"She's the only friend I've got!"Elizabeth Josephine Birdsworth appeared on Prisoner from Episodes 001 to 418. Lizzie is one of the eldest inmates in the prison, and she gets released multiple times to end up back in prison. Lizzie is finally released into the care of her real son.
Lizzie was played by the late Shelia Florance
Innocent for Murder x 4 Edit
Lizzie Birdsworth was originally serving a sentence for the poisoning of four sheep shearers who complained about her cooking whilst she worked in the outback. The work foreman, Ralph Campbell, later made a deathbed confession that he added a lethal amount of poison to a stew, after seeing Lizzie put a small amount in the stew. Ralph added the extra amount to make it lethal. Lizzie is released from Wentworth Detention Center and lives with Doreen Anderson in the Sally Lee Halfway House.
Not long after this their drunken antics get Doreen put back inside. Lizzie has become institutionalized and with nobody on the outside to help her so she shoplifts to get put back inside Wentworth.
Return to Wentworth Edit
Given that she was wrongly imprisoned for so long all she gets is a series of slaps on the wrist. Lizzie then gets in touch with her daughter (Marcia) whom Lizzie gave up at birth. Marcia is actually Ellen and is after money for her daughter Josie's operation. When the prisoners get wind of this, they put the hard word on Marcia/Ellen, who runs. Lizzie is furious - she knew they were fakes, but also knew the money would essentially buy her a family when she got released. Luckily for Lizzie, Marcia/Ellen comes back to confess, and is overjoyed when Lizzie says she will help anyway.
Lizzie also took the blame for the murder of Kay White, who was actually murdered by Linda Jones who was trying to defend Lizzie. Originally, Lizzie gets a 5 year sentence, but she appeals and gets it reduced to 18 months. This suits Lizzie, as this will give Josie enough time to have her operation in the US, recover, and return. Marcia /Ellen decides to stay in the US to get married and wants Lizzie to come and live with them; however, she finds out that she will not be granted a visa due to her criminal record.
Meeting Sid Edit
Lizzie also develops a relationship with Sid Humphries, a handyman at the prison. Sadly, Sid eventually dies. After Sid's death Lizzie moved into his house much to the annoyance of his son (Gordon) who did everything he could to force Lizzie out. He went as far as making nuisance/creepy phone calls to her, moving plants around and implying to Coleen Powell (who lived next door) that Lizzie was losing her memory. Gordon admitted to Lizzie he wanted her out of his father's house so that he could rent it out. Although Lizzie had no proof of Gordon`s antics, to stop Gordon getting the house, Lizzie set fire to it, completely razing the house. She was charged with arson as to which she was eventually acquitted of. After her release she checks into a hotel and drinks away all her money at the pub. Unable to pay her bill she gets her parole revoked and ends up in Wentworth again (Ep 241).
Meeting her son Edit
She has a day release to see one of her old friends. When Bea is being transferred to Barnhurst, Lizzie breaks her wrist on the security gate (401). Lizzie starts to be mean to Sonia for getting Phyllis to rip off the women, taking Bea's position as Top Dog, and helping Joan transfer Bea to Barnhurst. When Cass arrives she wants Cass to take over as top dog from Sonia but Cass doesn't want to. When Judy arrives Lizzie doesn't speak to her for euthanizing Hazel. She meets her real son, Arthur Charlton, for the first time in years. She has a day release to see her family but she doesn't want to see them afterwards. She helps Phyllis and a lot the women to hang Joan. Lizzie has another day release to see her family. Lizzie has a heart attack while David Bridges tells her she's going to be free (416). Judy, Pixie and Minnie visit Lizzie in hospital. She gets parole and lives with her family.
- In addition to some of the most powerful dramatic story-lines, Lizzie provided the needed comic relief, especially with Doreen in the earlier episodes of the series.
- Lizzie was an alcoholic and notorious for her fondness of alcohol and often devising ways to steal medicinal spirits or whatever spirits the Governor happened to have in the decanter in her office or what the nurse had in the medicine cabinet in the prison infirmary.
- Lizzie often used her "old ticker" often as an excuse to get out of something and she used her heart condition often as a diversion for other prisoners or herself to cover other dealings going on in the background.
- Lizzie was revealed to be aged 71 in episode 133. Lizzie said her birthday is next week and she'll be 72, Sheila was actually only 65 at the time.
- There was a clue that Lizzie disliked Bea during the first episodes as she was on Frankie's side in the riot. She also laughed when Frankie kicked Bea in the buttocks and when Frankie laughed at Bea during Helen's interview Lizzie laughed as well.
- Lizzie's favourite colour was lavender.
- Lizzie's late husband was named Blossom Birdsworth.
- She had 4 children; Marcia, Arthur, Richard, Henry. All were taken away from her.
Lizzie Birdsworth was played by the late Sheila Florance.