- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Aussie film star Bill Hunter dies of cancer at 71
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Bill Hunter, the archetypal working class Australian of a multitude of movies including the quirky trio “Muriel’s Wedding,” “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and “Strictly Ballroom” has died of cancer, his manager said Sunday. He was aged 71.
The prolific star of Australian movie and television screens with a distinctively broad and gravelly accent and an authoritative no-nonsense style remained an actor in demand until the end. He recently narrated a two-part television documentary about the floods and cyclone that became Australia’s most expensive natural disasters early this year. He plays the legendary Australian racehorse trainer Bart Cummings and a cameo role in two Australian movies to be screened later this year.
He died late Saturday surrounded by family and friends in a Melbourne hospice where he was admitted on Monday, manager Mark Morrissey said. Colleagues who had recently worked with him were surprised he had been sick.
Hunter’s weather-worn face has become almost omnipresent on Australian screens since he first appeared as an extra in 1957 in “The Shiralee,” British-made movie set in Australia.
His real break into the industry came as a stunt man when Hollywood made “On the Beach” in his hometown of Melbourne in 1959 _ a movie about survivors of a nuclear war that starred Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire.
Hunter summed up his own approach to acting during a recent interview to promote his upcoming movie, “The Cup.”
“As long as the director told me where to stand and what to say, I was happy. Anyone who says there is any more to it than that is full of (expletive),” Hunter said in a quote released Sunday by his manager.
Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive head of film programming Quentin Turnour said Hunter followed in the lineage of unpolished Australian actors Chips Rafferty, who died in 1971, and John Meillon, who died in 1989. Australian audiences loved to see themselves in the laconic and gruff characters with soft hearts that they played, Turnour said.
“He’s so iconically Australian. He turns typical, minimalist Australian gestures into a lot of emotional expression,” Turnour said.
Hunter was born in Melbourne on Feb. 27, 1940, and raised in rural Victoria state in Australia’s southeast. He was the son of a struggling country pub owner who eventually went broke. Hunter told Melbourne’s The Sunday Age newspaper in 1994 that he left school at the age of 13 to become a cowboy, known in Australia as a drover, guiding cattle herds across Victoria.
He began building his career in the 1960s in Australian television crime dramas in which he specialized as hard characters who were usually policemen or criminals.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- NYC alarms with notice: Immediately surrender your rifle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Global economy, the civilizing power of markets and public morals.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow