70s Actors – 80s Actors – 90s Actors – 70s Actresses
This page will look at the major Australian (male) actors who starred in films during the 40s, 50s and 60s, both in Australia and overseas. These were actors who made it through the lean years before the revival of the Australian film industry in the 1970s. Many of these actors worked in the UK or the US during this years, and many never returned home to work again. Several did manage to carry on and return to make successful careers in Australia from 1970 on.
From the 1940s until the late 60s, the previously healthy Australian film industry went into almost terminal decline, with only a handful of feature films made in the 40s and 50s and even fewer in the 60s (see here). With little opportunity to become local film stars, Australian actors and actresses were faced with the choice of either going to England or America to try to become famous, or staying in Australia and working in the more modest worlds of live theatre, radio or (from the late 50s) television acting. While most chose the latter course, achieving only modest fame, a handful of (mainly male) actors established themselves as household names in Britain and the US.
The list below comprises mainly actors who were born in Australia or who came to Australia as children, but it also includes two actors who came to Australia as adults (the Kellaway brothers from South Africa), as the Kellaways got their start in the Australian film industry, even though Cecil made his career overseas.
First we’ll look at the four Aussie actors who were the most successful at home and abroad: Errol Flynn, Peter Finch, Chips Rafferty, and Rod Taylor.
Then we’ll look at the other actors, in the order of the decade in which they made their film debuts:
- Cecil Kellaway, Alec Kellaway and Bill Kerr from the 1930s;
- Ron Randell, Grant Taylor, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Vincent Ball, Michael Pate, Lloyd Lamble, Henry Murdoch, and John McCallum from the 1940s;
- Ed Devereaux, Leo McKern, Robert Tudawali, Reg Lye and Allan Cuthbertson from the 1950s; and lastly
- John Meillon, Ray Barrett, Slim De Grey and George Lazenby from the 1960s (just in time to join the 1970s revival).
Here we go.
The Top Four
The first Aussie to make it overseas was the dashing Errol Flynn.
Errol Flynn (1909-1959)
Errol Leslie Flynn was born in 1909 in a suburb of Hobart, Tasmania. He was the first Australian to become a Hollywood star, and starred in 54 feature films, where he usually played a fearless adventurer and charming romantic hero. His most famous films were Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Flynn’s best roles were in the 30s and early 40s, but he continued to make films until the late 50s.
Flynn made only one film in Australia: In the Wake of the Bounty in 1933, before leaving for success in Hollywood. Two Australian films of Flynn’s early life in Australia and New Guinea have been made: Flynn (1993) and In Like Flynn (2018).
Films (Australian films in red): 1933 In the Wake of the Bounty, 1935 Murder at Monte Carlo, Don’t Bet on Blondes, The Case of the Curious Bride, 1935 Captain Blood, 1936 The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1937 Green Light, The Prince and the Pauper, Another Dawn, The Perfect Specimen, 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood, Modernos Kazanovas, The Sisters, The Dawn Patrol, 1939 Dodge City, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, 1940 Virginia City, The Sea Hawk, Santa Fe, 1941 Footsteps in the Dark, Dive Bomber, They Died with Their Boots On, 1942 Desperate Journey, Gentleman Jim, 1943 Edge of Darkness, Thank Your Lucky Stars, Northern Pursuit, 1944 Uncertain Glory, 1945 Objective, Burma!, San Antonio, 1946 Never Say Goodbye, 1947 Cry Wolf, Escape Me Never, 1948 Silver River, Adventures of Don Juan, 1949 That Forsyte Woman, 1950 Montana, Rocky Mountain, Kim, 1951 Adventures of Captain Fabian, Hello God, 1952 Mara Maru, Against All Flags, 1953 The Master of Ballantrae, 1954 Il maestro di Don Giovanni, Lilacs in the Spring, 1955 The Dark Avenger, King’s Rhapsody, 1957 Istanbul, The Big Boodle, The Sun Also Rises, 1958 Too Much, Too Soon, The Roots of Heaven, 1959 Cuban Rebel Girls
More Information: Flynn, Errol Leslie (1909–1959) (Australian Dictionary of Biography), Errol Flynn Profile (TCM), Errol Flynn at IMDb, Errol Flynn at Wikipedia
Peter Finch (1916-1977)
Peter Finch was born in London in 1916, but, after his parents divorced, grew up with his grandmother in France and India, before coming to Australia at the age of 10 and living with his father’s uncle in Sydney. After school he became a theatrical actor in Sydney, as well as a radio actor before making his film debut in the Australian film Dad and Dave Come to Town (1938). He served in the Australian army in the Second World War, and then continued to appear in Australian films and the theatre, until he was spotted by Laurence Olivier during a visit to Australia. Olivier encouraged him to travel to England where Finch had an extremely successful career, starring in over 40 British and Hollywood films until his death in 1977.
Finch made 8 films in Australia before 1950 and returned in the mid-1950s to make the hit film A Town Like Alice (1956), as well as the successful adaptations of The Shiralee and Robbery under Arms (both 1957) with British director Jack Lee.
Finch was the first Australian actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor (for Network in 1976), and won five BAFTA awards for A Town Like Alice, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, No Love for Johnnie, Sunday, Bloody Sunday and Network.
Films (Australian films in red): 1938 – Dad and Dave Come to Town, 1939 – Mr. Chedworth Steps Out; Ants in His Pants, 1941 – The Power and the Glory, 1944 – The Rats of Tobruk, 1945 – Red Sky at Morning, 1946 – A Son Is Born, 1949 – Eureka Stockade, Train of Events, 1950 – The Wooden Horse, The Miniver Story, 1952 – The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, 1953 – The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan; The Heart of the Matter, 1954 – Elephant Walk; Father Brown; Make Me an Offer!, 1955 – The Dark Avenger; Passage Home; Josephine and Men; Simon and Laura; 1956 – A Town Like Alice; The Battle of the River Plate, 1957 – The Shiralee; Robbery under Arms; Windom’s Way, 1959 – The Nun’s Story; Operation Amsterdam; 1960 – Kidnapped; The Sins of Rachel Cade; The Trials of Oscar Wilde, 1961 – No Love for Johnnie, 1962 – I Thank a Fool, 1963 – Girl with Green Eyes; In the Cool of the Day, 1964 – The Pumpkin Eater, 1965 – Judith; The Flight of the Phoenix, 1966 – 10:30 P.M. Summer, 1967 – Far from the Madding Crowd, 1968 – The Legend of Lylah Clare, 1969 – La tenda rossa (The Red Tent), 1971 – Sunday, Bloody Sunday, 1972 – Something to Hide, 1973 – Lost Horizon; A Bequest to the Nation; England Made Me, 1974 – The Abdication, 1976 – Network, 1977 – Raid on Entebbe
More Information: Finch, Frederick George Peter Ingle (1916–1977) (Australian Dictionary of Biography), Finch, Peter (1916-1977) (Screenonline.org.uk) and Peter Finch (Film Reference.com), Peter Finch at IMDb, Peter Finch at Wikipedia
Chips Rafferty (1909-1971)
Chips Rafferty, was born John William Pilbean Goffage, in Broken Hill, NSW in 1909. He worked in many rural jobs (opal miner, sheep shearer, drover, etc.) before making his film debut as an extra in Ants in His Pants in 1938. He made his speaking debut in the Ken G. Hall comedy Dad Rudd M.P. (1940) and his first starring role was a soldier in Charles Chauvel’s hit war film Forty Thousand Horsemen (also 1940). For the next 30 years, he was one of the main leading men in the local Australian film industry. Tall, thin and laconic, he played rugged, resourceful bushmen throughout his life, and became an Australian Everyman at a time when bush values of toughness and resilience were prized.
