Veteran actor Bill Hunter gravely ill

18 May, 2011 by Amanda Diaz

Australian screen veteran Bill Hunter is gravely ill in a Melbourne hospice with inoperable cancer.

The actor, who has appeared in some of Australia's most iconic films including Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Strictly Ballroom checked into Kew hospice two days ago.


Hunter's film and television career has spanned more than 40 years. Since one of his earliest appearances as an uncredited Guardian in Doctor Who in 1966, the actor has featured in everything from Skippy and Prisoner to Gallipoli and The Square.

He is most notable for having worked with many of Australia's great filmmakers and actors including Peter Weir, Mel Gibson, Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving, Baz Luhrmann and P.J Hogan.

A favourite of the AFI awards, Hunter has received six acting nominations, winning Best Lead Actor for his work in Police State and Newsfront as well as Best Supporting Actor for Gallipoli.  The Australian International Movie Convention named him Australian Star of the Year in 1994.

In 2001, he was awarded a centenary medal for his contribution to acting.

Most recently, Hunter voiced a character in the Zack Snyder film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole. He plays legendary horse trainer Bart Cummings in the upcoming film The Cup, which also stars Stephen Curry and Brendan Gleeson. Red Dog, in which he also features, will be released in August.

Hunter's manager Mark Morrissey could not be contacted.

Hunter at the 2008 IF Awards