Australian Screen Legend Bill Hunter Dies


Not being able to sleep tonight, I finally decided give in to Ambien now about 4:00am. So while I’m waiting for it to kick in, lo and behold I ran across an article in the BBC that the acting icon Bill Hunter had  lost his fight against cancer. It was extremely sad considering that if there was anyone that shouldn’t be raptured it shouldn’t have been him. I loved him as the dad in Muriel’s Wedding but even more so as the Australian Dancing Federation president in Strictly Ballroom. Those were my two favorites with him included but there have been so many more over his 50-year career including  Gallipoli and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.

He first started out in the stunt industry in the late 50’s and his huge break came when he worked with Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire on a movie set in Melbourne named “On the Beach”. “He watched Gregory Peck do 27 takes and thought: ‘A mug could do that’,” Hunter’s former wife Rhoda Roberts told Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper last week. He then went on to appear in over 60 films and has numerous awards such as the AFI for Best Actor in a Leading Role as Len Maguire in Newsfront (any way we can get that over here??)

In the Sydney Morning Herald, there are a few of his observations about his craft:

He said Hunter recently summed up his approach to his craft in an interview for the feature film The Cup, in which he played Australian racing legend Bart Cummings. Hunter said: ‘‘As long as the director told me where to stand and what to say, I was happy.
‘‘Anyone who says there’s any more to it than that, is full of bullshit.
‘‘It’s a job. It is a craft, but there’s no art involved.
‘‘What you need is common sense and a reasonably rough head.
‘‘You put on the makeup and the wardrobe and that is half the performance.
‘‘That upsets the purists but never mind, they don’t work as much as I do.’’

I hope that wherever he has been raptured to, he is enjoying a nice scotch in a cloud-paneled screening room with a view with lots of friends and snacks. Thanks, Bill for all of your hard work.

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