Rafferty is best known for his lead roles in The Overlanders and Eureka Stockade, but he important roles in many films including Wake in Fright and They’re A Weird Mob. He played in 17 Australian films and 7 foreign films and had many TV roles as well. Like others of his era, he suffered from the lack of a film industry in Australia before the 70s, and formed a company which produced several of his own films in the 50s. Rafferty survived until the dawn of the Australian 1970s cinema revival and made his final film, Wake in Fright, in 1971.
Films (Australian films in red): 1940 Dad Rudd, MP, 1940 Forty Thousand Horsemen, 1944 The Rats of Tobruk, 1946 The Overlanders, 1947 Bush Christmas, 1947 The Loves of Joanna Godden (UK), 1949 Eureka Stockade, 1950 Bitter Springs, 1952 Kangaroo (US shot in Australia), 1953 The Desert Rats (Filmed in Hollywood), 1953 The Phantom Stockman, 1953 King of the Coral Sea, 1956 Smiley, 1956 Walk Into Paradise (filmed in New Guinea), 1958 Smiley Gets a Gun, 1960 The Sundowners (US shot in Australia), 1960 The Wackiest Ship in the Army (US), 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty (US), 1966 They’re a Weird Mob, 1967 Double Trouble (US filmed in Britain), 1968 Kona Coast (US), 1970 Skullduggery (US filmed in New Guinea), 1971 Wake in Fright
More Information: Goffage, John William Pilbean (1909–1971) (Australian Dictionary of Biography), Chips Rafferty at IMDb, Chips Rafferty at Wikipedia
Rod Taylor (1930-2015)
Rod Taylor was born in 1930 in Lidcombe, Sydney. In Sydney he worked as an actor on radio and in the theatre, before making his film debut in 1954, when he appeared in two Australian films: the Chips Rafferty adventure King of the Coral Sea (1954), and a pirate film, Long John Silver (1954). Later that year he won a trip to Los Angeles where he settled and made a successful 50-year career in films and television. He appeared in over 50 films between 1954 and 2009. His most famous leading roles were in Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) and the HG Wells sci-fi film, The Time Machine (1960).
Taylor did return to Australia periodically from 1977 to appear in three more Australian films: The Picture Show Man (1977), On the Run (1983) and Welcome to Woop Woop (1998). He died in 2015 in the USA. Taylor usually played a tough guy in crime or adventure films, but also got a few chances to play comedy.
Films (Australian films in red): King of the Coral Sea (1954), Long John Silver (1954), Hell on Frisco Bay (1955), Top Gun (1955), World Without End (1956), The Catered Affair (1956), Giant (1956), Raintree County (1957), Step Down to Terror (1958), Separate Tables (1958), Ask Any Girl (1959), The Time Machine (1960), Colossus and the Amazon Queen (1960), Seven Seas to Calais (1962, The Birds (1963), The V.I.P.s (1963), A Gathering of Eagles (1963), Sunday in New York (1963), Fate Is the Hunter (1964), 36 Hours (1965), Young Cassidy (1965), The Liquidator (1965), Do Not Disturb (1965), The Glass Bottom Boat (1966), Hotel (1967), Chuka (1967), Dark of the Sun (1968), Nobody Runs Forever (1968), The Hell with Heroes (1968), Zabriskie Point (1970), Darker than Amber (1970), The Man Who Had Power Over Women (1970), Powderkeg (1971) (TV), Family Flight (1972) (TV), The Train Robbers (1973), Gli eroi (1973), Trader Horn (1973), The Deadly Trackers (1973), Hell River (1974), Blondie (1976), A Matter of Wife… And Death (1976) (TV), The Oregon Trail (1976) (TV), The Picture Show Man (1977), The Treasure Seekers (1979), Cry of the Innocent (1980) (TV), Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981) (TV), A Time to Die (1982), On the Run (1983), Terror in the Aisles (1984), Marbella, un golpe de cinco estrellas (1985), Mask of Murder (1985), Half Nelson (1985) (TV), Danielle Steel’s ‘Palomino’ (1991) (TV), Grass Roots (1992) (TV), Open Season (1995), Point of Betrayal (1995), Welcome to Woop Woop (1998), Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy (1998) (TV), KAW (2007) (TV) a, Inglourious Basterds (2009) as Winston Churchill,
More Information: Rod Taylor at IMDb, Rod Taylor at Wikipedia, Rod Taylor website, Rod Taylor obituary
Actors who made a 1930s debut
Cecil Kellaway (1890-1973)
Cecil Kellaway was a British citizen who was born in South Africa, but he lived in Australia for sixteen years before heading for a career in London and Hollywood, and it was in Sydney that he first became a comic theatrical star and made his first films. He was born in 1890 at Cape Town, South Africa, and started an actor and comedian in South Africa. In 1921 Kellaway came to Australia to perform for JC Williamson’s theatre company. He was a big hit and performed in musical comedy in Australia for over ten years, before making his film debut in 1933 as Dad Hayseed in the Australian film The Hayseeds.
He made a second Australia film It Isn’t Done (1937). This film was such a success that he was given an American contract by RKO, and went to Hollywood. He returned to Sydney make one last Australian film Mr Chedworth Steps Out (1939) and then spent the rest of his career in Hollywood.
An excellent comic actor, he appeared in over seventy-five feature films including Wuthering Heights (1939) with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, I Married a Witch (1942) with Fredric March and Veronica Lake, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) with Lana Turner and John Garfield, The Luck of the Irish (1948) with Tyrone Power and Anne Baxter, Harvey (1950) with James Stewart, and Guess who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) with Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn. He was twice nominated for Academy awards for his performances in The Luck of the Irish (1948) and Guess who’s Coming to Dinner (1967). Kellaway’s two brothers were also entertainers in Australia: Alec (below) was an actor who remained in Australia, and Leon was a ballet dancer with the stage name of Jan Kowsky.
Films (Australian films in red): 1933 The Hayseeds, 1937 It Isn’t Done, 1937 Wise Girl, 1938 Annabel Takes a Tour, 1938 Blond Cheat, 1938 Double Danger, 1938 Everybody’s Doing It, 1938 Law of the Underworld, 1938 Maid’s Night Out, 1938 Night Spot, 1938 Smashing the Rackets, 1938 Tarnished Angel, 1938 This Marriage Business, 1939 Gunga Din, 1939 Intermezzo, 1939 Mr. Chedworth Steps Out, 1939 The Sun Never Sets, 1939 We Are Not Alone, 1939 Wuthering Heights, 1940 Adventure in Diamonds, 1940 Brother Orchid, 1940 Diamond Frontier, 1940 Lady with Red Hair, 1940 Mexican Spitfire, 1940 Mexican Spitfire Out West, 1940 Phantom Raiders, 1940 South of Suez, 1940 The House of the Seven Gables, 1940 The Invisible Man Returns, 1940 The Letter, 1940 The Mummy’s Hand, 1941 A Very Young Lady, 1941 Appointment for Love, 1941 Bahama Passage, 1941 Birth of the Blues, 1941 Burma Convoy, 1941 New York Town, 1941 The Night of January 16th, 1941 West Point Widow, 1942 Are Husbands Necessary?, 1942 I Married a Witch, 1942 My Heart Belongs to Daddy, 1942 Night in New Orleans, 1942 Small Town Deb, 1942 Take a Letter, Darling, 1942 The Lady Has Plans, 1943 It Ain’t Hay, 1943 The Crystal Ball, 1943 The Good Fellows, 1944 And Now Tomorrow, 1944 Frenchman’s Creek, 1944 Mrs. Parkington, 1944 Practically Yours, 1945 Kitty, 1945 Love Letters, 1946 Easy to Wed, 1946 Monsieur Beaucaire, 1946 The Cockeyed Miracle, 1946 The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1947 Always Together, 1947 Unconquered, 1948 Joan of Arc, 1948 Portrait of Jennie, 1948 The Decision of Christopher Blake, 1948 The Luck of the Irish, 1949 Down to the Sea in Ships, 1950 Harvey, 1950 Hurricane at Pilgrim Hill, 1950 Kim, 1950 The Reformer and the Redhead, 1951 Francis Goes to the Races, 1951 Half Angel, 1951 Katie Did It, 1951 The Highwayman, 1951 Thunder in the East, 1952 Just Across the Street, 1952 My Wife’s Best Friend, 1953 Cruisin’ Down the River, 1953 Paris Model, 1953 The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, 1953 Young Bess, 1955 Female on the Beach, 1955 Interrupted Melody, 1955 The Prodigal, 1956 The Toy Tiger, 1957 Johnny Trouble, 1958 The Proud Rebel, 1959 The Shaggy Dog, 1960 The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, 1961 Francis of Assisi, 1961 Tammy Tell Me True, 1962 Zotz!, 1963 The Cardinal, 1964 Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, 1964 The Confession, 1966 Spinout, 1967 Fitzwilly, 1967 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, 1967 Kismet (TV Movie), 1967 The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, 1970 Getting Straight, 1972 Call Holme (TV Movie)
More Information: Kellaway, Cecil Lauriston (1890–1973) (Australian Dictionary of Biography), Cecil Kellaway at IMDb, Cecil Kellaway at Wikipedia
Bill Kerr (1922-2014)
Bill Kerr was born in 1922 in South Africa to Australian parents, and died in 2014 in Perth. He returned to NSW at the age of five, and served in the Australian Army in WWII before moving to the UK to work as an actor. He appeared in two Australian movies as a child in the 1930s, then worked in the UK in the 50s as a radio, television and film actor. He appeared in The Dam Busters (1955), The Captain’s Table (1959), The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), Doctor in Distress (1963) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), but became most famous for his comic role in the radio series Hancock’s Half Hour (1954-59).
Kerr returned to Australia in 1979 and became an important character actor on the local scene, appearing in over 20 films, including important roles in Gallipoli (1981), The Pirate Movie (1982), The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), Razorback (1984) and The Coca-Cola Kid (1985). He also appeared in numerous TV series and mini-series, including 1915, A Fortunate Life, Anzacs, The River Kings, Changi, and The Shark Net.
Films (Australian films in red): 1933 Harmony Row, 1934 The Silence of Dean Maitland, 1951 Penny Points to Paradise, 1952 My Death Is a Mockery, 1953 Appointment in London, 1954 You Know What Sailors Are, 1955 The Dam Busters, 1955 The Night My Number Came Up, 1956 Port of Escape, 1957 The Shiralee (uncredited), 1959 The Captain’s Table, 1961 Spike Milligan: A Series of Unrelated Incidents at Current Market Value (TV Movie), 1962 A Pair of Briefs, 1963 Doctor in Distress, 1963 The Wrong Arm of the Law, 1965 Chicago in the Roaring 20’s (TV Movie), 1966 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 1966 Doctor in Clover, 1973 Ghost in the Noonday Sun, 1973 Tiffany Jones, 1976 House of Mortal Sin, 1981 Gallipoli, 1982..Deadline.. (TV Movie), 1982 Save the Lady, 1982 The Pirate Movie, 1982 The Year of Living Dangerously, 1983 Dusty, 1983 Platypus Cove, 1984 Razorback, 1984 The Settlement, 1984 Vigil, 1984 White Man’s Legend (TV Movie), 1985 The Coca-Cola Kid, 1986 Double Sculls (TV Movie), 1987 Bushfire Moon, 1987 Running from the Guns, 1987 The Lighthorsemen, 1989 Kokoda Crescent, 1989 The Heroes (TV Movie), 1991 Sweet Talker, 1991 The Private War of Lucinda Smith (TV Movie), 1992 Over the Hill, 2001 Changi (TV Mini-Series), 2001 Let’s Get Skase, 2003 Peter Pan, 2003 The Shark Net (TV Mini-Series), 2004 Southern Cross, 2004 Wacker
More Information: Bill Kerr at IMDb, Bill Kerr at Wikipedia, ‘Bill Kerr obituary’ (Guardian)
Alec Kellaway (1897–1973)
Alec Kellaway was the brother of Cecil Kellaway (above), and was born in South Africa, coming to Australia in the 1920s. He made his film debut in 1937 and appeared in eight local comedies before the war. Kellaway appeared in two more films after WW2, then became a TV producer when Australian film roles dried up in the 1950s, before making a final appearance in the 1970 comedy Squeeze a Flower.
Films (Australian films in red): Lovers and Luggers (1937), The Broken Melody (1938), Let George Do It (1938), Dad and Dave Come to Town (1938), Gone to the Dogs (1939), Come Up Smiling (1939), Mr. Chedworth Steps Out (1939), Dad Rudd, MP (1940), South West Pacific (1943), Smithy (1946), The Kangaroo Kid (1950), Squeeze a Flower (1970)
Alec Kellaway at IMDb, Alec Kellaway at Wikipedia
Actors who made a 1940s debut
Ron Randell (1918-2005)
Ron Randell was born in Sydney in 1918. He first worked in radio, then had the lead role in two successful post-war Australian films: Smithy (1946) and A Son Is Born (1946). He became a minor star in Australia, but he was offered a Hollywood contract on the basis of his success, and spent most of the next 35 years in the US and elsewhere. He went on to appear in dozens of films, TV shows and plays in the US, and the UK. Randell never managed a lead role in a big movie, and either played support roles or starred in B films, such as the Bulldog Drummond detective films. His most notable film performances were in Follow the Boys, The Longest Day, King of Kings, The She-Creature and Kiss Me, Kate.
Films (Australian films in red): 1946 Smithy, 1946 A Son Is Born, 1947 Bulldog Drummond at Bay, 1947 Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back, 1947 It Had to Be You, 1948 The Loves of Carmen, 1948 The Mating of Millie, 1948 The Sign of the Ram, 1949 Make Believe Ballroom, 1949 Omoo-Omoo the Shark God, 1949 The Lone Wolf and His Lady, 1950 Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard, 1950 Tyrant of the Sea, 1951 China Corsair, 1951 Lorna Doone, 1952 Captive Women, 1952 The Brigand, 1953 Kiss Me Kate, 1953 The Girl on the Pier, 1953 The Mississippi Gambler, 1953 The Triangle, 1954 One Just Man, 1954 The Fifth Season (TV Movie), 1955 Count of Twelve, 1955 Desert Sands, 1955 I Am a Camera, 1955 Three Cornered Fate, 1956 Bermuda Affair, 1956 Beyond Mombasa, 1956 Quincannon, Frontier Scout, 1956 The Hostage, 1956 The She-Creature, 1957 Morning Call, 1957 The Girl in Black Stockings, 1957 The Story of Esther Costello, 1958 Davy, 1961 King of Kings, 1961 Most Dangerous Man Alive, 1961 Toller Hecht auf krummer Tour, 1962 The Longest Day, 1963 Follow the Boys, 1963 Gold for the Caesars, 1964 Das Haus auf dem Hügel, 1964 Heiss weht der Wind, 1966 Savage Pampas, 1967 To Chase a Million, 1971 The Seven Minutes, 1971 Whity, 1983 Exposed
More Information: Ron Randell at IMDb, Ron Randell at Wikipedia,
Grant Taylor (1917–1971)
Grant Taylor was born in London in 1917, but came to Australia as a child with his parents. He was one of the main Australian stars of the 1940s, before being overshadowed by the rise of Chips Rafferty. Taylor played the lead role in Charles Chauvel’s hit film, Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940), which catapulted him to fame in Australia. He followed up with the lead role in Chauvel’s next film The Rats of Tobruk (1944), but after that made do with support roles to Rafferty and other foreign stars.
In the 1960s, faced with the lack of films being made in Australia, Taylor switched to television, first in Australia and later in the UK, where he finished his career as Gen. James Henderson in the popular UK sci-fi series UFO (1970-71).
Films (Australian films in red): Dad Rudd, MP (1940), Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940), The Rats of Tobruk (1944), Eureka Stockade (1949), The Kangaroo Kid (1950), Captain Thunderbolt (1953), His Majesty O’Keefe (USA 1953), Long John Silver (1954), Smiley Gets a Gun (1958), On the Beach (1959), The Siege of Pinchgut (1959), Quatermass and the Pit (UK 1967), Calamity the Cow (UK 1967)
Grant at IMDb, Grant Taylor at Wikipedia
Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell (1923-2009)
Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell was born in Sydney in 1923, and fought in WW2 as a pilot. After the war, Tingwell was a theatre actor, and made his film debut in the popular film Smithy (1946), then played the lead a war film, Always Another Dawn (1948). Tingwell went on to play in seven more Australian films in the 1950s, before heading for England in 1956.
Tingwell lived in England from 1956 to 1973, and appeared in 13 films, including four Miss Marple films with Margaret Rutherford, and a number of popular TV shows. He returned to Australia in time to participate in the Australian film revival and made 18 films and many TV series in the 1970s and 1980s.
From the mid-90s he began to play a number of ‘granddad’ roles, and made 14 more films after his portrayal of a lawyer in Australia’s most popular film The Castle (1997). Tingwell continued working in films and television until his death in 2009, becoming one of Australia’s best-loved actors.
Films (Australian films in red): Smithy (1946), Always Another Dawn (1948), Into the Straight (1949), Bitter Springs (1950), Kangaroo (1952), The Desert Rats (1953), King of the Coral Sea (1953), Captain Thunderbolt (1955), Smiley (1956), The Shiralee (1957), Dunkirk (1958), Life in Emergency Ward 10 (1959), Bobbikins (1959), Cone of Silence (1960), Tarzan the Magnificent (1960), Murder, She Said (1961), Murder at the Gallop (1963), Murder Most Foul (1964), Murder Ahoy! (1964), The Secret of Blood Island (1964), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), Nobody Runs Forever (1968), Petersen (1974), End Play (1975), Eliza Fraser (1976), Summerfield (1977), Money Movers (1978), The Journalist (1979), Breaker Morant (1980), Puberty Blues (1981), Freedom (1982), Annie’s Coming Out (1984), My First Wife (1984), Malcolm (1986), Windrider (1986), Bushfire Moon, Tudawali (TV Movie) (1988), The Far Country (TV Movie) (1988), Evil Angels (aka A Cry in the Dark) (1988), The Four Minute Mile (TV Movie) (1988), The Castle (1997), Amy (1997), The Craic (1999), The Wog Boy (2000), Innocence (2000), The Dish (2000), WillFull (2001), The Inside Story (2002), Ned Kelly (2003), Human Touch (2003), Jindabyne (2006), Irresistible (2006), Let Me Not (2007), Menzies and Churchill at War (2008), Three Blind Mice (2008)
More Information: Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell at IMDb, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell at Wikipedia, Obituary (Guardian)
Vincent Ball (1923- )
Vincent Ball was born in Wee Waa in northern NSW in 1923. He served with the Australian air force in WW2 in England. After the war he returned to England and, from 1949, began getting parts in British films, first as an extra and later in supporting and lead roles. He went on to appear in almost 50 British films over the next 22 years, with some of his major roles were in Face in the Night (1957), Blood of the Vampire (1958), Sea of Sand (1958), Dead Lucky (1960), Feet of Clay (1960), and The Middle Course (1961).
Ball returned briefly to Australia in 1957 and 1960 to make Robbery Under Arms (1957) with Peter Finch, and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, with Ernest Borgnine. Then in the early 70s, as the Australian film industry was re-starting, Ball returned to Australia and carved out a successful career in local film and on television. He appeared in over 30 Australian films, particularly Breaker Morant, and Muriel’s Wedding, and was well-known for his TV roles in a dozen mini-series and other series.
Films (Australian films in red): 1949 Warning to Wantons, 1949 Stop Press Girl, 1949 Poet’s Pub, 1949 The Interrupted Journey, 1950 Come Dance with Me, 1951 Encore, 1951 Talk of a Million, 1952 Made in Heaven, 1954 Dangerous Voyage, 1954 Devil’s Point, 1954 Impostor’s Gold (TV Movie), 1954 The Black Rider, 1955 Barnet’s Folly (TV Movie), 1955 John and Julie, 1955 Nitro (TV Movie), 1955 Stolen Time, 1955 The Blue Peter, 1955 The Stolen Airliner, 1956 A Town Like Alice, 1956 Reach for the Sky, 1956 The Baby and the Battleship, 1956 The Long Arm, 1956 The Secret of the Forest, 1956 The Battle of the River Plate, 1957 Face in the Night, 1957 Robbery Under Arms, 1958 Blood of the Vampire, 1958 Sea of Sand, 1959 Danger Within, 1960 Dead Lucky, 1960 Dentist in the Chair, 1960 Identity Unknown, 1960 Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, 1961 A Matter of WHO, 1961 Feet of Clay, 1961 Highway to Battle, 1961 Nearly a Nasty Accident, 1961 The Cheaters (TV Series), 1961 The Middle Course, 1961 Very Important Person, 1962 Carry on Cruising, 1962 The Slaughter of St. Teresa’s Day (TV Movie), 1963 Echo of Diana, 1963 The Mouse on the Moon, 1967 Follow That Camel, 1968 The High Commissioner, 1968 Where Eagles Dare, 1969 Oh! What a Lovely War, 1971 Clinic Exclusive, 1971 Not Tonight, Darling, 1974 Eye of the Spiral (TV Movie), 1974 Lindsay’s Boy (TV Movie), 1975 Games for Parents & Other Children (TV Movie), 1976 Arena (TV Movie), 1976 Death Cheaters, 1977 Going Home (TV Movie), 1978 Against the Wind (TV Mini-Series), 1978 Bit Part (TV Movie), 1978 The Irishman, 1979 A Place in the World (TV Mini-Series), 1979 Demolition (TV Movie), 1980 Breaker Morant, 1981 Alison’s Birthday, 1982 ..Deadline.. (TV Movie), 1982 The Highest Honor, 1983 Phar Lap, 1983 The Dismissal (TV Mini-Series), 1984 Bodyline (TV Mini-Series), 1984 The Last Bastion (TV Mini-Series), 1985 Anzacs (TV Mini-Series), 1986 Double Sculls (TV Movie), 1987 Flight Into Hell (TV Mini-Series), 1987 Hot Ice (TV Movie), 1987 The Year My Voice Broke, 1987 Vietnam (TV Mini-Series), 1988 The Boardroom (TV Movie), 1988 The Dirtwater Dynasty (TV Mini-Series), 1988 Whose Baby (TV Movie), 1989 Bangkok Hilton (TV Mini-Series), 1990 Call Me Mr. Brown, 1990 The Paper Man (TV Mini-Series), 1991 The Private War of Lucinda Smith (TV Movie), 1993 Frauds, 1993 Love in Limbo, 1994 Muriel’s Wedding, 1994 Sirens, 1997 Paradise Road, 2000 Her Iliad, 2001 The Man Who Sued God, 2002 Black and White, 2003 The Night We Called It a Day
More information: Vincent Ball at IMDB, Vincent Ball at Wikipedia
Michael Pate (1920-2008)
Michael Pate was born in Sydney in 1920. In the 30s, he worked as a writer and actor on radio, before serving in World War Two. After the war he continued to work as a radio actor, before getting a lead role in the Charles Chauvel drama Sons of Matthew (1949). He played in one more Australian film, Bitter Springs (1950), before heading for Hollywood.
