Obituary: Norman Yemm

normanyemm_0001Norman Yemm, veteran actor of Australian film, stage and television, has died at the age of 81.

With a background in opera and musical theatre, Yemm made the transition to television in the police drama Homicide. After making a number of guest appearances in the series, he took on the regular role of Detective Jim Patterson from mid-1969.

He also appeared opposite his twin brother Gordon, who made a guest appearance in the series as Patterson’s twin.

After leaving Homicide he starred in controversial drama Number 96, playing the part of car salesman Harry Collins. He made his entrance into the series as the estranged husband of Vera Collins (Elaine Lee) who returns to her apartment and rapes her. At the time it was believed to be the first time a male actor had appeared nude on Australian TV.


He later bared all in a Cleo magazine centrefold.

tvtimes_130578Yemm was one of the regular cast members of the long-running World War II drama The Sullivans, playing the part of Norm Baker.

Other television credits included Hunter, I’ve Married A Bachelor, Boney, Ryan, Matlock Police, The Lost Islands, The Fourth Wish, A Country Practice, Prisoner, Neighbours, Joh’s Jury, The Flying Doctors, Blue Heelers and Something In The Air.

In 1993 he harked back to his musical roots with a guest appearance in comedy show The Late Show.

Norman Yemm is survived by three children, including actress Jodie Yemm.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, IMDB. TV Times, 2 July 1969. TV Times, 13 May 1978. TV Week, 26 February 1972.




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    • Frank Arnold on 5 February 2015 at 3:03 PM
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    I had the privilege to direct Norman Yemm in ‘Runaway Island’ for Grundy Motion Pictures in 1983.

    He was a pleasure to work with and his creative skill and humour has always stayed with me. He made such a contribution to the Australian Television Industry, and will be missed by many industry professionals.

    • Andrew m on 5 February 2015 at 4:04 PM
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    Great actor he be sadly missed

    • Neil Forbes on 5 February 2015 at 11:45 PM
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    I’ve said it elsewhere, I’ll say it here – Vale Norman Yemm – Rest In Peace. Fondly remembered for his role as Jim Patterson in Australian Television Nework’s legendary “Homicide” series.

    • Norman Stanley on 6 February 2015 at 12:04 PM
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    R.I.P Norman you were great in The Classic Drama The Sullivans and Homicide you will be greatly missed

    • Andrew m on 6 February 2015 at 12:20 PM
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    Also best remembered in the sullivans and prisoner

    • Dave on 8 February 2015 at 9:38 PM
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    Vale Norman Yemm. Sad news. Will always remember the role of Norm Baker in The Sullivans. Iconic. The true hero of the series. Anzac with a heart of gold.

    • Sue Lawrence on 12 February 2015 at 3:51 AM
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    Thoughts are with your family, a great loss to the Australian Industry of theatre, television and film. A mentor to many. Good memories are which we all have left. Rest in Peace.

    • M. G. on 20 February 2015 at 10:47 PM
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    I liked Norman Yemm in a Country Practice. He was a great actor. Vale Norman Yemm.

    • GRAHAM ROBERTSON on 7 March 2015 at 4:54 AM
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    Yes I remember the good old 1970’s/80’s shows with Norman Yemm he was a brilliant and great actor I only just found out, about Norman Yemm passing away. I will all ways remember him from homicide and of course The Sullivans. A fantastic Australian actor gone to soon.

    • Georgina on 7 November 2015 at 2:31 AM
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    Very good runner norman won many races as a professional…..RIP xxxx

    • Denise Quinn on 26 September 2018 at 3:00 AM
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    He was a lovely man with a hilarious laugh. He was great as the no-nonsense Detective Jim Patterson with a big heart in Homicide. His best role was in The Sullivan’s as the kind-hearted, paternal Norm Baker. Such a sad loss.

    • Paul Hetrel on 29 August 2021 at 11:31 PM
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    He is my favourite actor a true blue Aussie I like his brother Gordon’s work too amazing men

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