VALE: Tabbi Francis (18 February 2020)
Sadly, another much-loved member of Australia’s wonderful entertainment history has passed. Tabbi Francis, adored wife of Geoff (Tangletongue) Mack died yesterday morning, aged 94.
What can we say about this incredible Woman in Entertainment?
Tabbi Francis was a very attractive, flamboyant English dancer when she met and fell in love with Geoff in the early 1950’s in England. They married in 1953 and subsequently moved back to Geoff’s native Australia not long after (transported most of the way from England to their new home in Sydney via Perth as a pillion passenger of Geoff’s motorbike), where they continued their variety show and created and co-owned (with Lucky Grills) the “Carols Variety Show”, a tent show that travelled all over Australia. Along with being in Carols Variety, she was also in demand as a performer in her own right – she was an accomplished comedian, singer and of course a superb dancer, with pantomime being a particular specialty.
We all have our own Tabbi stories and I would guarantee that they are all hilarious. She was a stalwart supporter of ALVA from the very beginning as well as an extremely long standing member of many ALVA Committees. Many of you have shared your stories on social media and to each other and they are countless. Her career spanned 5 decades, awards, performances, travel and friends. Soul mate to her Boyfriend they were married for 67 years wow! She was a special supporter to me personally right from the days I just turned up at rehearsals for ALVA Balls and did the gig without any knowledge of how 500 people made it to the Wentworth Hotel, put on a show with a huge big band. Well all that was to come for me, but along the way Miss Tabersham remained a constant friend. Right up to the last time I visited her at the home of niece Jan on the Gold Coast I was greeted with her usual – Well Helloooo Miss Smithers!
Much has been written about Tabbi’s career and life with Geoff. I would just like to say here – we loved her so much, we miss her terribly and there will never be another like her.
To quote her final sign off on all our voicemail messages – Love, Tabbeee !
Without exception, Tabbi is remembered by all who had the privilege to meet her as being impossibly beautiful both physically and in spirit, kind, outrageous, funny, dear, stylish, a wonderful friend, and a devoted and loving partner to Geoff, whom she referred to as “the boyfriend”.
May she Rest in Peace with her Boyfriend, in her sparkly tights, glamourous hat, fried egg earrings and the Mickey Finn ring!