In the US, Pate appeared in over 50 films and 100 TV shows between 1951 and 1967. He appeared in many Westerns, playing both cowboys and Native Americans. He played the Apache chief Victorio in many films, including in Hondo opposite John Wayne.
Pate returned to Australia in 1968, and worked as a successful TV producer, writer and actor. Pate returned to film acting in 1976, in the bushranger film Mad Dog Morgan (1976). Pate went on to play in another 8 Australian films, but also became a film director and producer, writing and directing the hit film The Mango Tree (1977), and producing and directing the film Tim (1979) starring Mel Gibson.
Films: 1940 40,000 Horsemen, 1949 Sons of Matthew, 1950 Bitter Springs, 1951 Ten Tall Men, 1951 The Strange Door, 1951 Thunder on the Hill, 1952 5 Fingers, 1952 Face to Face, 1952 The Black Castle, 1953 All the Brothers Were Valiant, 1953 El Alaméin, 1953 Hondo, 1953 Houdini, 1953 Julius Caesar, 1953 Rogue’s March, 1953 Scandal at Scourie, 1953 Target Hong Kong, 1953 The Desert Rats, 1953 The Maze, 1953 The Royal African Rifles, 1954 King Richard and the Crusaders, 1954 Secret of the Incas, 1954 The Silver Chalice, 1955 A Lawless Street, 1955 The Court Jester, 1956 7th Cavalry, 1956 Congo Crossing, 1956 Reprisal!, 1956 The Killer Is Loose, 1956 The Revolt of Mamie Stover, 1957 Something of Value, 1957 The Oklahoman, 1957 The Tall Stranger, 1958 Desert Hell, 1958 Hong Kong Confidential, 1959 Curse of the Undead, 1959 Green Mansions, 1959 Markham (TV Series), 1959 Tragedy in a Temporary Town (TV Movie), 1959 Westbound, 1960 Walk Like a Dragon, 1961 The Canadians, 1962 Beauty and the Beast, 1962 Sergeants 3, 1962 Tower of London, 1963 California, 1963 Drums of Africa, 1963 McLintock!, 1963 PT 109, 1964 Advance to the Rear, 1965 Brainstorm, 1965 Major Dundee, 1965 The Great Sioux Massacre, 1966 The Singing Nun, 1967 Mosby’s Marauders, 1967 Return of the Gunfighter, 1971 Little Jungle Boy, 1976 Mad Dog Morgan, 1982 Duet for Four, 1983 The Return of Captain Invincible, 1984 The Wild Duck, 1986 Body Business (TV Movie), 1986 Death of a Soldier, 1987 Howling III, 1988 The Tourist (TV Movie), 1993 Official Denial (TV Movie)
More Information: Michael Pate at IMDb, Michael Pate at Wikipedia
Lloyd Lamble (1914-2008)
Lloyd Lamble was born in Melbourne in 1914. He began as a radio and theatre actor in the 1930s, and became President of the actor’s union, Actors’ and Announcers’ Equity. He made his film debut in the Australian film, Strong Is the Seed (1949), but was labelled a Communist by the Australian government and found it impossible to find work in Australia in the 1950s. He travelled to the United Kingdom, where he spent the rest of his career as a successful film and television actor, making 50 films and appearing on nearly 100 TV shows in only 34 years.
He had significant roles in many British films, including Curtain Up (1952), Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Our Man in Havana (1959), The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) and The Naked Civil Servant (1975), but was probably best known for his role as Superintendent Samuel Kemp-Bird in a number of the St Trinian’s films.
On television, he was best known for roles in The Vise (1955-1959), Invisible Man (1958-59), Where I Live (1960), Front Page Story (1965), Emergency-Ward 10 (1966), Marked Personal (1974) and Crown Court (1972-75).
He did return to Australia from time to time, and had small roles in The Sundowners (1960) and the TV series The Flying Doctor (1959) and Adventures of the Seaspray (1967), but his real home was England from the 1950s.
Films (Australian films in red): Strong Is the Seed (1949), Saturday Island (1952), Curtain Up (1952), Lady in the Fog (1952), Three Steps to the Gallows (1953), The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan (1953), Appointment in London (1953), Mantrap (1953), Street Corner (1953), The Straw Man (1953), Background (1953), Forbidden Cargo (1954),, Fatal Journey (1954), Profile (1954), The Belles of St Trinian’s (1954), The Green Carnation (1954), Out of the Clouds (1955), The Dam Busters (1955), Track the Man Down (1955), The Blue Peter (1955) Editor, Private’s Progress (1956), The Gelignite Gang (1956), The Man Who Never Was (1956), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Person Unknown (1956), The Girl in the Picture (1957), Suspended Alibi (1957), There’s Always a Thursday (1957), Sea Wife (1957), Quatermass 2 (1957), These Dangerous Years (1957), Barnacle Bill (1957), Night of the Demon (1957), Blue Murder at St Trinian’s (1957), The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk (1958), Dunkirk (1958), Print of Death (1958), The Bank Raiders (1958), Breakout (1959) Inspector, Behemoth the Sea Monster (1959), No Trees in the Street (1959), The Heart of a Man (1959), The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), The Challenge (1960), The Sundowners (1960), The Pure Hell of St Trinian’s (1960), Term of Trial (1962), The Boys (1962), Joey Boy (1965), And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973), No Sex Please, We’re British (1973), On the Game (1974), Eskimo Nell (1975), The Naked Civil Servant (1975)
Lloyd Lamble at IMDb, Lloyd Lamble at Wikipedia, Lloyd Lamble obituary
Henry Murdock (1920-1987)
Henry Murdock was born in 1920 in Murgon, Queensland, and was one of the few Aboriginal actors of the period to work in films. He worked as a stockman before making films, and made his debut in the classic cattle-droving film The Overlanders (1946), with Chips Rafferty. Murdock went on to play in another six films in the 40s and 50s, including Bitter Springs (1950), with Chips Rafferty, Kangaroo (1952), with Maureen O’Hara, and The Shiralee (1957), with Peter Finch.
His movie career ended when the Australian film industry went into decline in the late 50s and Murdock returned life in the pastoral industry. He did however appear in a number of episodes of the Australian TV western series Whiplash in 1961.
