Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bill Hunter gravely ill with cancer

The family of Australian actor Bill Hunter is gathering at his bedside at a Melbourne hospice, where he is gravely ill with inoperable cancer.

The 71-year-old was admitted to the facility at Kew two days ago.

In his storied career which spanned 50 years, Hunter has worked with most of Australia's most notable directors and actors.

He worked alongside Mel Gibson in Peter Weir's Gallipoli (1981), played the meddling ballroom federation president Barry Fife in Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom (1992) and starred as then-newcomer Toni Collette's father in Muriel's Wedding (1994).

At the same time as filming Muriel's Wedding, he worked on PJ Hogan's The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (1994), starring alongside Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving.

More recently, Hunter worked on Red Dog, TV mini series The Pacific, Finding Nemo, Crackerjack and Luhrmann's Australia.
Hunter, born in Ballarat, Victoria, started his career in television in the 1960s and worked on many Australian shows including Homicide, Prisoner, Matlock Police, SeaChange and Police Rescue.

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