Neighbours' Mark Little has branded Vivean Gray a "legend" following her tragic death on Thursday (28.07.16).

Mark Little

Mark Little

The 56-year-old actor has paid tribute to his former co-star - who played his on-screen mother Mrs Mangel in the long-running soap - following news she'd passed away aged 92.

Taking to his Twitter account on Friday (29.07.16), he said: "Vivean Gray:Legend many times over.I was privileged to know and work with her.We laughed a lot creating The Mangel (sic)"

But his touching tribute didn't stop there as Mark - who portrayed boozy Joe Mangel in the programme - also praised the legendary star for encouraging him to join the show.

Speaking on 'This Morning', Mark said: "She was one of the great Aussie actors. She's one of the main reasons I joined 'Neighbours' because I was going to be her estranged son and join the Mangel dynasty. She was the icon of the busy body, the sticky beak, the nosy parker. She just did all those things so wonderfully subtly."

Vivean played battleaxe Nell Mangel in the Australian soap from 1986 to 1988 and, although she only portrayed the role for two years, she joined during a classic period for the soap when characters like Madge, Harold Bishop and Helen Daniels were pounding Ramsay Street.

Shortly after she left the iconic show in 1988, Vivean - who was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire - returned to her native England for the quiet life but admitted she was always recognised for playing the busybody on the soap.

She said at the time: "I loved 'Neighbours' and the rest of the cast were marvellous, but because it was so successful I could barely set foot outside my own door without someone screaming abuse at horrid old Mrs Mangel."

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