Films (Australian films in red): The Overlanders (1946), Eureka Stockade (1949), Bitter Springs (1950), Kangaroo (1952), The Phantom Stockman (1953), The Shiralee (1957), Dust in the Sun (1958)
More Information: Murdock, George Henry (1920–1987) (Australian Dictionary of Biography), Henry Murdock at IMDb, Henry Murdock at Wikipedia
John McCallum (1918–2010)
John McCallum was born in Brisbane in 1918, and had a successful film and theatre career in the UK and Australia in the 1940s and 1950s. He is best known for his lead roles in the English films A Boy, a Girl and a Bike (1949), and The Calendar (1948), but also had major roles in The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947), The Root of All Evil (1947), It Always Rains on Sunday (1947), Miranda (1948 film), and others. He often played in films with his wife, the famous English actress, Googie Withers. After making his final film Smiley (1956), McCallum became a television and film producer in Australia.
Films (Australian films in red): A Son Is Born (1946), The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947), The Root of All Evil (1947), It Always Rains on Sunday (1947), The Calendar (1948), Miranda (1948 film), A Boy, a Girl and a Bike (1949), The Woman in Question (1950), Valley of Eagles (1951), Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951), The Magic Box (1951), The Long Memory (1952), Trent’s Last Case (1952), Derby Day (1952), Melba (1953), Trouble in the Glen (1954), Devil on Horseback (1954), Port of Escape (1956), Smiley (1956)
John McCallum at IMDb, John McCallum at Wikipedia
Actors who made a 1950s debut
Ed Devereaux (1925-2003)
Ed Devereaux was born in August 1925 in Sydney. He worked on radio and in the theatre, and made his film debut in The Shiralee (1957). Like many others, Devereaux tried his luck in the UK and appeared in 19 British films in the next eight years, including four Carry On films and The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963).
On return to Australia, he appeared in the very successful film They’re a Weird Mob (1966), then became internationally famous for his starring role as the park ranger in the popular TV series Skippy (1968-1970). After that Devereaux continued to appear in films and TV shows in both Australia and the UK for the next 30 years. He won an AFI award in 1988 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Mini Series, for The True Believers.
Films (Australian films in red): The Shiralee (1957), Carry On Sergeant (1958), Floods of Fear (1958), Carry on Nurse (1959), The Captain’s Table (1959), Bottoms Up (1960), Man in the Moon (1960), The Savage Innocents (1960), There Was a Crooked Man (1960), Watch Your Stern (1960), Carry on Regardless (1961), Carry on Cruising (1962), Mix Me a Person (1962), The Password Is Courage (1962), Carry On Jack (1963), Ladies Who Do (1963), Live It Up! (1963), The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), Never Put It in Writing (1964), The Bargee (1964), They’re a Weird Mob (1966), Journey Out of Darkness (1967), The Intruders (1969), Nickel Queen (1971), Bless This House (1972), Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974), Pressure (1976), Three Dangerous Ladies (1977), Money Movers (1978), The Rock Pool (TV Movie) (1979), The Dismissal (TV Mini-Series) (1983), Bon Voyage (TV Movie) (1985), Claudia (1985), Reunion at Fairborough (TV Movie) (1985), Robbery Under Arms (1985), Fear in Fun Park (TV Movie) (1989), I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990), Buddy’s Song (1991), The Preventers (TV Movie) (1996)
More Information: Ed Devereaux at IMDb, Ed Devereaux at Wikipedia
Leo McKern (1920–2002)
Leo McKern was born in Sydney in 1920. He had various jobs before serving in World War Two, after which he became a theatre actor. He followed his girlfriend Australian actress Jane Holland to London were he found work as a Shakespearean actor. McKern’s film debut in the UK was in Murder in the Cathedral (1952). He made over 50 other British and American films over the next 50 years, and is best remembered for his roles in X the Unknown (1956), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), King and Country (1964), Help! (1965), A Man for All Seasons (1966), Ryan’s Daughter (1970), Massacre in Rome (1973), The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975), The Blue Lagoon (1980), and Ladyhawke (1985).
McKern also played many television roles in the UK, and is probably best remembered for his portrayal of the barrister Horace Rumpole in Rumpole of the Bailey (1978-1992). McKern returned to Australia several times in later years to play in three more Australian films, Travelling North (1987), with Julia Blake, Dad and Dave: On Our Selection (1995), and Molokai (1999). He won the AFI Best Actor Award for Travelling North.
Films: 1951 Murder in the Cathedral, 1955 All for Mary, 1956 X the Unknown, 1957 Anna Christie (TV Movie), 1957 Confess, Killer, 1957 Flight of the Dove (TV Movie), 1957 The Critical Point (TV Movie), 1957 The Widows of Jaffa (TV Movie), 1957 Time Without Pity, 1958 A Tale of Two Cities, 1959 Beyond This Place, 1959 The Mouse That Roared, 1959 Yesterday’s Enemy, 1960 Jazz Boat, 1960 Noah (TV Movie), 1960 Scent of Mystery, 1961 Mr. Topaze, 1961 The Day the Earth Caught Fire, 1962 Leading the Blind (TV Movie), 1962 The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (TV Movie), 1962 The Inspector, 1963 Doctor in Distress, 1964 A Jolly Bad Fellow, 1964 Children of the Damned, 1964 Hot Enough for June, 1964 King & Country, 1965 Help!, 1965 Tea Party (TV Movie), 1965 The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, 1966 A Man for All Seasons, 1966 Alice in Wonderland (TV Movie), 1968 Assignment K, 1968 Decline and Fall… of a Birdwatcher, 1968 The High Commissioner, 1968 The Shoes of the Fisherman, 1970 Ryan’s Daughter, 1972 The Man Who Shot the Albatross (TV Movie), 1973 Rappresaglia, 1975 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, 1976 The Omen, 1977 Candleshoe, 1977 Drama (TV Series), 1977 The Savage (TV Movie), 1978 Damien: Omen II, 1978 The Nativity (TV Movie), 1979 Lieutenant Kije (TV Movie), 1979 The House on Garibaldi Street (TV Movie), 1979 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (TV Movie), 1980 The Blue Lagoon, 1981 The Comet Is Coming! (TV Movie), 1981 The French Lieutenant’s Woman, 1983 King Lear (TV Movie), 1984 The Chain, 1985 Ladyhawke, 1985 Murder with Mirrors (TV Movie), 1987 Travelling North, 1994 Good King Wenceslas (TV Movie), 1995 Dad and Dave: On Our Selection, 1996 Circles of Deceit: Sleeping Dogs (TV Movie), 1999 Molokai
More Information: Leo McKern at IMDb, Leo McKern at Wikipedia
Robert Tudawali (1929-1967)
Robert Tudawali was born about 1929 on Melville Island, Northern Territory, son of Tiwi parents, and he grew up living a traditional Aboriginal life. He was chosen by director Charles Chauvel to play the lead male role in his landmark film Jedda, the warrior Marbuck, an outlawed traditional Aboriginal man who steals the Aboriginal woman Jedda from her White employers. This was the first time an Aboriginal actor, along with his female co-star, Ngarla Kunoth, had played the lead role in a feature film. Tudawali was a great success in this role, but there were few other opportunities for Aboriginal actors in those days, and so, after a couple of small parts in films and a TV series, Tudawali ended his career.
Tudawali then became a promoter of Aboriginal rights until an early death at the age of 39 from burns suffered in a fight. In 1987, a television docu-drama, Tudawali, about Robert Tudawali was made, with Ernie Dingo in the title role.
Films: Jedda (1955), Dust in the Sun (1958), Burst of Summer (TV Movie) (1961)
More Information: Tudawali, Robert (1929–1967) (Australian Dictionary of Biography), Robert Tudawali at IMDb, Robert Tudawali at Wikipedia
Reg Lye (1912–1988)
Reg Lye was born in Sydney in 1912, and played support roles in most of the Australian films of the 1950s, including all of those produced by Chips Rafferty and Lee Robinson. When the Australian film industry virtually died out in the 1960s, Lye headed for the UK and worked there for over 20 years, making over 20 films and nearly 100 TV shows. His most famous UK film was The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), with Peter Sellers.
