Former radio star Sammy Power dead at 55
FORMER radio star and Brisbane market heiress Sammy Power has died aged 55.
Friends of the beloved eighth-generation Queenslander and daughter of Jan Power, the founder of the state's farmers markets and a former Courier-Mail contributor, revealed her death yesterday.
Ms Power, who was once the queen of Triple M radio, lost a long-term battle with alcoholism and mental illness, and was found dead in her Hendra bedroom.
Close friend Mark Power (unrelated) paid tribute to Ms Power, saying that she was "intelligent, vivacious and captivating". "Sammy held court in any room," he said.
Another friend, who asked not to be named, said the death was "absolutely tragic".
"When Sammy was 'on', she made the sun shine on you, and that was a real gift of hers," the friend said. "She had a wicked sense of humour, but she got sucked in by all these people who tried to help her, all they were after was her money.
"When she was happy, the whole world was happy and she was so funny, but with extreme comedy there can be an opposite reaction, which is why you won't find many comedians without mental health issues.
"I think her body just gave out - she was one minute telling people she was sober, but the next was going home and drinking - people who saw her recently said she was 'completely yellow', which is a sign of liver failure."
Another friend said Ms Power had been larger than life, and the world was too small for her.
Ms Power previously told The Courier-Mail she ditched her 28-year radio career, which included a stint on Triple M, because she was "burnt out" and "over it".
She came back to Brisbane to help her mother Jan Power run her famous farmers markets and to live a more peaceful existence.
In 2017, she was featured on the cover of Brisbane News revealing how she had shed half her body weight, dropping from 120kg to 60kg, and opening up about what the journey home had been like. The cat lover had no hesitation in giving up her "glory days" for a more meagre wage back in Brisbane, she told the magazine.
"Mum's health was kind of failing and I was getting bored with radio anyway," she said.
"Not only are you getting up at 4am, but it's a 24-hour, seven days a week thing. You're always looking for bits. Your whole life is out in the open. You're not a visible person, but I would just open my mouth and people would know who I was.
I don't regret anything in my radio career, but I was on the downhill run and I wasn't interested. I could do it and I was still funny, but I didn't enjoy it."
The loveable Brisbane personality, who also appeared on TV including on shows such as Beauty and the Beast, celebrated her 50th birthday by marrying a cardboard cut-out of her old self.
Ms Power came from a family of achievers. Apart from her mother, her father was a surgeon and her great-great-grandfather TC Beirne founded the heritage-listed department store of the same name in Fortitude Valley more than a century ago.
She had credited her parents for some of her more powerful qualities.