Born: Established: 8 Jul 1945 Melbourne Victoria ;
Actor, writer, director.
Having worked almost continuously in Australian entertainment since the late 1960s Graeme Blundell's credits are extensive. He has also during that time been associated with a number of seminal moments in both the theatre and film industries, particularly during the resurgence of in the Australian entertainment industry in the 1970s.
Raised for most of his childhood in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill, Blundell received his secondary education at Merrilands High School, where he became a head prefect and School Captain. While studying at Melbourne University he became involved with student theatre as an actor and director and contributed reviews as a theatre critic for Fariago. At one stage he also became President of the Melbourne University Student Theatre (MUST). Blundell started working as an actor professionally in 1967, appearing in many productions for the Melbourne Theatre Company. He was also one of the founders and initial directors for the Australian Performing Group (APG) which had its start at the La Mama theatre before venturing to the Pram Factory. He later co-founded the Melbourne theatre group, Hoopla, and was co-executive director of the Playbox. Since then he has acted as Associate Director for the melbourne Theatre Company (MTC), as Artistic Director for the Australian Playwrights' Conference and as Artistic Director for Kinsella's in Sydney.
Among his acting credits, film, theatre and television are lead roles in the three Alvin Purple films - Alvin Purple (1973), Alvin Rides Again (1974), and Melvin, Son of Alvin (1984). He also gained much critical acclaim for his role as Simon in the film adaptaion of David Willismson's play Don's Party. Other film credits include: Two Thousand Weeks (1969), The Naked Bunyip (1970), Stork (1971), Mad Dog Morgan (1976), Weekend in the Shadows (1977), The Odd Angry Shot (1978), Kostas (1978), Pacific Banana (1980), The Best of Friends (1981), Doctors and Nurses (1981), Midnight Spares (1982, Australian Dream (1985), Those Dear Departed (1986), and The Year My Voice Broke (1987). Blundell has also appeared in many premiere productions of plays by dramatists such as David Williamson, Jack Hibberd, Dorothy Hewett, Barry Oakley and Alma de Groen. Blundell has also provided numerous voice-overs for television commercials.
A prolific journalist and author he has authored biographies on artist Brett Whitely and television legenf Graham Kennedy. He is also well-known as a review writer for the the Australian and other papers including the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun Herald, the Australian Women's Weekly and Luxury Travel. Among his other publications is Theatre in Australia (1997), an anthology of theatrical anecdotes.
In 1985 Blundell collaborated with composer George Dreydus on a musical adaption of C. J. Dennis' The Sentimental Bloke. Interestingly he had appeared in the lead role of Bill ('the bloke') for the ABC's adaptation of Albert Arlan's musical version almost a decade earlier (1976). Written by Alan Burke, with musical arrangements by Brian May, this television special was a star vehicle for Blundell, enabling him to show off his considerable talents as a singer and dancer. The Blundell/Dreyfus version has been produced a number of times around Australia since it debuted. Blundell's other music theatre creations include several collaborations with Bob Hudson - Stop! In The Name of Love and One For The Money both produced in the mid-to-late 1980s, and It Ain't Necessarily Rowe (1989), a biographical expose about (and performed by) Australian pop/rock icon, Normie Rowe.