Australian actor Bill Hunter dies
Published 22/05/2011 | 05:28
Bill Hunter, the archetypal working class Australian of a multitude of movies including the quirky trio Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Strictly Ballroom, has died of cancer aged 71.
Manager Mark Morrissey said Hunter died on Saturday night surrounded by family and friends in a Melbourne hospice where he was admitted on Monday.
Colleagues who had recently worked with him said they were surprised he had been ill.
The prolific star of Australian movie and television screens with a distinctively broad and gravelly accent and an authoritative no-nonsense style remained an actor in demand until the end.
He recently narrated a two-part television documentary about the floods and cyclone that became Australia's most expensive natural disasters early this year.
He plays the legendary Australian racehorse trainer Bart Cummings and a cameo role in two Australian movies to be screened later this year.
Director Baz Luhrmann described Hunter in a statement last week as "the go-to iconic actor to synthesise quintessential Australian-ness".