Lye returned to Australia twice when older, to appear in the landmark shearing film Sunday Too Far Away (1975), with Jack Thompson, and the political drama The Killing of Angel Street (1981). Lye won the AFI Best Supporting Actor award for Sunday Too Far Away.
Films (Australian films in red): King of the Coral Sea (1954), Smiley (1956), Walk Into Paradise (1956), Three in One (1957), The Shiralee (1957), Shadow of Doubt (TV) (1957), The Stowaway (1958), Smiley Gets a Gun (1958), The Flaming Sword (1958), Dust in the Sun (1958), The Restless and the Damned (Aust/France 1959), The Dock Brief (TV) (1960), Turning Point (TV Movie) (1960), The One Day of the Year (1961), The Amorous Prawn (1962), Reunion Day (1962), The Slaughter of St. Teresa’s Day (TV) (1962), The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), The Counterfeit Constable (1964), Stell (1964), King Rat (1965), The Wrong Box (1966), A Challenge for Robin Hood (1967), Fathom (1967), Danger Route (1967), The Magnificent Six and ½: It’s Not Cricket (1968), Doctor Who (1968, British TV), The Lost Continent (1968), Battle of Britain (1969), The Games (1970), Performance (1970), 10 Rillington Place (1971), Burke & Hare (1971), Ooh… You Are Awful (1972), The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972), Dracula (1973), Sunday Too Far Away (1975), Quiller (1975), Blind Man’s Bluff (1977), Jabberwocky (1977), Death on the Nile (1978), Wombling Free (1978), A Man Called Intrepid (1979), Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979), Tarka the Otter (1979), The Killing of Angel Street (1981), Freedom (1982), Molly (1983)
Reg Lye at IMDb, Reg Lye at Wikipedia
Allan Cuthbertson (1920-1988)
Allan Cuthbertson was born in Perth in 1920. He started as a stage and radio actor before serving with the RAAF during WW2. After the war, he left Australia and spent his life in the UK, where he worked on stage and film for almost 40 years. He made his film debut in 1954 in a war film, and went on to play many military characters over the years.
His most significant films were Carrington V.C. (1954), Cloak Without Dagger (1956), Room at the Top (1959), and The Guns of Navarone (1961). He also played in nearly 100 British TV series, with significant appearances in The Avengers (1961-68), Emergency-Ward 10 (1966), Fawlty Towers (1975), The Morecambe & Wise Show (1973-75), The Tommy Cooper Hour (1973-75), and Terry and June (1981–1983).
Films (Australian films in red): Carrington V.C. (1954), Portrait of Alison (1955), On Such a Night (1956), Doublecross (1956), Cloak Without Dagger (1956), The Man Who Never Was (1956), Eyewitness (1956), Anastasia (1956), The Passionate Stranger (1957), Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst (1957), Barnacle Bill (1957), Law and Disorder (1958), Ice Cold in Alex (1958), I Was Monty’s Double (1958), Room at the Top (1959), The Crowning Touch (1959), Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Devil’s Disciple (1959), Killers of Kilimanjaro (1959), North West Frontier (1959), The Stranglers of Bombay (1960), Tunes of Glory (1960), The Guns of Navarone (1961), On the Double (1961), Solo for Sparrow (1962), Term of Trial (1962), The Boys (1962), The Brain (1962), The Fast Lady (1962), Freud: The Secret Passion (1962), Nine Hours to Rama (1963), The Running Man (1963), The Mouse on the Moon (1963), Tamahine (1963), Bitter Harvest (1963), The Informers (1963), The 7th Dawn (1964), Operation Crossbow (1965), Life at the Top (1965), Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), Press for Time (1966), The Trygon Factor (1966), Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon (1967), Half a Sixpence (1967), Sinful Davey (1969), The Body Stealers (1969), Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969), The Adventurers (1970), One More Time (1970), Performance (1970), The Firechasers (1971), Assault (1971), Diamonds on Wheels (1974), The Outsider (1979), The Sea Wolves (1980), Hopscotch (1980), The Mirror Crack’d (1980), Thirteen at Dinner (1985)
Allan Cuthbertson at IMDb, Allan Cuthbertson at Wikipedia
Actors who made a 1960s debut
Ray Barrett (1927–2009)
Ray Barrett was born in Brisbane in 1927, and was a radio announcer in Brisbane and Sydney before moving to England in 1957. In England he appeared in numerous films and TV shows, often as a tough guy, due to his rugged looks and build. In 1976 he returned to Australia where he had parts in 34 Australian films until his death in 2009. His most memorable Australian roles were in Don’s Party and Goodbye Paradise where he played the lead role as a disgraced former cop exposing corruption on the Gold Coast, a performance for which he won the AFI Best Actor award in 1982.
Films (Australian films in red): The Desperate Women (1954), The Sundowners (1960), Touch of Death (1961), Time to Remember (1962), Mix Me a Person (1962), Jigsaw (1962), To Have and to Hold (1963), 80,000 Suspects (1963), Valley of the Kings (1964), The Reptile (1966), Just Like a Woman (1967), Revenge (1971), Peer Gynt (1972), Little Laura and Big John (1973), The Amorous Milkman (1975), The Hostages (1975), Arena (TV movie) (1976), Don’s Party (1976), Let the Balloon Go (1976), No Room to Run (1978), The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978), The Earthling (1980), Departmental (1980), A Shifting Dreaming (1982), A Dangerous Summer (1982), Goodbye Paradise (1983), Where the Green Ants Dream (1984), Conferenceville (1984), The Empty Beach (1985), Rebel (1985), Relatives (1985), Frenchman’s Farm (1987), Contagion (1987), As Time Goes By (1988), Prisoners of the Sun (1990), Waiting (1991), No Worries (1994), Hotel Sorrento (1995), Dad and Dave: On Our Selection (1995), Singapore Sling: Old Flames (1995), Brilliant Lies (1996), Hotel de Love (1996), Heaven’s Burning (1997), In the Winter Dark (1998), Deluge (1999), Dalkeith (2002), Visitors (2003), After the Deluge (TV Movie) (2003), Australia (2008)
More Information: Ray Barrett at IMDb, Ray Barrett at Wikipedia
John Meillon (1934-1989)
John Meillon was born in Mosman, Sydney in 1934. He worked as a radio and theatre actor during the 1950s and had his first real film role in The Sundowners in 1960. Following that, he spent five years in the UK where he appeared in 11 films before returning to Sydney, where he became nationally known for his role in the popular TV comedy, My Name’s McGooley, What’s Yours? He became a successful film actor during the Australian film revival appeared in nearly twenty local features from the 60s to the 80s.
Meillon had memorable roles in They’re a Weird Mob (1966), Walkabout (1971), Wake in Fright (1971), The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Ride a Wild Pony (1975), The Fourth Wish (1976), The Picture Show Man (1977), Heatwave (1982), The Wild Duck (1983), Crocodile Dundee (1986), and Crocodile Dundee II (1988). He won the AFI Best Actor award for The Fourth Wish, and was also nominated for The Picture Show Man.
