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Peter Allen
, 1980

by William Yang

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.9 cm x 60.7 cm, image: 27.5 cm x 40.4 cm)

Peter Allen (1944-1992) was born Peter Allen Woolnough in Tenterfield, NSW. At age 15 he joined with singer Chris Bell to form the Allen Brothers, and by 1964 was part of a successful singing trio chosen to support Judy Garland on her world tour. In 1967 he married Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli, whom he divorced three years later. In the 1970s he became a successful cabaret performer and recording artist. Among his more enduring songs are "I Go To Rio" and "I Still Call Australia Home." He also achieved success composing for other performers, co-writing such hits as Olivia Newton-John's Grammy-winning "I Honestly Love You" and Christopher Cross's "Arthur's Theme (Best That you Can Do)", which won best song at the 1981 Academy Awards. Peter Allen played his final concerts to packed houses in Sydney in January 1992, just five months before his death. He is presently being portrayed on Broadway by Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003
Accession number: 2003.120