Veteran Australian actor Bud Tingwell dies at 86

Fri May 15, 2009 11:06am EDT
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Actor Charles "Bud" Tingwell, who starred in more than 100 films and television programs in his native Australia and in Britain, has died aged 86, his family said on Friday.

Tingwell, whose career spans some 60 years, died in a Melbourne hospital with his daughter Virginia and son Christopher at his bedside. A statement on his website said he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and took ill two weeks ago.

"Right up to his death he had been in good health and still working," said the statement.

"Tributes have begun flooding in from film and television industry giants from around the world eulogizing his illustrious career, his humility, his gentle and caring manner and his enormous talent."

Tingwell entered the film industry after serving as a pilot with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two.

He was best known for his roles in the film "Breaker Morant," the Miss Marple "Murder" movies with Dame Margaret Rutherford, and, more recently "The Castle," TV shows "Homicide," Britain's "Emergency Ward 10" and the Australian soap opera "Neighbours."

In 1952, he was invited to Hollywood, where he played Lt. Carstairs in "The Desert Rats" with Richard Burton, James Mason and Chips Rafferty, but he declined a contract to stay in the United States and returned to work in Australia and Britain.

In recent years he started his own blog with the tagline: "Never too old to blog."

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)