Margaret Anne "MaggieKirkpatrick (née Downs; born 29 January 1941) is an Australian actress who is best known for her portrayal of the character Joan Ferguson, a sinister and cold lesbian prison officer, nicknamed "The Freak", in the popular Australian television soap opera Prisoner. She performed as Madame Morrible in an Australian production of the musical Wicked. Kirkpatrick has appeared in such popular series as Water RatsHome and Away and All Saints.

In July 2015, Kirkpatrick was charged with child sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl in the 1980s. She strongly denied the allegations, Kirkpatrick said, "Yes, allegations have been levelled at me, are they true? Absolutely not." She appeared in court in and was found guilty on 20 August 2015. She was subsequently sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order, including 100 hours of community service. Kirkpatrick appealed the case and won, with Judge Geoffrey Chettle finding there was reasonable doubt and dismissing the conviction and charges. In her only TV interview about the charges, Kirkpatrick slammed the media and claimed that it was "bad journalism" as they continually showed clips of her character from Prisoner during the legal battle, going as far to say the media couldn't separate reality from fiction.

In 2017 Kirkpatrick returned to TV after a 9 year hiatus (last credit was in 2008 in All Saints episode 'Little Decisions') making her return in Australian TV Mini-series 'The Letdown', in 2018 appeared in ABC comedy 'Sando' and provided her voice as Doris in 'The Bureau of Magical Things'.

In 2019 Kirkpatrick released her biography titled 'The Gloves are Off' and retired from publicity events in 2019 as well.


  • Maggie had originally auditioned for the role of Vera Bennett but didn't get the role, and she returned to theatre, before coming on to the series in 1982 episode 287 as one of the series most famous characters, Joan Ferguson.
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