours that Lou and Harold had bumped her off, her seemingly never-ending cruise still seems highly curious. Many suspect that she may have shacked up with a cheeky cabin boy, but we can't confirm that detail.

Moya O'Sullivan and Marlene Kratz - DS salutes you!

Marlene Kratz from Neighbours

© Rex Features / Freemantle Media

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