Vale: Charles “Bud” Tingwell

tingwellVeteran actor Bud Tingwell has died in a Melbourne hospital this morning after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 86.

Tingwell was considered to be the ‘grandfather’ of the Australian film and television industry. He has a wealth of film, television, theatre and radio achievements.

Tingwell became the youngest radio announcer in Australia when he was employed at Sydney radio station 2CH as a cadet, then joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1941 and was sent to the Middle East as a photographic reconnaissance pilot.

He entered the film industry in the 1950s, playing the lead in feature film Always Another Dawn. While he was wooed by Hollywood, he chose to stay in Australia working in film, radio and theatre.

Tingwell and his wife Audrey moved to London for 17 years in 1956, the actor scoring roles in TV and radio series, four Miss Marple films with Dame Margaret Rutherford and theatre productions.

He returned to Australia in 1973 when Hector Crawford offered him the lead role of Inspector Reg Lawson in the TV series Homicide. Tingwell went on to produce and direct other major Australian TV productions, including The Sullivans, Cop Shop, The Flying Doctors and Prisoner.

He also appeared in Scooter: Secret Agent, Blue Heelers and Changi.

More recently he has been seen in films such as Irresistible, Jindabyne and Ned Kelly.

Actor Jack Thompson, whose parents were friends with Tingwell, said he would be greatly missed.

“It’s like a great tree has been felled in the landscape of our culture and in particular in the landscape of our film world,” he told Sky News.

Thompson worked with Tingwell on a number of films including Breaker Morant.

“It was always a delight. He was always a generous, open and contributive actor,” he said.

“There could be no better person than Bud to be passing on his craft and love of that craft to young actors.”

Working Dog producer and performer Rob Sitch said Tingwell had told him one of his “secrets of life” was “saying yes”, because it led to new people and new experiences.

Sitch said Tingwell had appeared in good spirits when he visited him in hospital last week.

Playwright David Williamson has joined today’s tributes from the film and theatre industry, describing Tingwell as “a fabulous actor, and equally important a wonderful human being”.

“He was one of the most loved figures in the industry and a very fine actor at the same time,” Williamson said.

“There will be a lot of thought about Bud in the theatrical community today.”

In recent years he toured in the stage production The Carer.

He was awarded the A.M. (Member of the Order of Australia) in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to the performing arts as an actor, director, producer, and to the community.

Tingwell and Audrey had two children, son Christopher and daughter Virginia Tingwell, who is also an actress.

Source: The Age, Herald Sun


  1. RIP Bud, you will be missed!

    Apart from the others already mentioned, a few roles i particularly remember include appearances on The Avengers, and also his audio recordings providing information about some of the scenery and locations while on the Indian Pacific train.

  2. RIP Bud,

    I loved Charlie the Wonderdog back in the early 90s on the D Generation.

    I serached through my archives today and found an audio interview conducted at the 2005 Logies Arrivals, with questions from various people including myself, Bud really made himself available and was a pleasure to interview, and answered everyone’s questions in the line.


  3. Steve Roderick

    Easily the greatest australian actor of all time.

    I loved him in the late show especially the dodgy scenes when he had a evil twin brother

  4. Vale. A great actor and, from everything I’ve seen and heard, a great bloke too. I was lucky enough to see him live on stage a couple of times and, along with all his film and TV roles, he’s left me with lots of great memories.

  5. One of the most impressive and wide-ranging careers in Australian film, stage and tv comes to a close. Rest in peace Mr Tingwell, you’ve earned it!

  6. I directed him in a short film late last year. He was fantastic, a really nice man and was extremely sharp and quick-witted.
    Also, very funny and ended up schooling me on how to direct a real actor such as himself. RIP mate!

  7. RIP Budd! I thought you’d be around forever! 🙁

    My most memorable roles of you would probably have to be as Gramps in Charlie The Wonder Dog (on The Late Show), The Castle, Changi, Benni the Kangaroo on The Silver Brumby (Animated) and as Henry which was played opposite Val Jellay on Neighbours.

  8. Always entertaining, no matter what the role. He lit up the screen whenever I was lucky enough to catch him upon it. A truly versatile actor and one that will be sorely missed. RIP

  9. This would have to be the greatest loss Australian television has ever seen his acting production and direction is simply the finest this country has ever seen rest in piece bud we will never see a legend like you again

  10. R.I.P Bud. Atrue lengud of the Australian film and TV industry. Will always remember him as “Gramps” in Charle the Wonderdog on The Late Show.

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