CLASSIC REPEATS! Michael Pate, Aussie actor, had an international role

VICTORY! HERE’S JOHN WAYNE ON THE DECK AND VITTORIA (MICHAEL PATE, RIGHT) STANDING OVER HIM. IT EASY TO SEE WHO HAS THE UPPER HAND!

He played everything from the Sons of Matthew to the Indian chief Vittoria in the movie Hondo.

FRANK MORRIS

Questions to Michael Pate by Karen Nixon.

Michael Pate started his professional career writing and broadcasting for the ABC and commercial radio in 1938.  From 1946, after his return from World War II, he starred in radio plays and serials; he also got a call to do major films and these include Forty Thousand Horsemen, Sons of Matthew and Bitter Springs.

Later, in the 50s, Pate went to Hollywood to do Bonaventure (released as Thunder on the Hill) and over 50 feature films and more than 300 TV shows as guest-star.

In 1970, he starred in Matlock Police and Power without Glory; and produced the films, the Mango Tree and Colleen McCullough’s Tim, which he adapted and directed, winning the Australia Writers Guild award for the Best screenplay.

From 1982 he starred in the film The Return of Captain Invincible and two plays, one with his son Christopher; and the other, The Wild Duck, featuring Liv Ullman.

WORKING TIL THE END

Pate was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1990.

Actor, writer and director, Michael Pate had died September 1, 2008.  He was 88.

He was working on a film script before he died and it was likely his son would finish off his father’s work.

You have done some amazing work, which would you say was most memorable?

In radio it would be The Eagle has Two Heads, in theatre, I would say Dark of the Moon and in film Sons of Matthew.  As for the best parts, the best part was definitely the role of Vittoria, the Indian, in the movie Hondo.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

In acting I was influenced by Spencer Tracy and by Paul Newman’s work.  Cagney was very good but overall I found Olivier with a meticulous approach to his craft my greatest inspiration.

You have had a challenging and exciting life, do you have any regrets?

No, I haven’t regrets about my professional life.  I started fairly early doing things of an amateur sense at school and then got my start professionally with a break during the war, but that time wasn’t wasted when you are defending your country.

The only thing I would say is a shame, is that older people are ignored not adored.  The problem is that there aren’t many acting roles for older folk and I honestly feel that the older actors could be utilised to master classes in our craft.

DOCUMENTARY NARRATION

I think that it would be wonderful to be able to share the great experiences and skills.  That way they are not lost and the community and industry could all benefit.  That would be my only regret, a personal regret only.

What made you decide to live here on the Central Coast?

In the later stages of my career, I was starting to do more narration and documentary roles.  We were living in Bellevue Hill and thought we could get an apartment in the city from the sale of Bellevue Hill, even a small place on the Central Coast – and I'd just live between the two places.

My wife and I both enjoy fishing and we both like the ocean.  Basically I’ve always visited the Central Coast, even as a boy I would visit Woy Woy to fish and prawn with my uncle.

During the 1920s with my father we all used to come to the coast.  We would pitch a tent and stay for the weekend, even at The Entrance.

Now since settling here and being basically retired I still get offers of work but tell my agent that if they want me they can come up here to me, as I hate the city and absolutely adore living here.  I have done more writing up here than anywhere else over the last ten years, as it is so peaceful and quiet.

<< Michael Pate Interview on intranet.

Pictures. Ready for anything. Playing the role of an officious cowboy. In full cry. In a role that has meat on all sides.


HAIL TO THE CHAMP: BRUCE FARTHING WILL NOT ONLY BE A CHAMP, BUT A TRUE CHAMPION WE WELL.

CLASSIC REPEATS: THE CHAMPS! BRUCE COMES UP A TRUE CHAMP

FRANK MORRIS

Once a champ, always a champ. Isn’t that how the adage goes? When it comes to Bruce Farthing it doesn’t matter. For Bruce Farthing will always be a champ.

If you’re not a fight fan you’ll probably be thinking “who is Bruce Farthing?”

Apart from being a good bloke he’s also the fighting brains behind some of Australia’s Olympic hopefuls. Just  recently, in 1983, he took a team to Rome and did moderately well. He returned from Taiwan and Bangkok with a bagful of gold medals.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke was moved to say that these major contests wins “have brought Australia in from the wilderness in yet another area.”

There’s not a fight fan alive who doesn’t recall Bruce Farthing as he as back in the halcyon days of the fight game. That was nearly 30 years ago. And, like all the champs before and after him, he is still remembered.

In 1950, he won the NSW amateur middleweight championship. The following year, he was picked to go to Christchurch with the Australian team for the Empire Games. But a hand injury put paid to that.

