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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.

Bill Hunter, 1974

Janet Dawson

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

Bill Hunter , 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

Accession number: 2011.112

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Janet Dawson (age 39 in 1974)

Bill Hunter (age 34 in 1974)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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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.