First Appearance: Episode 13 (1982)
Last Appearance: Episode 736 (1986)
Known Family: Mother - Dee Morrell; Brother -
Stephen Morrell; Husband - Roland Armstrong; Son - Simon
Armstrong; Niece - Caroline Morrell; Niece - Samantha
Morrell; Husband - Gordon Hamilton
Marriage to Roland Armstrong until his 'death'
in 1982; Marriage to Gordon Hamilton; Fling with Ross
Barbara Morrell married her first husband, Roland
Armstrong, in approximately 1957. They had several children
who live around the world, including a son, Simon, and
a daughter, Wendy. Barbara's brother is Stephen Morrell,
and their mother is Dee Morrell - a high-climbing businesswoman
and socialite. Barbara and Stephen had a bust-up with
their mother in the 1970s over the fact that she was having
affairs with other men, which Barbara believed she was
flaunting in front of her husband, Benjamin. Barbara believed
that it was this that led to her father dying - from a
broken heart - and she and Stephen vowed never to speak
to their mother again.
In 1982, Simon Armstrong is set to marry Angela Hamilton,
but Angela confesses that she's not really in love with
Simon and the wedding is called off. Barbara heads off
to the US with Roland, accompanying him on a business
trip, but returns home to Australia after finding herself
feeling bored. It's only a short time later that Barbara
learns to her horror that Roland has had a heart attack
in America and has died.
Barbara becomes increasingly close to Gordon Hamilton
as his marriage to Patricia begins to fall apart. When
Gordon finally decides to divorce Patricia, he asks Barbara
to marry him - and she says yes. The situation is complicated
when Wendy Armstrong arrives back in Australia after spending
two years in the US and accuses her mother of not respecting
Roland's memory. It takes a while for the mother and daughter
to work through their differences.
While out horseriding, Barbara is kicked in the head
by a horse. Although she seems to be OK initially, it's
diagnosed eventually that a blood clot has developed in
her brain. She is operated upon and, after a relapse which
she also survives, moves to the country to recover. Three
months later, she returns to Sydney and marries Gordon.
There's a shock for Barbara when she learns that her
brother, Stephen, has married Patricia. Things are complicated
further when Dee Morrell arrives back in the country after
several years overseas. Dee tries to make amends with
her daughter, but Barbara insists that she wants nothing
to do with Dee. Several rows ensue before Barbara and
Dee make up - and a few days later, Dee's health fails
and she dies.
Barbara is stunned when she learns that Roland had fathered
a son she knew nothing about: Andy Green was born as a
result of an affair Roland had with Helen Green in the
mid-60s. Barbara begins to get to know and care about
Andy and takes it upon herself to help him after he becomes
involved with a cult.
Another difficult situation presents itself when escort,
Liz Smith, comes into the Hamiltons' lives and finds herself
falling in love with Gordon. Barbara ends up blackmailing
her to move out, but it's not enough to avert a crisis
in her and Gordon's marriage, and they separate.
Barbara finds herself attracted to another man
when Dr. Ross Newman starts making plays for her. He helps
her over her split from Gordon by prescribing tranquillisers
to help her nerves. In return, Barbara agrees to fund
the Research Foundation at the hospital where Ross works.
However, Andy and Amanda Morrell start trying to convince
Barbara that Ross isn't on the level and that her money
is going into his personal bank account. Barbara eventually
listens enough to confront Ross - and the truth comes
out. Following this episode, Barbara and Gordon begin
to get their marriage back on track.
After all the ups and downs of their relationship, it's
a car crash that brings an end to Barbara and Gordon's
happiness: the couple are in a car together and collide
with another car driven by Alison Carr. Barbara suffers
severe facial injuries and Gordon suffers amnesia, causing
him to believe for a while that he's still married to
Patricia. Barbara concludes sadly that there's no future
for her and Gordon's relationship and she decides to head
off overseas, leaving her life in Australia behind.