Vale: Bob Hornery

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Veteran actor Bob Hornery, best known for stage performances with the Melbourne Theatre Company and roles in Mad Max and Neighbours, has died, aged 83.

He died on Tuesday night after a long illness, after a 60 year career in entertainment.

Fairfax Media reports he he spent half a century with the MTC, joining in 1961 alongside Zoe Caldwell, and concluding with last appearance was in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, with Geoffrey Rush.

“Bob’s career was 60 years long. He was such a humble and astonishing spirit, such an embodiment of company spirit. He could fluently ad lib in iambic pentameter. He was unstoppable,” said Rush.

During the 1970s, he made appearances in many series including Dad’s Army, Doctor Who, Whodunnit? and Shelley, followed by Sapphire and Steel, Blue Heelers, State Coroner, Snowy River: The McGregor Saga, Something In The Air, Dogwoman, The Genie from Down Under, Embassy, Five Mile Creek, Murder Call and Thunderstone. 

In 1996, he made a guest appearance in Neighbours as Tom Kennedy, the adoptive father of Dr Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher). The character of Tom would go on to make further appearances in 1999, 2006 and 2007, when the character developed dementia and had to give up his farm and move into a nursing home.

Film credits included Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, Road to Nhill, Ground Zero and Crackerjack.

In 2010 Bob Hornery more than 200 performers gathered to honour him as the recipient of the Equity Lifetime Achievement Award, recognised for six decades of success as an actor, activist and mentor.

The arts community has mourned his loss:

“Immensely saddened to hear dear colleague Bob Hornery has passed away. Generous ebullient man and glorious actor. Tom Kennedy @neighbours” -Alan Fletcher.

“RIP Australian actor Bob Hornery. Charming generous talented gentleman. Chookas.” -Colin Lane.

“VALE magnificently talented, beautiful soul of a man BOB HORNERY, the candle is lit to light your path darling manRIP” -Sally Anne Upton.

“Vale Bob Hornery. Dim the lights of Australian theatre.” -Adam Zwar.

Bob Hornery’s funeral will be held on Sunday, May 31, at the Southbank Theatre from 11am.

Additional source: ThePerfectBlend

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