Screenwriter and actor Jeff Truman, whose prolific body of work includes scripts for Neighbours, Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Stingers, All Saints and Play School, has died, aged 57.
It’s understood he passed away in hospital with family and friends keeping vigil.
His family has paid tribute to his body of work, as both writer and performer, with more than 200 hours of screenwriting credits in Australia.
Truman received five AWGIE nominations, winning the award for Best Original Mini Series in 2013 for Underbelly: Badness.
His writing credits also include Rescue Special Ops, Wonderland, Fat Tony & Co., Tricky Business, Sea Patrol, City Homicide, The Strip, The Alice, Last Man Standing, McLeod’s Daughters, Blue Heelers, Above the Law, A Country Practice, Father of the Pride, Something in the Air, Home and Away, Shortland Street and E Street.
He has also written 2 of the upcoming episodes of the Rebecca Gibney series Winter.
He wrote the feature film Envy which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1999.
His acting credits include Superman Returns, The Quiet American, Bliss, Flirting, envy as well as roles on A Place to Call Home, Puberty Blues, Underbelly, All Saints, Stingers, Blue Heelers, Home and Away, Police Rescue, GP, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, Patrol Boat and Scales of Justice.
The Australian Writers’ Guild is yet to formally pay tribute to Jeff Truman but colleagues have described him as “a great bloke and a bloody good writer.”
Peter Gawler at the AWG wrote, “Jeff was a writer who always delivered, both in terms of making the deadline, no matter what, and nailing the brief. He had the happy knack of getting the characters and tone right first time. No doubt his wide and varied experience as an actor informed his creation of character but it was his enquiring mind and many extra-curricular interests that gave his scripts added dimension and that particular Truman sparkle. Who knew mathematics was one of those passions? If you wanted to get a rise out of Jeff you only had to suggest the Fibonacci sequence was just a bunch of numbers.
“Jeff was a terrific cook. And a red-hot flower arranger. And a student pilot. And, famously, the life of any party, drunk or sober.
“He was also a loving husband and the proudest father who ever lived.
“But it’s Jeff in the writers’ room I will remember with most affection. He was the ultimate team player, always constructive, always putting the show first and his own episodes second, and always fun, funny, warm and generous – if a bit rude and crude occasionally! But that was all in the name of entertainment.
“Our world is the poorer for Jeff’s untimely passing.”
The funeral for Jeff Truman will be held this Friday, 5th December at 10.30am, at the Camellia Chapel at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, corner of Delhi and Plassey Roads, North Ryde NSW.