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Bert Newton
, 2006

by Robin Sellick

inkjet print (sheet: 57.6 cm x 63.5 cm, image: 41.3 cm x 48.5 cm)

Bert Newton AM MBE (b. 1938) is one of Australia’s longest-serving and best-known media personalities. Having rejected the idea of joining the priesthood, he began work on Melbourne radio in 1952. In the earliest years of television, he hosted a daytime show before making his debut as straight-guy to Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight, which was the most popular program on the fledgling medium. When Kennedy left the station, Newton remained the sidekick to US import Don Lane, who gave him his tenacious nickname, ‘Moonface’. With the demise of The Don Lane Show Newton hosted Ford Superquiz; New Faces – co-hosted with his cheery wife, Patti - and Tonight with Bert Newton. In 1992 he moved into daytime television with Good Morning Australia, a continuing success for Channel 10 until late 2005. Subsequently, he hosted Bert’s Family Feud and 20 to 1 on Channel 9. Newton hosted the Logies nearly twenty times and won the Gold Logie himself four times. The documentary Channel Nine Salutes Bert Newton was broadcast in 2004, and on Nine’s special 50 Years 50 Stars in 2006, Newton was voted the number-one Australian television star of the past five decades. Having appeared for three years in the stage show Wicked, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2012, but bounced back onto the boards in 2013-2014, playing DJ Vince Fontaine in a lavish touring production of Grease.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2006
Accession number: 2006.89