Bill Leak (born Desmond Robert Leak, 1956) is an Australian cartoonist and painter, primarily of portraits. He is the daily editorial cartoonist on Newscorp's national daily newspaper The Australian. He has won nine Walkley Awards. He has also written a novel.
Leak has entered the Archibald Prize at least 13 times, and was hung 11 times. These included portraits of Don Bradman in 1989, Malcolm Turnbull in 1994, Graham Richardson in 1995, Tex Perkins in 1997, Gough Whitlam in 1998, Sir Les Patterson in 2000 and Robert Hughes in 2001. He won the Packing Room Prize twice (for Tex Perkins and Sir Les Patterson) and also won the People's Choice Award for Malcolm Turnbull. In addition two paintings of him by other artists have also won the People's Choice Award: a painting by Josonia Palaitis in 1995, and one by Esther Erlich in 2000. He "is widely regarded by good judges as the best painter never to have won the Archibald prize, an omission many of them regard as one of the greatest travesties of Australian art".
He was interviewed in the 2005 Peter Berner documentary about the Archibald Prize called Loaded Brush. That year he published his first novel, Heart Cancer
In 2007 he ran into trouble by portraying the then leader of the opposition Kevin Rudd as Tintin (accompanied by Snowy). This was resolved by Leak promising to not profit from any sales of cartoons from this series.
Leak's TV series, Face Painting, in which he paints portraits of people who have died, went to air on the ABC in November 2008. Portraits painted for this show include Australian actor June Salter, musician Bon Scott and Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins.
He lives on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
- Coombs, Roger (2009) "Bill Leak ode to the fallen", The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 November 2008
- Blistering Barnacles! Tintin 'parody' threat, The Daily Telegraph, 2 June 2007
- Wilson, Peter (2007-06-04). "Leak in the clear over Tintin". news.com.au. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
- Cartoonist Bill Leak seriously injured in balcony fall, ABC News (Australia), Oct. 19, 2008
- Basu, Indrani (2015-12-14). "This Australian Newspaper Published An Unbelievably Racist Cartoon About Indians". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- 1001 Australians You Should Know, Toby Creswell, Samantha Trenoweth
- Portrait of Bill Leak, editorial cartoonist, 1984, by Terry Mulligan
- Column 8 story on Bill Leak, breaking his toe
- 1997 Walkely Award - Bill Leak for 'The Big Picture'
- 2002 Walkley Award - Bill Leak for 'Brown Nose Day'
- Three Cartoonists - transcript of Andrew Denton’s ABC interview with cartoonist Bruce Petty, Bill Leak and Patrick Cook
- Drawing and quartering our pollies - Article includes comments by Bill Leak on his cartooning and the reactions he gets
|People's Choice Award
for Malcolm Turnbull
|Packing Room Prize
for Tex Perkins
|Packing Room Prize
for Are you with me? - (Sir Les Patterson)