Veteran Australian actor Terry Gill, best known for decades of Australian film, TV and stage shows including The Flying Doctors, Prisoner, Blue Heelers, Carols by Candlelight and Crocodile Dundee, has died aged 75.
He passed away today at Cabrini Hospital, following recent hospitalisation and illness including cancer and a mild stroke.
Gill, who emigrated to Australia with wife Carol-Ann Aylett, performed in stage shows including J.C. Williamsons productions as part of Melbourne’s music theatre fraternity.
Eventually they would open their own string of theatre-restaurants, writing, directing and producing shows at the Bull n Bush in Warrandyte, The Naughty Nineties in Hawthorn and the Tivoli in Malvern -with the latter also serving as the home of children’s pantomimes for decades. Over the years their casts have included Shane Bourne, Daryl Somers, Ken James, Patti Newton, Rosie Sturgess, Colette Mann, Frankie J Holden and numerous young performers who have since worked on Les Miserables, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and Disney Tours.
For television viewers Gill has been a recognisable face for over 40 years, particularly on Crawfords and Grundys productions, including The Flying Doctors, Prisoner, Blue Heelers, Homicide, Bellbird, Division 4, Something in the Air, Neighbours, Sons and Daughters, Water Under the Bridge, Skyways, Power Without Glory, Solo One, Against the Wind, Bluey, Cash and Company, Matlock Police, Hunter, Ryan, Jack Irish, Time Trax, GP, The Henderson Kids, Bed of Roses, Police Crop and It’s a Date.
For 27 years Gill played Santa Claus on Nine’s Carols By Candlelight alongside Humphrey B. Bear and Hi-5, returning to the role last year after a recent absence.
On film he is best known for Crocodile Dundee, but other credits include Crackers, Jenny Kissed Me, Phar Lap, End Play and Alvin Rides Again.
Last year Terry and Carol-Ann were both featured in the documentary film Curtain Call which followed the closing of their children’s theatre in Malvern and its impact on children’s audiences. But despite the loss of real estate, Terry and Carol-Ann found a new home at a nearby church hall, still producing shows as recently as last month.
Curtain Call aired on the STUDIO channel last year.
A Nine spokesperson said, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Terry Gill. He was a much loved member of the Nine family, appearing in Division 4 and The Flying Doctors, as well as contributing to Carols by Candlelight for over three decades. We extend our sincere condolences to Carole Ann and all his family and friends. He will be sadly missed by all of us at Channel Nine, as well as by legions of fans around Australia.”
WIN and Crawfords Australia said in a statement, “Terry Gill was one of the original stars of Australian television and well loved by viewers who tuned in to see him regularly in the Crawford Productions programs he appeared in, shows such as Matlock Police, Bluey, Division 4, Homicide and The Flying Doctors. Terry’s roles drew him into the hearts of Australians. All of us at WIN and Crawfords are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Terry and extend our sincere condolences to Carol-Ann and all his family and friends. He will be sadly missed by generations of fans from around Australia.”
On a personal note, I would like to acknowledge Terry’s support of my performing work. Terry loved to perform, had fantastic comic timing and an ability to connect with audiences without ever letting ego get in the way. The opportunities he and Carol-Ann have given to hundreds of artists is worth bottling.
Thank you, Terry….