Legendary character actor Bill Hunter, best known for films including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding and Strictly Ballroom died in Melbourne yesterday, aged 71.
His manager Mark Morrissey confirmed he passed away surrounded by family and friends at a Kew hospice at 8.05pm after battling cancer.
“He was a fine actor, a true story teller and a great friend. He will be sorely missed,” Mr Morrissey told AAP.
Hunter was considered a quintessential Aussie actor, who embodied a laconic, straight-talking Australian, with lines in his face like cracks on a red land. He first appeared on screen as an extra in Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner’s On the Beach in 1959.
His films include such Aussie classics as Gallipoli, Newsfront, Mull, plus Finding Nemo and the yet to be released Red Dog and The Cup.
His television roles were numerous, including Skippy, Riptide, Spyforce, Division 4, Homicide, Matlock Police, Prisoner, 1915, The Dismissal, The Flying Doctors, Phoenix, Police Rescue, Blue Murder, Seachange, All Saints, Pizza, Water Rats, Stingers, and The Pacific.
Director Simon Wincer said, “I will say Billy has lived life pretty hard, a smoker and drinker, a legend in that department, but that was one of his charms.”
Source: News Ltd