Sunday, May 22, 2011

Film credits roll for archetypal Australian Bill Hunter

Bill Hunter, described by director Baz Luhrmann as the 'go-to' actor for the rugged male in Australian films, has died at the age of 71.

Hunter, who died of inoperable cancer on Saturday in a Melbourne hospice, appeared in more than 60 films in a career that spanned 50 years.

'Whether portraying Australians fighting on the foreign shores in Gallipoli, or the hard-nut, famous-to-this-day journos seeking stories in Newsfront, to his effortless switch to high comedy in the films where we tried to capture contemporary suburban culture, in Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding, and Priscilla (Queen of the Desert), Bill was the go-to iconic actor to synthesise quintessential Australian-ness,' Luhrmann said.

Hunter also featured in Luhrmann's Australia alonside Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

A film critic said of Hunter's contribution that 'his 100-plus movie and television credits read like a potted history of home-grown film and television.'

The nearest he got to a Hollywood role was the voice of the dentist in the animated film, Finding Nemo.

He seldom appeared on stage or took the lead role and did little to shake the view that he was typecast as the gruff Australian male.

He took up acting after coming on as an extra in Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner's On the Beach in 1959.

After watching Peck struggle through dozens of takes for a scene, Hunter decided there was not much to acting and he could make a good living out of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment