Elizabeth Josephine Birdsworth appeared on Prisoner from Episodes 001 - 418.
Life in PrisonEdit
Lizzie Birdsworth was originally serving a sentence for the poisoning of four sheep shearers who complained about her cooking whilst she worked in the outback. The work foreman, Ralph Campbell later made a deathbed confession that he put a lethal amount of poison in after seeing Lizzie put a small amount in a stew. Ralph added the extra amount to make it lethal. Lizzie is released from Wentworth Detention Center and lives with Doreen Anderson in the Sally Lee Halfway House.
Not long after this their drunken antics get Doreen put back inside. Lizzie has become institutionalised and with nobody on the outside to help her so she shoplifts to get put back inside Wentworth. Given that she was wrongly imprisoned for so long all she gets is a series of slaps on the wrist. Lizzie then gets in touch with her daughter (Marcia) whom Lizzie gave up at birth. Marcia is actually Ellen and is after money for her daughter Josie's operation. When the prisoners get wind of this, they put the hard word on Marcia/Ellen who runs. Lizzie is furious - she knew they were fakes, but also knew the money would essentially buy her a family when she got released. Luckily for Lizzie, Marcia/Ellen comes back to confess, and is overjoyed when Lizzie says she will help anyway.
Lizzie also took the blame for the murder of Kay White, who was actually murdered by Linda Jones who was trying to defend Lizzie. Originally Lizzie gets a 5 year sentence, but she appeals and gets it reduced to 18 months. This suits Lizzie, as this will give Josie enough time to have her operation in the US, recover, and return. Although she plans to move in with them, there is no more mention of Marcia/Ellen or Josie.
Lizzie also develops a relationship with Sid Humphries - a handyman at the prison but Sid eventually dies. After Sid's death Lizzie moved into his house much to annoyance of his son who did everything he could to force Lizzie out. He went as far as making as making creepy phone calls to her, moving plants and implying to Coleen Powell that Lizzie was losing her memory. Gordon admitted to Lizzie he wanted her out of his father's house so that he could rent it out. Although Lizzie had no proof. To stop Gordon getting the house Lizzie burnt it down. She was later aquitted of the arson charge arising from the house fire. Lizzie is sent back to Wentworth on remand (Ep241) where she maintains her innocence.
Lizzie eventually leaves to live with her real son Arthur Charlton and his family.
- Lizzie didn't have too much in the way of dramatic story lines as she was usually the comic relief, especially with Doreen in the earlier episodes of the series.
- Lizzie was notorious for her fondness of alcohol and often devising ways to steal medicinal spirits or whatever spirits the Governor happened to have in the decanter in her office or what the nurse had in the medicine cabinet in the prison infirmary.
- Lizzie often used her "old ticker" often as an excuse to get out of something and she used her heart condition often as a diversion for other prisoners or herself to cover other dealings going on in the background.
- Lizzie was revealed to be aged 71 in episode 86 when the police re-question her about the poisoning 20 years before, Sheila was actually only 64 at the time.
- There was a clue that Lizzie disliked Bea during the first episodes as she was on Frankie's side in the riot. She also laughed when Frankie kicked Bea in the buttocks and when Frankie laughed at Bea during Helen's interview Lizzie laughed as well.
- Lizzie's favourite colour was lavender.
- Lizzie's late husband was named Blossom Birdsworth.
Lizzie Birdsworth was played by the late Sheila Florance.