Beloved TV presenter Ian ”Turps” Turpie, lost his battle with cancer on the weekend, aged 68.
Turpie was diagnosed just over a year ago with throat cancer that later spread to other parts of his body. Last April, his official website said he had been undergoing chemotherapy.
He said at the time, “As you may have heard, I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer and commence treatment on Monday 21 February. Will keep you updated on my progress via this website – thank you so much to the many well wishers for recent calls, cards and emails, it’s much appreciated.
“I’ll keep you posted but request privacy during my treatment – hence I have declined all media offers to ‘sell’ my story, so I can focus on making a full and speedy recovery.”
Turpie will always be remembered for his many years hosting The Price is Right, and subsequent versions, The New Price is Right.
He succeeded the late Garry Meadows in the role, before Larry Emdur eventually succeeded him.
Emdur, said of Turpie ”he said people still yelled ‘Come on down’ to him every single day and it still made him smile”.
Former Wheel of Fortune host John Burgess told The Age Turpie had still loved working at trivia nights three weeks ago.
”He was just a good bloke who would do anything for anyone. He was one of the great stars and a great Australian. We could well do without losing people of Turps’ calibre,” Burgess said.
John Deeks, who worked for years as Turpie’s voice-over man, said he ”personified entertainment” and was regarded in the industry as ”one who would absolutely give everything he had to entertain … he had no ego and he never saw himself as others saw him, which was as someone with great talent. He saw himself as a regular Aussie bloke”.
Turpie started out as an actor and made regular appearances on Bandstand, The Young Entertainers, notably alongside girlfriend Olivia Newton-John, The Go! Show, The Graham Kennedy Show and Club Buggery.
In 2010 he hosted a Supermarket Sweep charity night telling fans the show was once filming five shows a night, only to discover by the end of a shoot the meat in the freezer would turn rancid.
In recent years he joined in Paul Fenech’s ensemble comedies Swift and Shift Couriers and Housos on SBS, happily sending himself up.
Source: The Age