Bob Maza

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Bob Maza
Born Robert Lewis Maza
(1939-11-25)25 November 1939[1]
Palm Island, Queensland
Died 14 May 2000(2000-05-14) (aged 60)[1]
Occupation Actor, playwright

Robert Lewis "Bob" Maza AM (25 November 1939 – 14 May 2000) was an Australian actor and playwright.

Maza was born to a Murray Islander (Torres Strait Islander) father and to a Yidinjdji (Australian Aboriginal) mother.[2]


In the 1960s, he was inspired by Malcolm X Speaks, and became politically active as a member of the Aborigines Advancement League, of which he was subsequently made president. In 1970, he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the subject of "the third-world status of Indigenous Australians".[2] In 1972, he took part in the Aboriginal Tent Embassy protest.[2]

Literary career[edit]

Maza's plays include Mereki and The Keepers.[3]

He helped found theatre companies including Nindethana and the National Black Theatre.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Maza has appeared in television series including Bellbird, Harry's War, Wildside, A Difficult Woman, A Country Practice, Women of the Sun and Heartland. He has also acted in films, including When the Stars Came Dreaming (1998), Lilian's Story (1996), The Back of Beyond (1995), The Nostradamus Kid (1993), Reckless Kelly (1993), Ground Zero (1987), The Fringe Dwellers (1986), BabaKiueria (1986), White Man's Legend (1984), and 27A (1974).[1][4]

Personal life[edit]

He married Vera Blankman, an immigrant from the Netherlands, and they had two sons, C'Zarke and Mataika and two daughters,[citation needed] Lisa and Rachael, also an actress.[5] They felt the impact of racism for those times, but their relationship endured.


Father and daughter, Bob and Rachel both had roles in the short-lived Australian drama series Heartland.


In 1993, he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to the arts and to Indigenous people.[6]

In 1998, he received the Australia Council Red Ochre Award for his "outstanding contribution to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts".[2]

Today, the Bob Maza Fellowship, awarded by the Australian government, is destined to help further the career of established Indigenous actors.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Bob Maza on IMDb
  2. ^ a b c d e Bob Maza on the website of the Australia Council for the Arts
  3. ^ a b "Bob Maza Fellowship", Australian government
  4. ^ Bob Maza's filmography, New York Times
  5. ^ Rachel Maza at IMDB
  6. ^ It's an Honour