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George Whaley George Whaley i(A15678 works by)
Born: Established: 19 Jun 1934 ; Died: Ceased: 6 Aug 2019
Gender: Male
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BiographyHistory

Actor, director, writer, educator, administrator.

During his long and distinguished career, George Whaley worked with all the major Australian theatre companies, collaborated with many leading practitioners in both theatre and film, and served in executive positions with several high profile theatre and film teaching institutions.

Born in Castlemaine, Victoria, Whaley started his working life as a mechanical engineer before turning to acting in the late 1950s. In 1962, he co-founded the Emerald Hill Theatre company with Wal Cherry and the following year began his association with television, appearing in the television movies Night Stop and A Piece of Ribbon. The 1960s also saw him cast in the telemovies Luther and On Arrival (both 1964), The Winds of Green Monday (1965), and in the series Consider Your Verdict (1962-1966), Homicide (1966), Jimmy (1966), and Hey You (1967).

In 1971, Whaley appeared in Tim Burstall's short The Hot Centre of the World and in the film adaptation of David Williamson's play Stork. Two years later he featured in Burstall's infamous Alvin Purple (1973), and over the course of the decade found employment in the television series Matlock Police (1976) while also continuing to work in the theatre. In 1979, Whaley adapted several 'Steele Rudd' stories into the much acclaimed Dad and Dave stage show On Our Selection. This production later toured throughout Australia, and has since been revised on numerous occasions around the country.

Whaley's film and television credits as an actor in the 1980s include Bellamy (1981), Bodyline (1984), and Bliss (1985). He also directed two mini-series in 1987: The Harp in the South and Poor Man's Orange.

In 1991, following the discovery of more Steele Rudd scripts by academic Richard Fotheringham in the late 1980s, Whaley adapted The Old Selection (which had previously never been performed), and presented it under the auspices of the Melbourne Theatre Company as The Selection. Containing a larger musical input than its predecessor (with songs written by Peter Best), the play again attracted much acclaim. In 1995, Whaley was again involved with Dad and Dave, providing the screenplay and direction for a cinematic version of On Our Selection. Despite the film's stellar cast, including such well-known actors and singers as Joan Sutherland, Leo McKern, Geoffrey Rush, Ray Barrett and Noah Taylor, the film did less well than expected. His directorial engagements during the 1990s also included the television movies More Winners: Mr Edmund (1990), Clowning Around (1992), and Clowning Around 2 (1993).

In the mid-1990s, following on from his position as Head of Acting at the National Institute for the Dramatic Arts (NIDA), Whaley became directing consultant for the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), and later Head of Directing. he remained in this position until 2002. Among other career highlights, Whaley co-founded Theatre ACT (Canberra), was founding Director of University Theatre at Melbourne University, and Resident Director at the Old Tote in Sydney.

From 1990 Whaley continued to act, making guest appearances in such television series and tele movies as The Flying Doctors (1990), The Ring of Scorpio (1991), A Country Practice (1992), Bligh (1992), G. P. (1993), Stark (1993 ), Mother and Son (1994), The Tower (197), All Saints (2008), Dirt Game (2009) and The Gods of Wheat Street (2014). His feature film credits as an actor during this period include The Crossing (1990), Turtle Beach and The Girl Who Came Late (both 1992).

Whaley died in August 2019.

Most Referenced Works

Last amended 12 Aug 2019 09:25:21
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