Carmen graduated from the National Institute for the Dramatic Arts (NIDA) in 1961 and had a stellar career in film, television and on stage, spanning more than 50 years. In 1980, Carmen was nominated for the AFI Award for Best Actress for the film Harlequin. Other films included, Don’t Let It Get to You, Touch and Go, and Turkey Shoot. As recently as 2018, she had a role in the film Hotel Mombai. For several years she was the Treasurer for Actors Equity.
Her greatest acting success was on television. In Australia she had roles in many series, including Hunter, Number 96, Certain Women, Skyways, A Country Practice, Division 4, and Homicide. In the mid 1980s, Carmen moved to the United Sates where she again had great success. She won a leading role in the daytime soap opera Another World, which she played between 1988 and 1994.
On returning to Australia, Carmen became an active worker for charity.
In 2006, she accepted the role of CEO of the GO (Gynaecology Oncology) Fund, a sub-entity of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. In this capacity she helped raise nearly $2 million for research into gynaecological cancers.
When that Fund ceased active fundraising with the formation of the AGCF in 2015, Carmen became an Ambassador and was a wonderful advocate for women suffering from gynaecological cancer.
Carmen was much loved and highly respected by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was a beautiful woman, both on the inside and the outside. She was very intelligent, committed and hardworking, and had a warm and engaging personality. She was at ease in all levels of society, from Royalty down. Despite being able to mix with society’s elite, she remained grounded in her strong Christian beliefs and was a devoted and caring mother, grandmother, and sister. Her greatest pleasure came from being with her three grandchildren.
Carmen always maintained a positive attitude, which helped her to survive breast, bowel and thyroid cancer. Ironically, she eventually died of vaginal cancer, a rare gynaecological cancer.
THE CARMEN DUNCAN RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP
In recognition of her major support for gynaecological cancer research over many years, the AGCF plans to initiate a Carmen Duncan Research Fellowship. This Fellowship is supported by Carmen’s family and will be awarded annually to the Australian scientist who submits the research proposal judged to be of the highest quality by our Medical Advisory Committee.
All donations will be used to conduct critical gynae cancer research for improving treatment and adding years to lives; donations will be most gratefully accepted by AGCF.
All donations over $2 will be tax deductible and receipted. Please donate by clicking this link, please include a reference to the Carmen Duncan Research Fellowship (CDRF).