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Vincent Martin Ball OAM (born 4 December 1923)[1] is a retired Australian-born character actor of stage and screen, active in the industry for some 65 years firstly in Britain and then his native Australia. He is best known for film and television series, including roles in A Town Like Alice, Phar Lap, Breaker Morant, and Muriel's Wedding.

Vincent Ball
Born
Vincent Martin Ball

(1923-12-04) 4 December 1923 (age 95)
OccupationActor
Years active1949–2003, 2015
Spouse(s)Doreen Harrop (married 1949)
ChildrenChristian Ball, Johnathon Ball, Catherine Ball

Contents

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Ball was born in Wee Waa, New South Wales in 1923, to a father who worked as a linesman on the railways, With the outbreak of the Second World War, he left his job with the Australian General Electric Company and after military training in Canada became a wireless air gunner with the Royal Australian Air Force serving in Britain. After the war he returned to Australia and his old job in 1945 but soon decided to try amateur dramatics. To correct his accent which had now morphised into part Canadian, part Cockney and part Australian he sought elocution lessons - where he met (and later married) his teacher leading Sydney actress, Doreen Harrop.

Acting career in BritainEdit

He began writing letters asking for auditions. One of these was to the Rank Organisation who, impressed with his enthusiasm, gave him a job as stand in for Donald Houston in an underwater fight with an octopus in the 1949 British film The Blue Lagoon.[2] He then won a scholarship to RADA[3] from there now having relocated living in Canterbury, Kent he appeared mostly in supporting and uncredited roles in the UK for the next two and a half decades. He was a juvenile lead in Rain Before Seven, Barnett's Folly and Nitro, before moving into slightly larger parts in such as A Town Like Alice, Robbery Under Arms, and Danger Within. His television credits in Britain includes: Compact, Man in a Suitcase, The Troubleshooters, Dixon of Dock Green, and a recurring role on the long-running UK soap opera Crossroads.

Career in AustraliaEdit

Returning to Australia from 1974, he performed in a variety of cinema and television roles. He is best known for his career in Australian film and television series, including film roles in A Town Like Alice, 'Phar Lap, Breaker Morant, and Muriel's Wedding.[2] His television credits in Australian serials includes: Cop Shop, The Sullivans, The Young Doctors, The Flying Doctors, Grass Roots and All Saints. His many roles in Australian mini-series or made for television films include Against the Wind, and the epic Anzacs.

Personal lifeEdit

He first retired at the age of 80 in 2003 and lives on the NSW Central Coast town of Chittaway Point. In April 2015, at the age of 91, he came out of retirement briefly to play a Second World War veteran named Tom Knight in an episode of the Australian soap Home and Away, whom Alf Stewart (played by Ray Meagher) meets in hospital[4]

HonoursEdit

Ball was honoured with the OAM in the 2016 honours list.[5]

Selected filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/52260773. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Vincent Ball". IMDb. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Vincent Ball". www.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  4. ^ Alf not the sole veteran in Home and Away’s Anzac storyline. News.com.au, 19 April 2015. Accessed 30 April 2015
  5. ^ Collins, Terry (26 January 2016). "Australia Day 2016: Actor Vincent Ball reflects on fascinating movie career after receiving OAM honour". Central Coast Express Advocate.