Vale: T. E. Lewis

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this story contains information about a person who is deceased.

Indigenous performer, T.E. Lewis, whose screen credits include The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith and Wolf Creek, has died, aged 59.

The management of the actor, singer & songwriter T. E. Lewis have confirmed his sudden passing on Thursday at his home in Katherine, Northern Territory.

“Mr Lewis will be forever remembered for his compelling and enduring work on stage and screen over 40 years, as a renowned musician, and as the driving force and vision behind Djilpin Arts with his partner and his extended family of Beswick and Arnhem Land communities,’ the statement read.

“He will be greatly missed. Mr Lewis was 59. The family of Mr. Lewis ask for privacy during this time.

“However, in recognition of his extraordinary public life, they have agreed to the use of his image and voice,” the statement concluded.

The Arnhem Land-born actor burst onto the entertainment scene in 1978’s The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. Film credits to follow included We of the Never Never, Robbery Under Arms, Slate Wyn & Me, The Proposition, Red Hill and Goldstone.

He had many TV credits including Glenview High, A Town Like Alice, The Flying Doctors and R.F.D.S., Touch the Sun, Rose Against the Odds, Correlli, Kangaroo Palace, Li’l Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers, The Micallef Program, Double Trouble, The Circuit and Wolf Creek.

His documentary film, Yellow Fella, is an exploration of his mixed race heritage, and was the first Australian Indigenous documentary selected to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.

Mr Lewis’ retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear transformed the mad king into an Aboriginal elder, challenging Australians to examine Indigenous culture in new ways.

He was also named a finalist in the NT Australian of the Year in 2016.

Source: Katherine Times, Arts Hub

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