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The National Film and Sound Archive paid tribute to one of Australia’s first great stars of radio, film, television and theatre, the iconic Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, who died in Melbourne on May 15, 2009, aged 86.

While Bud is best known as screen actor, he was also a director and producer, who worked across all media, starting his career as a radio announcer at 2CH Sydney before volunteering as a pilot in World War II.

Following the war, Bud starred in many Australian films, including early titles Always Another Dawn (1948), Who Killed Joe Barton? (1952), and the US films Kangaroo (1952) and The Desert Rats (1953) alongside Chips Rafferty, James Mason and Richard Burton. Then came the Australian made King of the Coral Sea (1953), Smiley (1956), and significantly The Shiralee (1957) which took Bud to London where he became a fixture of British film, television and theatre for nearly two decades.

"A pioneer of Australian film and television"

On his return to Australia in 1973, Bud took the lead in Homicide and was never out of work, creating some of the most memorable characters of Australian film and television, and allowed others to create their characters through his work as director and producer. Bud helmed some of Australia’s most beloved TV series including The Sullivans, Prisoner and The Flying Doctors, mentoring and inspiring generations of actors, directors, producers and technicians.

A pioneer of Australian film and television, Bud was a long time friend and supporter of the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA). A regular visitor to the NFSA office in Melbourne, Bud was always ready to share his stories with audiences and curators alike. Bud recorded extensive oral history interviews, sharing his expertise and insight with archivists and researchers and kindly lending his support to NFSA activities, attending innumerable screenings and events.”

"Bud personified the Australian character and spirit"

Chief Executive Officer of the NFSA, Dr Darryl McIntyre said: “Bud shared his personal history, his knowledge of the changing entertainment industries, stories about his peers, and his passion, and concern, for the industry, and his abiding love for Australia’s creative past.” “Bud personified the Australian character and spirit – he was hard working, resourceful and generous. His extraordinary contribution to Australian culture is unmatched.”

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues,” Dr McIntyre said.

Published May 21, 2009

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Bud Tingwell

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