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.