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Bill Hunter, great Australian character actor, has died…

If you have seen Gallipoli, Muriel’s Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla – Queen of the Desert, Strictly Ballroom or any of the many major Australian movies that have taken to our American screens, then you have seen Bill Hunter, whose over 50 year career made him the actor that represented Australia to many.

Hunter began as a stunt man in 1959 in the American film On The Beach that was filmed in Australia. Rumor has it that, “when he watched Gregory Peck do 27 takes and thought, ‘A mug could do that’”,  according to Rhoda Roberts, Mr. Hunter’s former wife, in The Daily Telegraph of Sydney, he decided to become an actor.

When cinema-goers asked, “Haven’t I seen that bloke in something before?”, the answer with the Australian actor Bill Hunter was almost invariably, “Yes”.

– Nick Bryant, Sydney Correspondent for the BBC.

Director Baz Luhrmann described Mr. Hunter in a statement last week as “the go-to iconic actor to synthesize quintessential Australian-ness.” Children knew him as as the voice of the dentist who captured the clown fish star of the hit 2003 animated feature Finding Nemo.

Hunter was 71 and died of cancer.