Neighbours actor Joan Sydney dies aged 83

Actor Joan Sydney, best known for her roles on Australian soaps A Country Practice and Neighbours, has died aged 83.

Fellow actor Sally-Anne Upton paid tribute to her old friend and colleague on social media.

"Thank you for all you have taught me, love, friendship, many memories shared that will be treasured forever," she said.

Sydney died peacefully at home on December 28 and did not wish to have a funeral or memorial service, Upton said.

In the 1980s, Sydney played Matron Maggie Sloane on A Country Practice.

She also appeared in E Street in the role of Mary Patchett, and later on Neighbours as Valda Sheergold.

Upton said the pair first met when Sydney made a surprise appearance as Matron Sloane at a fundraiser for the Australian Nurses Federation, and brought the house down without having to say a word.

Upton kept Sydney's uniform and cap, and said she still has them in her wardrobe today.