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Jack Charles Jack Charles i(A71492 works by) (a.k.a. Jacky Charles)
Born: Established: 1943 Murray River, ;
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Boonwurrung / Boonerwrung / Bunurong
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Boonerung Elder, Jack Charles was born at the Cummeragunja Mission on the Murray River and was a child of the Stolen Generations. He was taken from his mother and spent many of his formative years in a Melbourne boys' homes. Charles originally believed he was a Yorta Yorta man, but later discovered he belonged to the Bunurong people. In 1971 he co-founded the first Aboriginal theatre company, Nindethana, with Bob Maza.

Charles has acted in feature films, TV series and hundreds of plays including, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Bedevil, Ben Hall and the 1972 play Bastardy, about his own life. Bastardy is also the title of the 2008 film about Charles' life by filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson.


Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Jack Charles : Born-Again Blakfella Melbourne : Viking , 2019 17022157 2019 single work autobiography

'Jack Charles has worn many hats throughout his life: actor, cat burglar, musician, heroin addict, activist, even Senior Victorian Australian of the Year. But the title he’s most proud to claim is that of Aboriginal Elder.

'Stolen from his mother and placed into institutional care when he was only a few months old, Uncle Jack was raised under the government’s White Australia Policy. The loneliness and isolation he experienced during those years had a devastating impact on him that endured long after he reconnected with his Aboriginal roots and discovered his stolen identity. Even today he feels like an outsider; a loner; a fringe dweller. 

'In this honest and no-holds-barred memoir, Uncle Jack reveals the ‘ups and downs of this crazy, drugged up, locked up, fucked up, and at times unbelievable, life’. From his sideline as a cat burglar, battles with drug addiction and stints in prison, to gracing the nation’s stages and screens as he dazzled audiences with his big personality and acting prowess, he takes us through the most formative moments of his life.

'By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella is a candid and uplifting memoir from one of Australia’s finest and most beloved actors. (Publication summary)

2020 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Biography of the Year
Last amended 12 Feb 2020 08:03:17
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