Then Bruce turned professional; and he mixed leather with some of the best belters in the business. At one stage it was mooted that he would be given a crack at the veteran Archie Moore for a world title fight. Yes – Bruce Farthing was that good.

In his “overnight” rise to fame he disposed of ex-Australian middleweight champ Carlo Marcini, Alf Webb and Chappie Godfrey. He also made a clean sweep of the New Zealand and South Pacific light heavyweight division.

He decked the “Tongan Terror” Johnny Halafihi and picked up almost $2000 for his trouble.

Yes, Bruce Farthing is alive and well. And he still a champ. – Frank Morris.

<< I wrote this syndicated article in 1984. Bruce Farthing was born in 1931. He passed away in 2014 aged 83.

Pictures: When two’s a crowd. Carlo Marchini met his match in Farthing.


CLASSIC REPEATS: MEMORY & EPILEPSY CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON A PERSON’S LIFE

The racing fraternity had been stunned since champion jockey Nathan Berry passed away from Norse syndrome, an acute form of epilepsy.

FRANK MORRIS

Dr Rubina Alpitsis, Senior Neuropsychologist, in Melbourne, said some people with epilepsy will “experience changes to memory, thinking, behaviour and personality.” Dr Alpitsis said “epilepsy can disrupt the normal activity of the brain – a complex and sophisticated organ.”

She said “different abilities can affected, depending on the type of seizure a person has and where it occurs in the brain.”

“But the most common complaints concern the effect of epilepsy on memory and understanding these effects can help us identify strategies for remembering.”

What do we look for?

The ability to “solve complex problems” occurs in the front part of the brain, or the frontal lobe. “While the area that impacts memory – our ability to learn, consolidate and store new information – is in the middle, or medial temporal lobe.”

STRENGTH THROUGH SHARING: What is it like living with epilepsy?

Alpitsis said that changes in memory and thinking can occur before, during or after seizures and can be temporary or long term. “A number of additional factors can contribute to changes. You have your medications but also frustration, depression or anxiety.”

Anne and Graeme Woods support each other. They even went to an Epilepsy Action forum together and both said it was a pleasant feeling. “It was just good to unload your feelings, how to cope with your epilepsy,” says Anne.

As a child, Anne began having absence seizures but wasn’t diagnosed with epilepsy until her 20s. “I used to get into trouble at school for daydreaming.”

I DON'T DWELL ON MY CONDITION

Now in her early 40s, Anne, had three tonic clonic seizures in her sleep. Graeme, a horticulturalist with the local council, said “we’re both very supportive.” For Graeme, those times have been all too frequent.

He had his first tonic clonic seizures hit when he got encephalitis as a result of measles at age four. Being assaulted with complex partial seizures like that had him bundled into a police paddy wagon on suspicion of drug and alcohol intoxication.

Then, in 1997, five years after temporal lobectomy surgery successfully treated his epilepsy, a fever contacted from mosquito bites, led to his nocturnal seizures. Despite all this, Graeme continues to focus on a positive outlook on life. “I don’t dwell on my condition.”

The couple donate support services for people with epilepsy. “The more the public are aware, the more it breaks down the stigma,” says Anne.

<< From Epilepsy 360 magazine.

Pictures: Deadly. Not many people know the epilepsy part of the disease can be fatal.


THINK ABOUT IT! SPIRIT THE CAT AND A TASMANIAN TIGER GO HUNTING TOGETHER

DAILY DOUBLE: ONE GROWLS AND THE OTHER ONE STARES!

FRANK MORRIS                                                                                                        

The Gold Coast has a strange looking couple! And one of them in Spirit the Cat. My son, Antony, bought an iron sculpture of a Tasmania Tiger specifically for a spot in his garden. 

He looked around the mini-backyard, which has the focal point of a lights-all-a blazing swimming pool, and which reaches down to a graphic altar scene at the end of the pool -- an attractive Chinese lady truncated on a bed of rock. Pretty good, ah!

HE POISED TO POUNCE

He came on one spot he thought looked terrific! He plonked the Tasmanian Tiger down. He did a-mucking and a-raking and eventually the Tiger look poised to pounce. But who should be watching all the palaver but Spirit the Cat. Spirit decided to creep beside him. He didn’t move. He moved to the side of him. He didn’t move.                                                                                                                

So Spirit the Cat and Tasmanian Tiger go hunting all the time, now! And there’s not a growl from either of them. Never.

Frank Morris comments: Scientists say the Thylacine – or the Tasmanian Tiger – vanished in Tasmania in 1936. It roamed the Australian mainland for about 2000 years.

Pictures: Vanished. It was a familiar sight on the Australian mainland for 2000 years, then disappeared in 1936.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 02 June 17

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