Two Aussie Screen Stars Pass Away

Actress Michele Fawdon and actor Bill Hunter have both recently passed away, leaving behind a legacy of fine Australian work.


Star of the Australian stage and screen, Michele Fawdon, has passed away this morning. Born in Essex, Fawdon began acting when she was just 12, and moved to Australia early in her career.

She worked extensively with the Sydney Theatre Company and earned several awards for her screen work. In 1979, she won the Best Actress AFI for her role in Cathy's Child, as a single mother in Sydney whose daughter is kidnapped by her father and taken back to Greece. Based on a true story, Cathy discovers that the authorities can do little to help her and she turns to the media for help.

In 1987, she won another AFI for her performance in the telefeature, The Fish Are Safe and was also nominated for the 1985 comedy Unfinished Business, which saw the actress play a woman desperate to have a child.

Other film roles for Fawdon include the 1971 film Stockade, the 1981 drama ...Maybe This Time, the 1987 comedy Travelling North, and the excellent political telemovie Bastard Boys.  

Fawdon also starred in a handful of local television shows including A Country Practice, All Saints, Stingers, Blue Heelers and was most recently seen on our screens in the crime series Killing Time.

Another one of Australia's favourite actors, Bill Hunter, has also passed away. The actor lost his battle with cancer on May 21, aged 71. Beginning his career on the small screen in the 1960s, Hunter's resume of work reads like a history of Australian film and television.

Hunter's fine list of screen credits include his AFI winning role as Len Maguire in the 1978 drama Newsfront, as an Australian officer in Peter Weir's Gallipoli, the meddling ballroom federation president Barry Fife in Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom, as then-newcomer Toni Collette's father in Muriel's Wedding and as an outback mechanic in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert.

Hunter's television work included regular roles in a slew of iconic Aussie shows including Homicide, Prisoner, Matlock Police and SeaChange.

More recently, Hunter worked on Luhrmann's Australia, the television series The Pacific, Amanda Jane's quirky drama The Wedding Party, Kriv Stenders' upcoming family film Red Dog and the upcoming drama about the 2002 Melbourne Cup horse race, The Cup.

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