Actor and comedian Bill Kerr
Actor and comedian Bill Kerr

Aussie actor, comedian Bill Kerr dead at 92

AUSTRALIAN actor and comedian Bill Kerr has died aged 92.

The South African-born performer grew up in New South Wales, Australia, but moved to Britain in the late Forties where he became star of British radio.

He appeared on Hancock's Half Hour, a BBC radio comedy starring Tony Hancock, before venturing into television and film.

Dubbed "the boy from Wagga Wagga" on British radio, Kerr was "one of Australia's key expatriate performers," Wagga Wagga's Museum of the Riverina says.

His nickname "struck an instant chord with the post-war British audience, who thought of 'Wagga Wagga' as a comically surreal, end of the earth, magical place somewhere left of Narnia."

His television and film credits included Doctor Who, Gallipoli, The Dam Busters and The New Adventures of Black Beauty.

Spike Milligan with Bill Kerr during a rehearsal for 'The Bed Sitting Room' Spike Milligan with Bill Kerr during a rehearsal for 'The Bed Sitting Room' He also appeared in Spike Milligan and John Antrobus' satirical play The Bed-Sitting Room, which was first produced in 1962, as well as 1963 film The Wrong Arm of the Law alongside Peter Sellers and Bernard Cribbins.

Kerr was born into a theatrical family and according to his son Wilton, his first introduction to the acting world was as a baby.

"His mum used him instead of using a prop, a baby prop, she actually used her son, her newborn son, so he was literally kind of born to do it," Wilton Kerr told ABC News.

He was "The most generous, happy, loving man... Different to the gruff-voiced man you'll find in the roles that he would play," Wilton added.

"Generous with his affection, just his life, general positivity, if I could be half the man he is, I'd be a very happy guy."

He then returned to Australia in 1979 where he firmly established himself within the country's film industry.

According to Wilton, his father was heard laughing to himself while watching Seinfeld just before he died. "That was one of his favourite shows", he added.

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