Obituary: Dinah Shearing

Dinah Shearing, veteran actress from Australian film, stage, radio and television, has died peacefully at the age of 95.

Born in Sydney to English parents while they were visiting Australia, Shearing was twelve before she was to return with her family to settle in Sydney.

Despite an early interest in art and working as a sketch artist for a Sydney department store, Shearing was soon to study singing and scored her first role in the play Winterset. She continued to be a regular performer in theatre, often in Shakespearean plays, and on radio. She made her TV debut in the ABC play A Phoenix Too Frequent in 1957.

She later starred as Lady Macbeth (pictured) in ABC’s 1960 production of Macbeth, earning strong praise from TV Times critic Lesley Dare: “Miss Shearing brought out every nuance of the part in a performance both subtle and beautiful.”

Shearing took time out from performing to bring up two children. She returned to TV in 1970, making a guest appearance in the drama series Delta.

Later TV credits included TV Spells Magic, Catwalk, The Sullivans, All The Rivers Run, Five Mile Creek, The Harp In The South, E Street, A Country Practice, GP, All Saints and an ongoing role in the Nine Network soap Family And Friends.

She became a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1993 for services to the performing arts.

Her last credited TV appearance was in the science fiction series Farscape in 2002.

Dinah Shearing is survived by her two sons and four grandchildren. Her husband, artist and playwright Rod Milgate, died in 2014.

Source: The ABC Weekly, 29 October 1949. TV Times, 1 September 1960, 15 September 1960. IMDB, AusStage, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Morning Herald, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.


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    • Caroline B. on 20 June 2021 at 11:17 AM
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    Sad to read of Dina Shearing – a great star of our Stage and and Screen -a wonderful full life doing what she loved. I seem to remember her, too, in our Radio Serials of the fifties. So many of these outstanding celebrities gone now. My condolensces to her family at this sad time/

    • James Aitchison on 22 June 2021 at 10:31 AM
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    Dinah was a beautiful spirit. She had a magic touch with radio, and had to put her age up so that Grace Gibson would give her a starring role in Dr Paul. As a result, she missed her 21st birthday! Dinah was a top actress, along with Lyndall Barbour and “Nessie”, Neva Carr Glynn. Dinah played the young Elizabeth in the serial Tudor Princess, and then aged her voice for the follow-up show Tudor Queen. Dinah was offered a major radio acting contract with the BBC but chose marriage instead. We missed having another lunch; she said you’d better hurry, I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around.

      • Rob Sharp on 8 March 2022 at 1:07 AM
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      That’s a lovely tribute. I particularly admired Dinah’s work in Dossier on Dumetrius. I truly believe her work in radio was unequalled by any other woman in Australia.

    • Roslyn Milne on 23 June 2021 at 8:02 PM
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    Beautiful lady, a true lady. Caring and loving. Will always feel privileged to have met and become a friend with Dinah. A life well lived.

    Dinah read a Christmas Poem at a Village Christmas Evening and it was the best read poem I have ever heard, you could have heard a pin drop in the room, such a talented soul. We shared Christmas cake and sherry afterwards. Loved Dinah xx

    • Geoff R on 17 August 2021 at 5:57 PM
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    Such a great actress. Her work in Family and Friends was something special. Family and Friends was a great show and her scene with Diane Craig in the final episode still touches me. She also did some great work in E-Street.

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