Sixties pop star Lynne Barnett dead for month before police make grisly find


SHE was a ‘trailblazing’’ pop star from the 60s whose performances were beamed into Australian homes on the household TV show Bandstand.

Sadly, Lynne Barnett, 72, died alone and probably in pain inside her public housing unit in Sydney’s inner west where her body was not found for a month.

An inquest into her death yesterday heard the singing sensation from New Zealand — who recorded her first record at 15 — had become a recluse who claimed she had no living relatives and would shut herself in her home, refusing to answer the phone.

Lynne Barnet pictured at a Melbourne Cup function in 2001.

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Even her sibling, fellow 60s child star, Christine Barnett, did not know she was dead until yesterday and by then her older sister had been buried — without a funeral.

“She was definitely a trailblazer … Lynne could have gone on to bigger and better things,” Christine Barnett said from her home in New Zealand.

The sad story of Ms Barnett has emerged days after Sydney was shocked by the lonely deaths of an elderly couple at Palm Beach.

Fiercely independent, Anne and Geoffrey Iddon, both in the 80s, are believed to have been dead for three weeks before their bodies were found on Tuesday.

Yesterday’s inquest heard Ms Barnett’s mummified body was found by police in the middle of her living room floor where she appeared to have collapsed on February 27.

Officers made the finding after a neighbour called concerned that she had not been seen for weeks

The last sighting of her alive was on January 30 when another neighbour saw her gardening in the front of her unit.

Sergeant Samantha Ferguson, police advocate assisting the coroner, told the inquest that Ms Barnett had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Her only friend, Garvan Dormer, 74, of Concord West, said he had last seen Ms Barnett in December last year when they met for lunch at the food court of Burwood Westfield.

Lynne Barnett’s best friend Garvan Dormer arrives at the Glebe Coroners Court. Picture: John Grainger

He said she seemed sick and sad.

“She seemed a bit down, she knew she was going to be on her own for Christmas because I wasn’t going to be there, I was going to be with someone else for lunch,” he told the inquest.

He said he made a couple of phone calls after that but she did not answer.

“I just assumed we would meet up again,” said the friend of 40 years who knew Ms Barnett from her days performing in clubs at Kings Cross.

But he never spoke to his lifelong friend again instead of finding out only on Wednesday that she had died when he was informed he was the sole beneficiary of her will

Ms Barnett neighbours Steve Russell, 61, said Katherine Tabberer, 85, said they wished they would have checked in earlier on their reclusive neighbour who loved to listen to jazz.

“It is very sad thinking how long she was in that apartment for all by herself. I wish I had gone over and knocked on the door,” Mr Russell said.

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