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Vale: John Gregg

Prolific veteran actor, whose career spans 6 decades across stage & screen, has died.

Prolific veteran actor John Gregg, whose career spans 6 decades across stage & screen has died, aged 82.

He died on Saturday but the cause of death has not been disclosed.

With his mellifluous voice at just 18 years of age, Tasmanian-born Gregg was accepted into NIDA, once recalling, “It was bizarre. I knew nothing about theatre and had never even seen a play. Later they sent me a telegram saying: ‘You can come if you want to’. So I did.”

After graduating in the early 1960s he worked with the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, then based at the Majestic Theatre in Newtown before TV roles in such series as Contrabandits alongside Chips Rafferty, then Delta, Hunter, Riptide, Captain James Cook, Chopper Squad, Bodyline, A Country Practice, The Fast Lane, Rafferty’s Rules, The Flying Doctors, Cluedo, Halifax FP, GP, Murder Call, Bullitt!, Medivac, Heartbreak High, Changi, Farscape, All Saints, Blue Heelers, Heroes Mountain, Young Lions, Grass Roots, Jessica, Blue Water High, Home & Away, Spirited, Underbelly, Rake, Crownies, Old School, House of Bond, Fighting Season, Operation Buffalo and UK dramas The Glittering Prizes, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who.

Film credits included Crocodile Dundee, Heatwave, Burke & Wills, Travelling North.

Gregg performed for the Royal Court, Royal National Theatre, Victoria State Opera, Gordon Frost, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company.

He also joined the Committee of the Actors Benevolent Fund in 2008, succeeding Noeline Brown as Chair for six years. He was also a lifelong fan of Aussie Rules, becoming an Ambassador for the Sydney Swans.

Gregg was working til the end with upcoming film Liebe yet to be released.

5 Responses

  1. Wonderful in the Captain James Cook miniseries of the late 1980s where he played Joseph Banks the botanist – a role he played again 30 years later in Rogue Nation.

    Also great in Bodyline (1984) and a special mention for him keeping a straight face whilst being eaten by a giant green larvae in the Doctor Who story The Ark in Space.

    Saw him on stage at the MTC a couple of times and he had a wonderful melliferous voice.

  2. I’ve been re-watching Grass Roots lately. His portrayal of property developer Morgan Bartok, who is just as conniving as the politicians on the local council, is outstanding and very believable.

  3. John Gregg was one of Australia’s greatest actors. His portrayal of the John Laws inspired radio talkback host, Steve Black, in ABC’s 1979 series, The Oracle, was spot on. It is a program that deserves a repeat showing today. RIP John Gregg.

    1. Yes i thought of The Oracle too when reflecting on John’s long and distinguished career. i had the privilege of working with him about 20 years ago and it was such a thrill. He was the consummate professional and lovely human being. His face and voice were a mainstay of our screens for so long. My condolences to his family,

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