Before coming to Australia I didn't really know much about its films or actors. There were some I was acquainted with due to the simple fact that I was a bit of a film buff, and I don't mean the obvious films like Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee, but like Malcom or Strictly Ballroom. Ballroom was first a put off for me, because I thought it was going to be yet another dance movie, still riding on the coattails of Dirty Dancing, but a good friend recommended it so highly that I had to watch it just to get her off my back. I'm glad that I did, because I fell in love with the movie and the Aussie accent.
The story was very tongue and cheek and borderline bizarre, but I adored it. All the actors were very much over the top in their acting (except the 'Romeo and Juliet' couple), but the actor who stood out for me was Bill Hunter. He was loud, crass, manipulative, fat and wore a very bad rug. His 'extreme personality' emblazoned itself permanently in my memory.
I began seeing him everywhere after that first 'encounter'. I loved to hate him in Muriel's Wedding. I found a soft spot for him after experiencing Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and hardly recognized him in Finding Nemo (he was the dentist).
When I moved to Melbourne I began to immerse myself into the Arts scene due to my job at ArtsHub, and always secretly hoped that I'd run into Bill Hunter along the way somewhere... at a movie premiere or theater function... or at a pub, since he frequented them quite fondly. I didn't have this luck, but... at least I was living in the same city as he... until...
Actor Bill Hunter passed away last weekend the 21st of May, due to cancer. He will be remembered fondly by so many who knew him personally, and by such like myself who only knew him through his acting. He was the stereotypical 'Aussie bloke', and loved because of this no-nonsense sort of demeanor and earthiness about him. RIP