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Aussie thesp Richard Morgan died in Melbourne on December 23 from motor neuron disease. He was 48.

After a few bit parts on television series such as cop skein “Homicide,” Morgan landed his signature role as son Terry Sullivan in period sudser “The Sullivans” in 1976. Just 18 years old, the young thesp soon became a national favorite and the role led to string of film roles including boffo racing pic “Phar Lap” and “Silver City.”

In 1987, he made a return to sudsers with a role in “A Country Practice” and followed it with a turn in “Home and Away.”

Morgan left acting in 1990 to start a successful computer business. But his break with the profession did not last and he sold the business in 2000 and returned to the screen.

Despite a 10 year absence Morgan had no difficulty finding roles in quality dramas “Blue Heelers” and “MDA” and in 2004 he took the recurring role of Detective Reg Masters in cop skein “Stingers.” This was to prove his last role as he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2005 and he spoke publicly about the disease in June this year with pubcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and announcing he would act no more.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two daughters.