Ken Hannam

Ken Hannam (12 July 1929 – 16 November 2004) was an Australian film and television director.[1]

Ken Hannam
Born(1929-07-12)12 July 1929
Melbourne, Australia
Died16 November 2004(2004-11-16) (aged 75)
London, England
OccupationFilm and television director
Years active1963–2001


Born in St Kilda,[2] Melbourne, the eldest of three boys, Hannam lived in his youth in Sydney and was educated at Wollaroi College[2] in Orange, New South Wales. He worked in Australian radio, theatre and television.

He started in radio when 15 years of age. He was an announcer at 2SM. He appeared in theatre as an actor, and appeared in the first Philip Street Revue.[3]

In 1957 he took over the TV show Captain Fortune.[4]

In 1968 he moved to England. He worked in English television, and returned to direct Australian feature films.[5]

Feature FilmsEdit

His first feature Sunday Too Far Away (1975) marked the emergence of an internationally recognised Australian film industry. He went on to direct Summerfield (1977) and other films. His 1979 film Dawn! was entered into the 11th Moscow International Film Festival.[6]

In 1977 he said "I don't think I enjoy being a director in a way."[7] The following year he did an interview where he criticised the state of Australian filmmaking and admitted "When I see a rough cut of a film I've done I'm usually sucidal." He called Australian television "glossy pap" and said "I think Australian actors generally are just full of superficial tricks."[8]

Hannam died of cancer aged 75 on 16 November 2004 in London.[9] He was survived by his three wives, two brothers, two children and three grandchildren.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

He married his first wife Lena Melocco in 1958; their daughter Vicki was born in 1960. His second wife was Wendy Dickson, his art director on Break of Day, whom he married in 1968. They divorced in 1985. His third wife was Madlena, a Nicaraguan; they married in 1990, and adopted a son, Christopher.[2]


Feature films directedEdit

TV workEdit


  • One Way Pendulum (1962) - actor
  • The Dock Brief (1964) - AMP Theatre, Sydney - director
  • The Sponge Room (1964) - AMP Theatre, Sydney - director
  • Something Unspoken (1965) - AMP Theatre, Sydney - director
  • A Scent of Flowers by James Saunders (1968) - Independent - director


  1. ^ Ken Hannam on IMDb
  2. ^ a b c d Anthony Buckley, obituary: "A leader in the renaissance of Australia's film industry", The Age, 2 December 2004, p. 9
  3. ^ "Fortune's Appeal is Wider". Sydney Morning Herald. 25 November 1957. p. 18.
  4. ^ "Television News". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 November 1957. p. 10.
  5. ^ David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p96-98
  6. ^ "11th Moscow International Film Festival (1979)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Summerfield yields poor memories for Hannam". Sydney Morning Herald. 29 September 1977. p. 15.
  8. ^ McIntosh, Philip (21 January 1978). "Terrified but Ken's hooked on the reel". The Age. p. 24.
  9. ^ Peter Yeldham (9 December 2004). "Obituary: Ken Hannam". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  10. ^ "Macbeth in Camera". Sydney Morning Herald. 2 November 1964. p. 16.


  • Murray, Scott, ed. (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin/AFC. p. 324. ISBN 1-86373-311-6.