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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.

Study for portrait of Bob Ellis, 1999

David Naseby

charcoal on paper

Bob Ellis (b. 1942) is a journalist, columnist, screenwriter, film director and playwright. His screenwriting credits, Newsfront, Goodbye Paradise, Maybe This Time, Fatty Finn, Top Kid and The Paper Boy all won major prizes, as did his collaborations with Paul Cox, Man of Flowers and My First Wife. For the stage, he collaborated with Michael Boddy on The Legend of King O'Malley. Ellis was answerable for the sensational 'Abbott and Costello' defamation case in March 1999. Finding assertions made in a short passage of his 1997 book Goodbye Jerusalem: Night Thoughts of a Labor Outsider false and defamatory, the judge ruled that his publisher pay compensation of $277 500 to Liberal politicians Peter Costello and Tony Abbott and their wives. Ellis capped the annus horribilus of 1999 with a farcical paternity dispute.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of David Naseby 2001

Accession number: 2001.14

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

David Naseby (age 62 in 1999)

Bob Ellis (age 57 in 1999)

Donated by

David Naseby (4 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

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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.

Bob Ellis, 1999 David Naseby
Bob Ellis, 1999 David Naseby
Bob Ellis, 1999 David Naseby
Bob Ellis, 1999 David Naseby

Tribute

Bob Ellis

Magazine article, 2016

Bob Ellis (1942–2016) was a journalist, columnist, screenwriter, film director, playwright, speechwriter and critic.

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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.