Films (Australian films in red): 1959 On the Beach (cameo), 1960 The Sundowners, 1961 Offbeat (UK), 1961 The Long and the Short and the Tall (UK), 1961 Watch it, Sailor! (UK), 1962 Death Trap (UK), 1962 The Valiant (UK), 1962 Operation Snatch (UK), 1962 The Longest Day (UK), 1962 Billy Budd (UK), 1963 Cairo (US), 1963 The Running Man (UK), 1964 633 Squadron (UK), 1964 Guns at Batasi (UK), 1966 They’re a Weird Mob, 1971 Wake in Fright, 1971 Walkabout, 1972 Sunstruck, 1974 The Dove, 1974 The Cars That Ate Paris, 1975 Inn of the Damned, 1975 Ride a Wild Pony, 1976 Arena, 1976 The Fourth Wish, 1977 The Picture Show Man, 1978 Bit Part, 1982 Heatwave, 1983 Scales of Justice (TV mini-series), 1983 The Wild Duck, 1983 The Dismissal (TV mini-series), 1986 Crocodile Dundee, 1988 The Everlasting Secret Family, 1988 Crocodile Dundee II
More Information: Meillon, John (1934–1989) (Australian Dictionary of Biography), John Meillon at IMDb, John Meillon at Wikipedia
Slim De Grey (1918-2007)
Slim (Clifford Frank) De Grey (also Degrey) was born in 1918 in England and moved to Australia at the age of six. He served in the Australian Army in WW2, then became a singer, actor and variety performer in clubs and on television. De Grey made his feature film debut at the age of 48, as one of the building gang in the smash hit They’re a Weird Mob (1966). He followed this with support roles in You Can’t See ’round Corners (1969), Wake in Fright (1971), and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001). He was also a popular actor in many Australian TV series for over 30 years.
Films (Australian films in red): 1966 They’re a Weird Mob, 1969 Age of Consent, 1969 You Can’t See ’round Corners, 1971 Demonstrator, 1971 Wake in Fright, 1974 Stone, 1978 Newsfront, 1979 The Journalist, 1982 The Highest Honor, 1983 Molly, 1984 Undercover, 1989 Kokoda Crescent, 1990 Dead Sleep, 2001 Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles
TV Highlights: 1967 You Can’t See Round Corners, 1968-1969 Skippy, 1968-1971 Homicide, 1971-1975 Matlock Police, 1983 Scales of Justice (TV Mini-Series), 1988 The Dirtwater Dynasty (TV Mini-Series), 1989 Fear in Fun Park (TV Movie), 2001 Changi (TV Mini-Series)
More Information: Slim DeGrey at IMDb, Slim DeGrey at Wikipedia
George Lazenby (1939-
George Lazenby is famous as an actor who made a huge impact with his first film, but was unable to recapture that success in a further 50 years of acting. He was born in 1939 in Goulburn, NSW. After school he was a soldier and then a car salesman before moving to the UK in 1963. There he later became an advertising model, and in 1968 he was chosen to be the next James Bond after Sean Connery’s retirement from the role. Lazenby made his film debut as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). The film was successful and Lazenby’s performance was praised, but to everyone’s amazement Lazenby decided that he didn’t want to make spy movies and turned down the opportunity to play in further James Bond films.
After this classic mistake, Lazenby found it hard to get better roles, and ended up back in action films. In the mid-70s, he made a Hong Kong action film, Stoner (1974). He followed this by playing the arch-villian in a Hong Kong/Australian co-production, The Man from Hong Kong (1975) which was set in mainly in Australia, and directed by the Australian director Brian Trenchard-Smith. This film has come to be regarded as a seminal Oz action classic. It was Lazenby’s only Australian feature film, though he also made a couple of TV films in Australia in the 70s. Lazenby then moved to the US and has made over 30 US films since the mid-70s.
Films (Australian films in red): 1969 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1972 Universal Soldier, 1972 Who Saw Her Die?, 1974 Stoner (Hong Kong), 1975 The Man from Hong Kong, 1976 A Queen’s Ransom (Hong Kong), 1976 Is There Anybody There? (TV Movie), 1977 Cover Girls (TV Movie), 1977 The Kentucky Fried Movie, 1978 Death Dimension, 1978 Evening in Byzantium (TV Movie), 1978 The Newman Shame (TV Movie), 1979 Saint Jack, 1981 L’ultimo harem, 1983 The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair (TV Movie), 1986 Never Too Young to Die, 1987 Hell Hunters, 1992 Eyes of the Beholder, 1993 Emmanuelle Forever (TV Movie), 1993 Emmanuelle in Venice (TV Movie), 1993 Emmanuelle’s Love (TV Movie), 1993 Emmanuelle’s Magic (TV Movie), 1993 Emmanuelle’s Perfume (TV Movie), 1993 Emmanuelle’s Revenge (TV Movie), 1993 Emmanuelle’s Secret (TV Movie), 1993 Gettysburg, 1993 The Evil Inside Me, 1994 Twin Sitters, 1996 Fox Hunt, 1998 Star of Jaipur, 1999 Batman Beyond: The Movie (TV Movie), 1999 Gut Feeling, 2000 Four Dogs Playing Poker, 2002 Spider’s Web, 2003 Winter Break, 2015 Hunter, 2016 A Winter Rose, 2016 Dance Angels, 2017 Death Game, 2019 Passport to Oblivion (voice), 2021 In the Blink of an Eye
More Information: George Lazenby at IMDb, George Lazenby at Wikipedia
Many thanks to the knowledgeable Nick Murphy from the highly recommended website Forgotten Australian Actors, for his comments and suggestions of Vincent Ball, Lloyd Lamble and Allan Cuthbertson, whom I had not realised were Australian.
So, who did I forget? Make a comment and let me know. Can you now name all the actors in the picture above?
Australian Film Actors of the 1970s
Australian Film Actors of the 1980s
16 Comments Add yours
I had no idea that was Chips Rafferty’s name! No wonder he changed it! Didn’t realise Charles Tingwell was an Aussie either – I grew up loving those Miss Marple films. Brilliant information, thank you.
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John William Pilbean Goffage would have been a bit of a drawback . Pilbean is a surname, from either Ireland or England apparently, so it must have been some ancestor.
Charles Tingwell seemed like a real gentleman, both in his old movies, where he always looks dapper, speaks well and plays good guys, and in his later films in Australia where he was a nice older bloke.
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I have now added Vincent Ball, Lloyd Lamble and Allan Cuthbertson, all of whom are familiar from British films of the 50s and 60s, but whom I hadn’t realised were born in Australia. (Another reader wisely suggested them). In case you’re interested.
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Thank you – fantastic info! But…no Vincent Ball?
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Ah yes – Vincent Ball! I like him, but he totally slipped under my radar. I’ll add him to the page. I was hoping you might remember some actors I left out. Ball was an air gunner with the RAAF in England, like my father. Thanks for the suggestion. Anyone else I missed?
Well – speaking of the RAAF, there was Allan Cuthbertson, although it is interesting in that after 1947 he was not remotely thought of as Australian. Thinking of national identities, I just read Ray Barrett’s autobiography. His description of how American Rod Taylor had become by the late 60s is quite amusing.
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Thanks for that . I’ll put him in too. It’s funny about nationality. We’re so used to people coming to Australia and gradually coming to feel Australian, but it works the other way too. I remember a girlfriend from High School who went to the USA for a year on a Rotary scholarship and came back with such a strong American accent that it was rather disconcerting. Cheers.
Oh… I just remembered Lloyd Lamble too!
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Another one I wasn’t aware of. Thanks so much. Peter
Hi Nick, thanks again for your input. I have now added Vincent Ball, Lloyd Lamble and Allan Cuthbertson, whom I remember from old British films. Best regards.
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