You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Richard Mason

Australian doc and feature producer

Richard Mason, Australian doc and feature producer best known for early collaborations with director John Duigan and actor Bryan Brown, died in Sydney on Nov. 22 of cancer and other complications. He was 76.

Mason was born on the South Coast of N.S.W. in 1926, the son of a country parson. At 18, he joined the army and was assigned to guard Italian POWs until war’s end.

Attracted to the stage, he joined Sydney’s Mercury Theater as an actor and co-starred with Peter Finch in Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid.” But his thesp talents were modest and Finch persuaded him he had no future as an actor, and helped Mason land a job as wardrobe assistant on the feature film “Eureka Stockade” (1949).

After that job, Mason worked his way up through the industry, starting as an assistant at the Colorfilm lab. In 1950, he joined the Commonwealth Film Unit (now Film Australia), where he directed some documentaries before becoming a producer and, eventually, chief of production. In that capacity he gave work to young Aussie hopefuls, including director Peter Weir.

He produced Film Australia’s first feature, kidpic “Let the Balloon Go” (1976). In 1978, he resigned from the organization when, in an overt act of political censorship, the government stopped the production of FA’s second feature, “The Unknown Industrial Prisoner.”

Mason set himself up as a producer, and his Alfred Road Films shingle had big hits with the Bryan Brown-Judy Davis starrer “Winter of Our Dreams” (1981), directed by John Duigan, and with “Far East” (1982), also starring Brown and directed by Duigan. A third collaboration with Duigan, “One Night Stand” (1984), was less successful, however.

Retired in recent years, Mason is survived by his wife, Elaine, and a son, d.p. Steve Mason (“Strictly Ballroom”) and two daughters.

More Scene

  • The CalArts REDCAT Gala 2019 Honoring

    Pixar's Pete Docter Honored at CalArts REDCAT Gala

    Pixar’s Pete Docter reminisced about his days as a student at CalArts on Saturday night at the 2019 CalArts REDCAT Gala, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. For the wide-eyed boy from Minnesota, where life was more routine, attending CalArts “was a free-for-all. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways,” he recalled. “But [...]

  • Sasha Pieterse, Eli Brown, Sydney Park

    'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Unexpectedly Coincides With College Admissions Scandal

    It was a case of art imitating life at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of “The Perfectionists” — Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff about a scandal involving college students striving for excellence by any means necessary. The TV show’s debut was coincidently preceded by a real-life college scandal involving Hollywood celebrities who allegedly didn’t let a [...]

  • Keira Knightley'The Aftermath' film screening, Arrivals,

    Keira Knightley Talks 'Aftermath,' Alexander Skarsgård and Another Itchy Wardrobe

    The reigning queen of period pieces, Keira Knightley, knows a thing or two about historical clothing. “Lining. Lining is always important,” the Oscar-nominated actress playfully advised on Wednesday at the premiere of her post-WWII drama “Aftermath.” “If you get a lot of itchy stuff always put lining in it. I have learned that from having [...]

  • Priyanka Chopra

    Priyanka Chopra to Speak at the 2019 Women in the World Summit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Priyanka Chopra has just been added to the star-studded list of speakers at the 2019 Women in the World Summit. Chopra, who will be interviewed on stage by Women in the World founder Tina Brown, will discuss her career as an activist and entrepreneur. Recently, the “Baywatch” actress joined forces with Serena Williams in investing [...]

  • Jessica Chastain arrives at the 2019

    Jessica Chastain on Continuing to 'Balance the Scales' for Gender Parity in Hollywood

    Jessica Chastain‘s work for gender parity in Hollywood isn’t slowing down soon. “I have noticed, of course, now that it’s in fashion there are other people that are jumping on board, and honestly, I don’t care what their motives are,” Chastain tells Variety. “Because at the end of the day, the more we focus on [...]

  • 10 Latinxs to Watch

    Variety's 10 Latinxs to Watch Brunch Celebrates Diversity in the Community

    Saturday afternoon brought rising Latinx filmmakers and actors together at Variety’s 10 Latinxs to Watch brunch held in partnership with the 36th annual Miami Film Festival. The festive celebration, which took place at the JW Marquis Marriott’s Boulud Sud restaurant, featured a panel discussion moderated by Variety’s Malina Saval with the following five select individuals [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content