Vale: Rex Heading

Rex Heading, best-known as the creator of Humphrey B. Bear, has died of cancer. He was 81.

Rex Heading, best-known as the creator of Humphrey B. Bear, has died of cancer. He was 81.

The producer, director was also responsible for the children’s characters Wilbur Worm, Winky Dink and Hot Dog.

Heading’s early interests were in radio drama. He was a junior announcer on radio at 5KA in Adelaide and freelanced for the ABC radio drama department and played various characters before moving on to voice-overs and plays. In 1959 he was offered the position of program director at a Rupert Murdoch-owned TV station, working with emerging talents such as Ernie Sigley and the Bee Gees.

His lengthy CV also includes managing director of Channel Nine in Adelaide, director of production at TEN Melbourne, freelancing for Crawford Productions, assisting 3AW with programming, and being involved with the start of regional television in South Australia and Western Australia.

Heading was also a foundation member of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal’s children’s program committee, and served on the committee that founded the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

In 2006 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to the television industry.

In recent years Heading was critical of an ownership tussle over the character of Humphrey B. Bear between Banksia Productions and WIN Television.

He said it was “bloody terrible” Humphrey was put in the hands of liquidators.

“He should never be allowed to vanish from the scene because of a stupid fight about $50,000.

“He’s a very valuable, iconic character. You’d do everything in the world to protect him.”

“The amount of money that bear earned over the years could have had me retire 14 times over,” he once told The Australian.

Humphrey B. Bear, who makes an annual appearance at Nine’s Carols by Candleight, was created by Heading in 1965.

Source: WA Today

8 Responses

  1. If Eddie McGuire who is the CEO of Nine pays Banksia Productions the money they owe for Humphrey he may well return wait and see or even better yet what about James Packer after all The lovable bear was a part of his late father Kerry’s time too.

  2. Gosh, another part of Adelaide history (and my past) gone. I grew up with Humphrey, Wilbur Worm and Winky Dink, The Channel 9ers et al.

    Rex sounds like an amazing guy – he certainly left a wonderful legacy with Humphrey.

    May he rest in peace.

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