Vale Chris Thomson

02 July, 2015 by Matt Day

Chris Thomson, one of the founding directors of the burgeoning New Zealand film and television industry in the 1960s, died in Sydney after a sudden stroke on July 1. He was 70.

Born in Wellington, Thomson directed the first ever drama to air on New Zealand television, A Game for 5 Players, followed by the series The Alpha Plan.


After relocating to the UK in the early 1970s, he worked as a director with the BBC before returning to Australia to direct acclaimed miniseries 1915, Waterfront and The Last Bastion and the feature films The Empty Beach, The Perfectionist and The Delinquents.

He also directed the first ever episode of A Country Practice in 1981. During his long career he worked closely with some of Australia’s finest performers and crew including Jack Thompson, Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown, Greta Scacchi, Bill Hunter, Sigrid Thornton, Kylie Minogue, Ray Barrett, Andrew McFarlane, Bill Kerr, Lorraine Bayly, Noni Hazlehurst, Chris Haywood, John Seale, Andrew Lesnie, Mac Gudgeon, Pat Lovell and John Edwards.

Chris is survived by his partner Janet Thomson, daughter Kirsty Thomson and son-in-law Matt Day, and grandsons Jackson and Rufus.

The funeral is 2pm on Friday July 10, at St John's Anglican Church, Balmain.