Vale: Martin Vaughan

Veteran Australian actor whose career spanned nearly 50 years on our screens, has died.

Veteran Australian actor Martin Vaughan, best known for Power Without Glory and Phar Lap, has died aged 91.

He died last month according to union MEAA.

Vaughan was born in Brisbane, in 1931. Moving to Sydney, New South Wales at age 17, he was employed in a number of occupations before he landed his first stage role in 1963 aged 32.

He moved into television in 1967, enjoying nearly 50 years on screen. Early credits included Hunter, Spyforce, Boney, Seven Little Australians, Silent Number, Division 4, Homicide, Matlock Police and Luke’s Kingdom.

His big break came in 1976, when he was chosen to play the lead role of John West in the ABC’s 26-part television adaptation of Frank Hardy’s novel Power Without Glory. In 1977 he won the Logie Award for Most Popular Actor.

He would go on to feature in The Dismissal, Come In Spinner, 1915, Water Rats, A Country Practice, Return to Eden, Skyways, Blue Heelers, All Saints, The Flying Doctors, Heartbreak High, Mother & Son, Rafferty’s Rules, GP, Murder Call, Salem’s Lot, headLand, Sweet and Sour, Special Squad, Tales of the South Seas, Grass Roots, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Cops LAC, Crownies and Rake.

His feature films included Picnic at Hanging Rock, Billy and Percy, Kokoda Crescent, Letters from Poland, We of the Never Never, Phar Lap, The Man Who Sued God and Australian Rules.

He has also appeared in over 60 stage plays and while he retired in 2013, he kept writing up until his death last month.

Source: Wikipedia, IMDb

5 Responses

  1. I remember him from Phar Lap. Can’t say I noticed him much in other things except when he was in Water Rats and I spent some minutes trying to work out where I knew him from.

    On Phar Lap, when I was in Year 4 in primary school, on Melbourne Cup day my teacher was away and I had a relief teacher Mr. Melville who completely ignored the curriculum and spent the day talking about the Melbourne Cup and showed us the Phar Lap movie. It was a good day but I can’t imagine a teacher getting away with that today.

    A few years later in high school when the librarian put on the Melbourne Cup at the end of the school day, as was customary, she wondered aloud if she should really be doing it. I lived close enough to be able to run home before the race jumped in later years.

  2. Great actor and nice tribute, David. Power Without Glory along with Rush were two of the most influential period pieces on the ABC in my youth. And of course Seven Little Australians too. So many great performances. Martin’s turn as John West was his signature performance i reckon.

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