Mark Mitchell (actor)

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This article is about the actor. For other uses, see Mark Mitchell (disambiguation).
Mark Mitchell
Born (1954-09-29) September 29, 1954 (age 59)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation Actor, comedian and contemporary artist

Mark Mitchell (born 29 September 1954) is an Australian actor, comedian and contemporary artist.

Early life[edit]

Mark Mitchell was born in Melbourne. He studied English and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and then completed a Diploma of Education at State College of Victoria Rusden Campus (now part of Deakin University). He taught secondary school English for five years before becoming an advertising copy-writer and then a professional actor.

Career[edit]

Mitchell starred in the pioneering sketch comedy show The Eleventh Hour, a predecessor to his hit sketch show The Comedy Company.

He has made many guest appearances on Australian television series such as SeaChange, Neighbours, Something in the Air, Blue Heelers, Prisoner and Dogwoman.

He has also starred in children's television programs such as Round the Twist, Lift Off and The Genie From Down Under. He played the part of Chief Quimby in the 2003 film Inspector Gadget 2.

Mitchell voices commercial radio advertising campaigns, playing a dim-witted fool who interviews various people about radio advertising, with amusing consequences resulting from his character's lack of understanding the interviewees.

He also portrayed fictional museum exhibit figure "Max Muck" for some of the video reel and photos used and depicted in the exhibit "The Muck Bunker Storm-Water Experience" at Scienceworks Museum in Melbourne housed in the Spotswood Pumping Station.

He has had supporting lead roles in various US movies made in Australia including The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas and The Strange Case of Shante Keams, and voiced the character of 'Buck Cluck' for the Australian release of "Chicken Little."

He has frequently performed as an orator or after dinner speaker across Australia.

His work has contributed to multiple awards along with a variety of personal achievement awards.

Con the Fruiterer[edit]

Mitchell's best known character is Con Dickaletus aka 'Con the Fruiterer' whom he created after being served by two Greek Australian stall holders at Glenferrie Markets in 1984.[1] The character became known nationally from regular appearances in The Comedy Company, for which he also created the character of Con's wife, Marika. According to Comedy Company writer Ian McFadyen, "Con the Fruiterer was an attempt to represent that whole immigrant subculture which until recently has been totally ignored except as a stereotype token wog".[2] Con has six daughters, Roula, Toula, Soula, Voula, Foula and Agape. He also has two sons, Nick and Rick.

Con's catchphrases "coupla days" and "bewdiful" entered the Australian vernacular. In August 1989, then Prime Minister Bob Hawke appeared in a The Comedy Company sketch with Mitchell on the premise of presenting Con with Australian citizenship. In reply to Con's question as to when Hawke was going to fix up the country, Hawke took great delight in responding "a coupla days".[3]

The characters of Con and Marika continue to make appearances on and off television. Con the Fruiterer was appointed Moomba Monarch (popularly called King of Moomba) in 1989.[4]

Con's Bewdiful Australia: A Guide to the Second-Best Country in the World was published by Penguin Books in 1989 (ISBN 0140127100). Although written by Mitchell, authorship was credited to 'Con Dikaletis'. A condensed version of the book, read by Mitchell as Con, was released on audio cassette. A spinoff series Con's Bewdiful Holiday Videos was screened on the Ten Network in 1997. Con also fronted a campaign urging Australians to eat more fruit in 2010.[5]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Con The Fruiterer's secret". ABC news. 2005-11-12. 
  2. ^ The Bulletin, 1989-02-14: 41–42 
  3. ^ Mitchell, Tony, "Wogs Still Out of Work: Australian television comedy as colonial discourse", Australasian Drama Studies (April 1992) 
  4. ^ Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 Feb 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people.: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/rsrc/PDFs/Moomba/History%20of%20Moomba.pdf PDF pp 17-22
  5. ^ "Con the Fruiterer is back for a new health campaign". Herald Sun. 2010-01-21.