Bill Hunter, the legendary Australian actor best known for his roles in 'Gallipoli' and 'Muriel's Wedding', is "gravely ill" in hospital, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Bill Hunter's friends and family have gathered at the Melbourne hospice where the actor was admitted three days ago.
Hunter, who is suffering from an inoperable form of cancer, was described as being in a "gravely ill condition" last night (17th May 2011). His manager Mark Morrissey added, "The doctors are being very, very supportive". Universally regarded as one of Australia's finest ever actors, Bill Hunter has appeared in such classic films as 'Newsfront', Strictly Ballroom', 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert', 'Gallipoli' and alongside Toni Collette in 'Muriel's Wedding'. His television work includes playing 'Ben Chiffley' in the 1984 series 'The Last Bastion' and appearing in the crime drama 'Blue Murder' in 1995. Just last year he featured in Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' acclaimed HBO mini-series 'The Pacific'. Despite his deteriorating health, Hunter recently completed two new movies which are scheduled to premiere later this year, the comedy-drama 'Red Dog' and the Australian drama 'The Cup', in which he plays the horse trainer 'Bart Cummings'.
In 2001, Bill Hunter was awarded the Centenary Medal for his services to acting. The award honours people who have made an exceptional contribution to Australian society or government.