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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Googie Withers, 1962

Don Bachardy

pen and ink, brush and ink on paper (sheet: 73.8 cm x 58.5 cm)

Georgette Lizette (Googie) Withers AO (1917–2011), stage, film and television actor, was born in India and studied drama at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London. Her first major screen role in The Girl in the Crowd (1935) was followed by appearances in a string of comedies, as well as serious dramatic roles in films such as the Hitchcock thriller The Lady Vanishes (1938) and One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942), in which she played a Dutch resistance fighter. She appeared with the Australian actor John McCallum in It Always Rains on Sunday (1947); they married in 1948. Based in Sydney from the late 1950s she continued he career in both Australia and Britain, becoming one of the era’s finest dramatic and comedy actors and appearing in over 60 films and numerous stage productions. She appeared in Shine (1996) as a mentor to the troubled teenaged David Helfgott, and in stage revivals such as Lady Windermere’s Fan (2001). She was first non-Australian woman to be made an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999

Accession number: 1999.21

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Don Bachardy (age 28 in 1962)

Googie Withers AO (age 45 in 1962)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related portraits

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Self-Portrait, 1981 by Don Bachardy
Self-Portrait, 1981 by Don Bachardy
Self-Portrait, 1981 by Don Bachardy
Self-Portrait, 1981 by Don Bachardy

Drawing inspiration

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2017

Christopher Chapman absorbs the gentle touch of Don Bachardy’s portraiture.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.