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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Bill Hunter

1974
Janet Dawson

charcoal on paper (sheet: 69.5 cm x 50.5 cm)

Bill Hunter (1940-2011), actor, spent five decades on Australian television and cinema screens. Hunter was in such classic Australian films as Ned Kelly (1970) Stone (1974) Mad Dog Morgan (1976) Newsfront (1978) Gallipoli (1981) Strictly Ballroom (1993) The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1993) Muriel's Wedding (1994) The Road to Nhill (1987) Crackerjack (2002) and Red Dog (2011). He died with a tally of three Best Actor and one Best Supporting Actor AFI awards, as work was being completed on The Cup (2011) in which he played Bart Cummings. Typecast as a gruff, straight-talking 'bloke', Hunter maintained the persona off-screen, claiming that acting was little more than putting on a costume, posing according to the director's instructions, and delivering a scripted line. Upon his death, Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid tribute to the actor, saying that he 'told us Australian stories in an Australian voice at a time when we were debating and developing our sense of national identity.'

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011
© Janet Dawson/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Janet Dawson (age 39 in 1974)

Bill Hunter (age 34 in 1974)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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.

Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961

Figurative foundation

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Joanna Gilmour explores the life and art of the Australian artist Janet Dawson.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency