Monday, May 23, 2011

Bill Hunter: 1940-2011

Australian actor Bill Hunter has died of cancer at the age of 71.  The Australian everyman made numerous film, TV and stage appearances, but perhaps his most iconic role was that of Bob, the small-town mechanic who pursues a shy romance with Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  He recently reprised the role on stage in the Australian production of Priscilla, the musical.  His other film roles included Muriel's dad in Muriel's Wedding, a judge in Strictly Ballroom, and an army major in Gallipoli.  He won the Australian Oscar three times.  He got his start in show business as a stunt man on the set of On the Beach, the 1959 Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner movie that was filmed in Hunter's home town of Melbourne.  He saw Peck do 27 takes and thought "a mug could do that."  So, he did.