Bill Hunter (file photo).
Bill Hunter (file photo). Contributed

Hunter recalled as one of locals

“IT wasn't like he was a famous actor when he was here; he was just like one of the locals having a few beers.”

This was how Harwood Hotel publican Alan “Tutty” Tutt described iconic Australian actor, and former customer, Bill Hunter, following Mr Hunter's death on Saturday night.

He said Mr Hunter enjoyed a quiet VB or two at the “Harwood Hilton” in 2005 and 2006 when he would come to the Clarence to escape the rat race and stay at his Tullymorgan farm with former wife, renowned actress, and journalist Rhoda Roberts.

Mr Hunter, who was 71, died in a Melbourne Hospice after battling inoperable cancer.

Ms Roberts, who knew Mr Hunter was close to death, said on Sunday after he died she reminisced about the decade she spent with him.

“When you are with someone for a decade they are family and you don't forget that,” she said.

“It's very sad. I spent most of the weekend laughing, crying, telling stories and reminiscing with the family,” she said.

“He had been ill and we knew it was going to happen so I guess we just prepared ourselves for the inevitable.

Despite dealing with her grief, Ms Roberts said she was extremely grateful of the time she spent with Mr Hunter.

“What a privilege that I was one of the very lucky Australians who actually got to know this man to his deepest core and spend a period of time in his life,” she said.

“This type of death makes you look at things quite differently in life ... you appreciate what you have got.”

Mr Tutt said he was overcome by a sense of grief on Sunday when he heard of Mr Hunter's passing.

“I thought it was the end of another icon,” he said.

“We lost Lionel Rose the week before and Bill was another great Aussie and we just lost him ... it's terrible.”

Mr Hunter began his acting career in television in the 1960s.

He went on to star in more than 100 roles in TV and movies.

Most people would remember Mr Hunter in movies including Gallipoli, Strictly Ballroom and Muriel's Wedding.

Mr Hunter and Ms Roberts divorced in 1999 after six years of marriage.

Filmography Films

  • Gallipoli
  • Strictly Ballroom
  • Muriel’s Wedding
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert
  • Crackerjack
  • Kangaroo Jack
  • Mad Dog Morgan
  • Newsfront
  • Australia
  • The Square
  • The Wedding Party
  • The Cup
  • The Pacific (TV)
  • Stingers (TV)
  • White Collar Blue (TV)
  • All Saints (TV)
  • Seachange (TV)
  • Minder (TV)
  • Police Rescue (TV)
  • The Flying Doctors (TV)
  • Eureka Stockade (TV)
  • Prisoner (TV)
  • Homicide (TV)
  • Division 4 (TV)
  • Dynasty (TV)
  • Doctor Who (TV)

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