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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.

John Bell, 1962 (printed 2006)

Jozef Vissel

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.3 cm x 30.7 cm, image: 35.4 cm x 26.9 cm)
John Bell

John Bell AO OBE (b. 1940), actor and director, is one of Australia’s best-known theatre personalities. His theatre credits include work for the Old Tote Theatre Company, all of the major state theatre companies as actor and/or director and five years in the UK with The Royal Shakespeare Company. As co-founder of the Nimrod Theatre Company in Sydney, he presented many of Australia’s premiere productions of Australian plays in the 1970s and 1980s, including several David Williamson plays and Peter Kenna’s A Hard God. Nimrod also began the evolution of an Australian Shakespeare style with successful productions of Measure For Measure, Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth. In 1990 Bell founded The Bell Shakespeare Company, which has mounted acclaimed productions of many Shakespeare plays. Bell has acted for the company in the roles of Shylock, Richard III, Macbeth, Malvolio, Coriolanus, Leontes, Prospero and King Lear. In 2002, his Richard III earned him a Helpmann Award. Designated a National Living Treasure, he has two honorary doctorates and in 2003 he received the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Cultural Leadership Award.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2006

Accession number: 2006.18

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jozef Vissel (age 27 in 1962)

John Bell AO OBE (age 22 in 1962)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Jozef Vissel (13 portraits)

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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.