Vale: Peter Sumner

Stage and screen actor, best known for Spyforce, Play School & Star Wars, has died.


Stage and screen actor Peter Sumner, best known for Spyforce, Play School and Star Wars has died aged 74.

He died following a long illness, according to reports.

Sumner has a lengthy list of television credits, including as a presenter on Play School. He starred in Spyforce alongside Jack Thompson from 1971 – 1973 and is remembered for playing Bill Hayden in The Dismissal in 1983. But there were credits in Matlock Police, Glenview High, Homicide, Division 4, Boney, Certain Women, Bluey, Skyways, Young Ramsay, Cop Shop, All the Way, Neighbours, Cluedo, GP, Heartbreak High, Five Mile Creek, Spellbinder, Murder Call, Jessica, The Flying Doctors, Special Squad, Home and Away, Water Rats, Blue Heelers, All Saints, Rake and Moby Dick.

Films included the Mick Jagger version of Ned Kelly, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and Bush Christmas.

He was the only Australian to work on Star Wars in 1977 playing Lieutenant Pol Treidum on the Death Star. It was a role that would resonate for years to come.

“People have often said to me I must have made a fortune in residuals and I just laugh,” he said. “I made £120 and that was it.

“I’ve spent 10 times that answering letters from fans around the world and sending them photographs.”

Sumner was also prolific on stage including with many of Australia’s state theatre companies.

His ex-wife, Lynda Stoner said, “He did many Shakespearean plays on stage. He toured a lot with David Williamson plays. He did so many shows on the ABC with Jacki Weaver and Cornelia Frances and other people. He did a lot of comedies. He did a lot of dramas. In the seventies, he was barely off the ABC doing one show or another.”

Source: Fairfax, IMDb

5 Responses

  1. I think that is supposed to be 1977, as opposed to 1997 David?
    Actually, he filmed that in 1976…to be bloody pedantic.
    When I started working in the film industry in 1981 I held a secret wish to meet Erskine and Gunther from SpyForce. I met Peter first, a true gentleman, and a few months later I came face to face with Jack Thompson…but that’s another story. Loved all of Peter’s work.

Leave a Reply