Mary Hardy was the Queen of Melbourne television and radio in the 1960s and 1970s – through regular appearances on In Melbourne Tonight, co-hosting the long-running variety show The Penthouse Club, and presenting a popular afternoon show on radio 3AW. Her popularity was acknowledged with several TV Week Logie awards for most popular Victorian personality in the 1970s.
With a quick wit and ability to work without a script, she was a trailblazer for female talent in Australia – but like a lot of entertainers, there was sadness behind the scenes as she had her own battles with depression.
Hardy, who died in 1985, is the subject of the first in a three-part documentary series on well-known Australian artists. The documentary explores her life and legacy through the eyes of her peers and successors – including John-Michael Howson, Wendy Harmer, Tania Lacy, Garry Stewart and grand-niece Marieke Hardy.
The program also features recently discovered footage of some of Hardy’s earliest work.
Artscape: IOU Mary Hardy. Tuesday 12 February, 10.00pm. ABC