John Meillon

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John Meillon
John Meillon in They're a Weird Mob.jpg
John Meillon in They're a Weird Mob
Born (1934-05-01)1 May 1934
Mosman, Sydney, Australia
Died 10 August 1989(1989-08-10) (aged 55)
Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Cause of death cirrhosis of the liver
Occupation Actor
Years active 1959–1988
Spouse(s) June Salter (1958–71) (1 child)
Bunny Gibson (1972-89) (his death) (1 child)
Children John Meillon Jr.

John Meillon, OBE (1 May 1934 – 10 August 1989)[1] was an Australian iconic character actor, known for many straight as well as comedy roles, he became most widely known internationally however as Walter Reilly in the films "Crocodile" Dundee and "Crocodile" Dundee II. He also voiced Victoria Bitter beer adverts.[2]


Meillon was born in Mosman, Sydney. His younger brother was director Bob Meillon (1943–2012).[3] He began his acting career at the age of eleven in the ABC's radio serial "Stumpy", and made his first stage appearance the following year. He joined the Shakespeare Touring Company when he was sixteen. Like many actors of his generation from 1959 to 1965 he worked in England.[4]

He had a recurring role in the TV series My Name's McGooley, What's Yours?. He featured in two episodes of Skippy in 1968 and 1969 appearing as "Nimble Norris". In 1976, he won the AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role of 'Casey' in the film The Fourth Wish (1976).

With his rich baritone, Meillon was used extensively in voice over work- the most famous being his work as the "you can get it any old how" Victoria Bitter narrator.[5]

He married Australian actress June Salter in 1958 and they had one son, John Meillon, Jr. Meillon and Salter were divorced in 1971. Meillon married actress Bunny Gibson ("Rita the Eta Eater") on 5 April 1972; they also had a son.

Meillon was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Queen's Birthday Honours, for service to theatre.[6]

At 16 Meillon had been junior diving champion of New South Wales. He continued to enjoy swimming, as well as fishing, golf and pub culture. Survived by his wife and his son from his first marriage, he died of cirrhosis on 10 August 1989 at his home at Neutral Bay and was cremated. He was awarded the Raymond Longford lifetime achievement award posthumously.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography, Nigel Giles. [1]
  2. ^ Sinclair, Lara: Victoria Bitter douses 'hard-earned thirst' slogan, The Australian, 13 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Bob Meillon dies; one of the great characters of the tv industry". 5 June 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "He proposes to his wife eight times a week.". The Australian Women's Weekly (National Library of Australia). 29 July 1964. p. 15. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Edited by Andrew Hornery with Bonnie Malkin Rest in peace, The Age, 15 October 2004.
  6. ^

External links[edit]