Vale: Bill Hunter

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


  1. rip bill hunter and michelle fawdon thanks for keeping us entertained the local patrons at bondi’s cock and bull hotel will be mourning his passing as bill was a regular at the pub and was alway willing to have a chat a quiet man not at all like his gruff on screen characters and michelle fawdon another loss to the industry rip to you both.

  2. ‘‘As long as the director told me where to stand and what to say, I was happy. Anyone who says there’s any more to it than that is full of bullshit.”..a man who said what he thought……RIP Bill

  3. Very sad, he seemed to be in every Aussie film I have watched. he often made it better whether he was a main character or a supporting character.

  4. daveinprogress

    An actor whose presence was often more important and integral to a film’s success than the plot or the co-stars. He cut such a magnanimous figure on the screen big and small. I hope he will be regarded in Australian cinematic history along side such luminaries as Chips Rafferty, Peter Finch, Errol Flynn and living treasures such as Jack Thompson and Bryan Brown. He deserves to be. He will be sorely missed.

  5. This weekend sucked. First wrestling legend Macho Man Randy Savage dies, then the next day, acting legend Bill Hunter. Hope next weekend’s better…

  6. RIP Bill, you’ll be missed. Most recently I remeber him from being a great guest on 10’s Talking ’bout your Generation and a fine actor.

  7. Such a sad loss.
    I thought he was brilliant in all his films, even in Crackerjack. His most television role this year, was teamed up with Amanda Keller on Talking About Your Generation.

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