Terry Norris, veteran actor and former state politician, has died at the age of 92.
His early acting career was in the theatre, first at Melbourne’s Tivoli before going to the United Kingdom, where he stayed for over a decade. It was there that he met his future wife, Julia Blake, and the pair would work together on and off in the decades that followed.
He played some minor roles on television in the UK and, upon settling back in Australia, became a familiar face here. He played the crown prosecutor in the courtroom drama Consider Your Verdict and played a similar role in early episodes of Homicide. He made a guest appearance in the sitcom Barley Charlie and featured in the television adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello.
His theatre background also served him well as a variety performer, appearing as a regular on the daytime variety show Time For Terry, and later performing on the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal and Saturday Night Live.
After roles in Australian Playhouse, Hunter and Dynasty, he began his long-running stint as Joe Turner in the ABC series Bellbird. While working on Bellbird, he also had the freedom to pursue guest roles in shows including Bobby Dazzler, Last Of The Australians, Power Without Glory and Division 4.
As soon as Bellbird ended in 1977, he went almost straight into his next long-running role, as Senior Sargeant Eric O’Reilly in Cop Shop. He stayed with the series for five years, earning a TV Week Logie award for Best Supporting Actor in 1980, before taking a career detour into politics. He was the state member for Noble Park from 1982 to 1985, then for Dandenong from 1985 to 1992.
Later TV credits includes The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh, Pig’s Breakfast, Blue Heelers, Something In The Air, Changi, Marshall Law, City Homicide, Hawke, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Bloom and ABC’s various Jack Irish titles.
Terry Norris is survived by wife Julia Blake, their three children and four grandchildren.