Vale: Harold Hopkins

Larrakin Aussie actor Harold Hopkins, who appeared in 16 movies and 160 episodes of television, has died in a Sydney hospice from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma. He was 67.

Hopkins was diagnosed several months ago, but his family said he contracted the cancer in his first job after high school, when he worked with asbestos sheeting as an apprentice carpenter in south-east Queensland in the early 1960s.

Hopkins’ films included Don’s Party, Gallipoli, The Club and Age of Consent.

TV roles included Homicide, Sarah Dane,  All Saints, The Strip, The Secret Life of Us, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, McLeod’s Daughters, Beastmaster, Grass Roots, Wildside, Heartbreak High, State Coroner, Moby Dick, Water Rats, Brides of Christ, The Dirtwater Dynasty, Rush, Matlock police, Division 4, Boney, Barrier Reef, Riptide, Skippy and Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities.

Fellow actor and friend John Jarratt said, “He found out he got cancer from demolishing a house in 1968 that had fibro in it,” he said.

“If you’d put money on who would get to 100 I would put it on Harold. It is the most sad, sad thing that this happened to such a beautiful man.”

Later in his career Hopkins worked with many young actors including Joel Edgerton, Kieran Darcy-Smith and Damien Walsh-Howling, who visited him before he died.

Even when he was experiencing a great deal of pain, Hopkins was charming those around him, his family said.

“To see this nursing staff who didn’t know him, they were all engaged by him quickly, even as he was facing death,” they said.

Source: ABC, Herald Sun, AAP.

8 Comments:

  1. I met Harold when I was but a high school student doing work experience at the ABC (a rather long time ago). He was lovely and gracious which was much appreciated by a nervous 16 year old who felt out of her depth. Very sad to hear about this.

  2. daveinprogress

    I am really saddened by this news. I grew up watching Harold in Certain Women on the ABC and another great show – 20 Good Years – a 20 part maxi series each ep covering a year in the life of a married couple. He had to go from being a twenty something to his late 40’s. He was a reliably strong actor – quintessentially Aussie – broad, larrickin and with great energy on screen. He was a great supporting player in films as well, some of our best! Sad way to end a relatively short life.

  3. The premature death of Harold Hopkins due to the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma is but one of many such deaths due to this deadly substance. Asbestos is everywhere and there are many young Australian carpenters & other tradies still being exposed today. And we are all being exposed to asbestos. Too many Australians will die from this disease, with the number of people being diagnosed with it still growing. All our governments must support the efforts of asbestos-disease support groups and unions to rid Australia of this terrible substance.

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