Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Australian actor-writer-director Bille Brown, who performed on Broadway and the West End and in the films Killer Elite, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader and Fierce Creatures, died Sunday in a Brisbane hospital. He was 61 and had been battling bowel cancer. William “Bille” Brown began his career in the early 1970s at the Queensland Theater Company with Geoffrey Rush, among others. In 1976 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and appeared in productions at London’s Aldwych and Haymarket Theaters and with the Chichester Festival Theater and English National Opera. He had two further engagements with the RSC, from 1986–88 and 1994–96. He was an artist-in-residence at the State University of New York in 1982 and made his Broadway debut in 1986 in Michael Frayn’s Wild Honey with Ian McKellen. He returned to Australia to live permanently in 1996. His Australian film credits include The Dish, Oscar And Lucinda, Dirty Deeds and The Man Who Sued God and he appeared in the TV shows Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Rake, Wild Boys, The Hollowmen and White Collar Blue. His writing credits include the plays Bill And Mary, Springle and The Swan Down Cloves and the pantomime Aladdin for the Old Vic, which starred Ian McKellen. In 2009 he was named best male actor in a musical for his role as King Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Helpmann awards, Australia’s Tonys. His final screen credit was in Roland Joffe’s troubled film Singularity.
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