"She was Jackson then. She forgave her husbands killer. Not a lot of people can do that. no, she's angry, and this time she has every right to be."
Myra June Desmond was an inmate and later the top dog who appeared from episode 154-552, she worked in the Prison Reform Group before arriving at Wentworth and she is best known for being the 2nd longest running top dog behind Bea Smith. Desmond was played by Anne Phelan
Prison Reform GroupEdit
Anne Phelan first appears as Miss Manson, a new officer who introduces Erica Davidson's Niece as an in mate in episode 17. Next time she plays Bernadette an inmate who delivers the food-tray to Bea Smith in isolation.
After that she appears as Myra Desmond, a PRG representative who visits Wentworth in (154) to see Chrissie Latham to try to help her just before Elizabeth is due to be taken away from her at one year old. She isn't actually much help and advises Chrissie that Elizabeth will probably be fostered out. When Myra arrives in reception, she is recognized by Vera Bennett and it is established that Myra had been in Wenwtorth three years previously, though Doreen Anderson shows no sign of recognizing her when they meet later in the episode. Myra also mentions she has just bought a bookshop with her husband's "insurance". Presumably we are supposed to think that Myra is recently widowed, though she has a husband and family later in the series. (it is possible she re-married or the insurance was for something else in her husbands name)
Myra next appears in (223)-(224), when she looks after Alison Page's children when her husband Don has an accident at work.
She is next seen advising on the print shop project (273)-(274).
The writers must have felt the character was well enough established that they could just refer to her by name without having her appear: there are mentions of her in (293) (setting up of the first Driscoll House), (318) (benefit concert for the house) and (393).
Top Dog Edit
Judy Bryant recommends her to take over Driscoll House after Alice Dodds has a nervous breakdown after being shot, and she goes to investigate the problems in (429) only to turn Judy down because of family problems. Kills her husband (431) and is imprisoned.
Becomes top dog. Escapes during fete to see her daughter Kay comes off drugs.
On her return, she falls out with Judy for leaving the woman in the lurch and she loses some support when she shows a tendency to bash first and ask questions later, especially for the job she does on Bobbie (492). She steps down as top dog naming Reb Keane as her successor (502) but arranges for Reb to be discredited when she finds she is peddling drugs. Takes over again when Reb is sent to Blackmoor (506).
When the male prisoners are transferred from Woodridge, Myra is initially hostile to them, especially Geoff, but she ends up having an affair with him. The scenes of Geoff and Myra in bed together are remembered by Prisoner fans as particularly gruesome.
Myra later gets killed by terrorists who are hired by her enemy Ruth Ballinger. Her last words were, "Tell Kay that if she needs anything, to contact Geoff. Tell her, I only want—" before the bullet from Max's gun, held to her head, blasts through her brain, rendering her lifeless within seconds, after the siege ends we see Nora staying with Myra's body until it is taken away.
- It is revealed that Myra was cellmates with Bea Smith before Franky Doyle came to Wentworth.
- When Bea got transferred to Barnhurst for good, Myra said that she visited her there a few times and most of the inmates would be afraid of her as said by Myra.
- Anne Phelan, who played Myra Desmond, was also seen in Episode 017, playing Officer Manson.
- Anne Phelan appears in Episode 94 bringing food to Bea Smith who has been sent to isolation - but this time as the character Bernadette, a completely different background character.
- Myra appears briefly in episode 577 as a vision in the mind of Reb Kean who is returned from Blackmoor. Reb is looking at the reflection of Nora Flynn and instead sees Myra.
- Anne Phelan passed away 27 October 2019