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What happened to Nolly's Noele Gordon in real life? Everything you need to know

Helena Bonham Carter portrays famed actress Noele Gorden in the new ITV drama, Nolly

noele gordon
Megan Bull
TV Writer
2 February 2023
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Nolly is making its debut on ITV, with Hollywood star Helena Bonham Carter taking on the role of real-life actress, Noele Gordon. Famed for portraying Meg Mortimer on Crossroads, the series follows the many trials and tribulations experienced by a heartbroken Noele, after her Crossroads contract was famously – and shockingly – terminated in 1981. 

While the series takes place across three drama-filled episodes, fans are already asking what happened to the TV star after the events of the mini-series. Keep reading for all the details on Noele Gordon's later years…

WATCH: Will you be watching Nolly?

What happened to Noele Gordon after she was sacked from Crossroads?

After her contract termination, Noele Gordon ultimately turned her attention to the theatre, starring in shows such as Gypsy, The Boyfriend and a revival of Call Me Madam. Amassing positive reviews for her on-stage performances, despite enjoying great success, the actress was later involved in a traumatic incident in which a 'crazed fan' attempted to stab her. Luckily, the TV star was saved by Sharan Roberts, another of her fans, meaning that Noele was thankfully unharmed. 

noele as meg mortimer© Photo: Rex

The actress turned her attention to the theatre following her sudden exit from Crossroads

Later, in 1982, it would become public knowledge that Noele Gordon had been tragically diagnosed with cancer, which prompted her to undergo two major operations. Despite her diagnosis, however, the actress continued to work, and in August 1983 she even made a triumphant return to Crossroads, starring in two episodes to commemorate the wedding of her character's daughter. 

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noele final crossroads appearance© Photo: Rex

Noele Gordon later made a triumphant return to Crossroads for two episodes in 1983

Eventually, Noele was offered the chance to return to a revamped Crossroads and she'd even signed the new contracts. Sadly, however, it wasn't to be as, on April 14th 1985, a 65-year-old Nolly passed away from cancer. 

Prior to her burial at St Mary's Church in Ross-On-Wye, near Hereford, a memorial service for Noele was held at Birmingham Cathedral, with guests including her Crossroads co-stars Susan Hanson, Jean Bayless, Jane Rossington, Tony Adams, Ronald Allen and Sue Lloyd in attendance. 

noele gordon smiling© Photo: Rex

Noele Gordon sadly passed away on April 14th 1985 at the age of 65

Noele's good friends Roy Hudd, Bob Monkhouse, Shaw Taylor,  Derek Batey, Wayne Sleep, Russell Harty, Larry Grayson, and Moria Lister were also present at the service. 

In a poignant moment, Crossroads star Tony Adams commented on her death, explaining: "There has never been a star of Crossroads, although Nolly was Crossroads."

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