Aussie thespian starred in 'Homicide,' 'Castle'

Actor Charles “Bud” Tingwell, best known for his work on Aussie police skein “Homicide” and breakout indie film “The Castle,” died of prostate cancer May 15 in Melbourne. He was 86.

One of the country’s most respected thesps, Tingwell’s first notable role was in the pic “Smithy” in 1945 about the Aussie aviation hero Charles Kingsford Smith. A range of local films followed before Tingwell received the call-up to Hollywood in 1952 where he starred in “The Desert Rats” with Richard Burton and James Mason. Despite being offered a contract Stateside he headed to London for over a decade — with roles in several Miss Marple films with Dame Margaret Rutherford and on stage — before he returned to Australia to act. While in the U.K. he also did voiceover work for “Thunderbirds” and “Captain Scarlet.”

Back home in the 1970s, he took a role on the small screen that would become one of his most famous, that of Inspector Reg Lawson on the popular Crawford Productions crime skein “Homicide”; one of Oz’s first police shows “Homicide” lasted five years and filmed over 100 eps. During this time, Tingwell also moved behind the camera helming eps of such Crawford hits as sudser “The Box,” “The Sullivans” and “Cop Shop” as well as pic “Wilde’s Domain.”

In the 80s he returned to film, starring in popular pics “Breaker Morant” and “Puberty Blues.”

Small TV roles characterized the next decade before a younger generation of viewers discovered Tingwell in “The Castle” from Working Dog productions, a small pic that ended up a huge hit. A string of roles followed for the vet thesp in Paul Cox’s “Innocence” as well as “The Carer,” “Jindabyne” and “Irresistible” opposite Susan Sarandon.

Around this time he also returned to the small screen in “Changi” and “Bed of Roses” for pubcaster the ABC.

He is survived by a son and a daughter.

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