Timothy Conigrave

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Tim Conigrave (19 November 1959 – 18 October 1994) was an Australian actor, writer, and activist.

Early life and education[edit]

Conigrave was born in Melbourne, and after attending the Jesuit Xavier College and Monash University he moved to Sydney to study at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), from which he graduated in 1984.

Career[edit]

Two years later he was instrumental in initiating the acclaimed Soft Targets (1986) project at Sydney's Griffin Theatre Company, where for a period he served on the board of directors.

He appeared in such plays as Brighton Beach Memoirs, As Is, and On Top of the World. He was also a playwright, producing works including Thieving Boy, Like Stars in your Hands and The Blitz Kids.

He was a member of The Globos, a musical comedy cabaret group, performing at Sydney's Kinselas nightclub in the mid-1980s.

Holding the Man has been adapted into a multi award-winning play by Tommy Murphy. The premiere production was directed by David Berthold at Griffin Theatre Company. It later played a return season at Griffin, 7 February - 3 March 2007, where it also sold out, before transferring to the Sydney Opera House for a third sell-out season, 9–26 May 2007. Company B at the Belvoir St Theatre hosted a fourth season 22 September-4 November 2007. A fifth season played at the Brisbane Powerhouse in early March 2008, with a sixth following as part of Melbourne Theatre Company's 2008 season, 19 March-26 April 2008. In 2010 it played in London's Trafalgar Studios. There have also been productions in San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand. A 2014 production is slated for Los Angeles to be directed by Larry Moss.

Personal life[edit]

His major work, the autobiographical Holding the Man (1995), is the story of his 15-year love affair with John Caleo. They met at Xavier when Caleo was captain of the football team and Conigrave wanted to be an actor. Conigrave finished the book shortly before dying of an AIDS-related illness. The book was published by Penguin Books in Australia in February 1995, and also in Spain and North America. It won the 1995 United Nations Award for Non-Fiction.

Later life and death[edit]

Conigrave and Caleo, were diagnosed with HIV in 1985. They remained relatively healthy until 1990. In 1991, Caleo was diagnosed with cancer. Conigrave nursed Caleo, despite fighting his own illness. Caleo died on Australia Day (26 January) 1992.

External links[edit]