Jonathan Hardy

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Jonathan Hardy
Born(1940-09-20)20 September 1940
Wellington, New Zealand
Died30 July 2012(2012-07-30) (aged 71)
Occupation(s)Actor, writer, director
Years active1971–2012

Jonathan Hardy (20 September 1940 – 30 July 2012) was a New Zealand-Australian film and television actor, writer and director.[1]

Early career[edit]

Hardy was born in Wellington and began his training at the New Zealand Players' Drama School. He traveled to Britain, where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and was a gold medal student. This brought interest from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre where he secured contracts.[2]

He returned to his home of New Zealand in a touring production of The Comedy of Errors with the Royal Shakespeare Company (1966) and remained to help expand the country's theatre industry. He immigrated to Australia in 1972.[3]


Hardy had a career for over 40 years (1972 –2012). He appeared in over 20 films, guested in over 26 television series, and acted in many television movies and mini-series.[4]

His preference was to work on stage and had long engagements with major theatre companies in both Melbourne and Sydney.[2]

His roles ranged from a Christmas pantomime of Cinderella, Shakespeare, topical plays such as And in the End: The Life and Death of John Lennon and roles in operas.[5] Throughout his career, he worked across these media at the same time.


Hardy was part of the cast in the first public performance of Kenneth G. Ross's Australian play Breaker Morant, presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Athenaeum theatre, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, on Thursday, 2 February 1978.[6]

In his obituary, he is quoted by Mark Juddery as saying, "The actor is in control in the theatre... so the theatre is much more an actor's medium." and "Television is not anything but an actor's image... If my image happens to fit, then I do the job. Whereas on stage you can create an illusion, on television … it's pretty cliched."[2]


Hardy's film work included The Devil's Playground (1976) which he was nominated for an Australian Film Institute award, Mad Max, Mr. Reliable and Moulin Rouge!.

Along with David Stevens and Bruce Beresford he co-wrote the screenplay for the film Breaker Morant: for which he received an Australian Film Institute award (1980), and was nominated for an Academy Award (1981).[7]

At MystFest [it], he was the co-winner of Best Artistic Contribution for Scarecrow (1982).[7] He also won a New Zealand Film and TV Award in 2001 for Best Short Film Performance for Camping with Camus.[7]

Hardy directed and wrote the movie Backstage starring the Grammy nominated pop vocalist Laura Branigan.[8]

He is best known to international audiences for providing the voice of Dominar Rygel XVI in the science fiction series Farscape. Farscape was filmed in Australia but was a United States production and although it was unsuccessful in Australia, Hardy developed a cult following.[2]


1993 Matilda Award Winner for performance - Romeo and Juliet, The Shaughraun[9]

Personal life and death[edit]

Hardy's partner for over 40 years was actor-director David Letch.[10] They worked on many projects together.[2] Hardy had a successful heart transplant.

Hardy died, aged 71, at his home in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales on 30 July 2012.[11]

Selected filmography[edit]

Film [4][edit]

Television [4][edit]

State Coroner (TV series) 1 episode

Stage performances (selected) [5][edit]

1966 The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company)

1972 Flash Jim Vaux (Nimrod Theatre Company); The Last Supper Show (Nimrod Theatre Company)

1973 Jumpers (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Prisoner of Second Avenue (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Plough and the Stars (Melbourne Theatre Company); Batman's Beach-Head (Melbourne Theatre Company); Paying the Piper (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Last of the Knucklemen (Melbourne Theatre Company); Flash Jim Vaux (Melbourne Theatre Company)

1974 The Last of the Knucklemen touring production (Melbourne Theatre Company); Coralie Lansdowne Says No (Melbourne Theatre Company)

1977 The Merchant of Venice (Melbourne Theatre Company); Cop Out (Melbourne Theatre Company)

1978 Breaker Morant (Melbourne Theatre Company); Richard III (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Beaux' Stratagem (Melbourne Theatre Company); Fools' Shoe Hotel (Australian Performing Group)

1979 The Immoralist (Hoopla Theatre Foundation); The Alchemist (Melbourne Theatre Company); Hamlet (Melbourne Theatre Company); Cinderella (Melbourne Theatre Company)

1980 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Melbourne Theatre Company); Hamlet (Melbourne Theatre Company); Comedians (Mercury Theatre, Auckland)

1991 The Crucible (Royal Queensland Theatre Company)

1992 Shadow and Splendour (Royal Queensland Theatre Company); Twelfth Night; Hotel Sorrento (Royal Queensland Theatre Company)

1993 The Beaux Stratagem (Royal Queensland Theatre Company); Romeo and Juliet (Queensland Theatre Company); The Shaughraun or The Loveable Rascal (Queensland Theatre Company); A Christmas Carol (Oxford Productions International); And a Nightingale Sang (Queensland Theatre Company)

1994 Hysteria, or Fragments of an Analysis of an Obsessional Mind (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Shaughraun (The Lovable Rascal) (Melbourne Theatre Company)

1995 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Pork Chop Productions); The Shaughraun (The Lovable Rascal) (Melbourne Theatre Company)

1996 The Surgical Table (Renegade Theatre); Simpatico (Sydney Theatre Company); Life of Galileo (Sydney Theatre Company); Coriolanus touring production (Bell Shakespeare Company)

1997 Pygmalion (Sydney Theatre Company); QTC Oz Shorts 1 (Queensland Theatre Company)

2002 Great Expectations(Melbourne Theatre Company)

2003 A Tree, Falling (Chapel off Chapel)

2004 Twelfth Night touring production (Bell Shakespeare Company); One Flea Spare (Queensize Productions)

2005 Treemonisha narrator (The Queensland Choir); The Department Store (Parnassus' Den)

2006 And in the End: The Life and Death of John Lennon (The Walrius Group); Renaissance (Parnassus' Den)

2007 Paul (Company B Belvoir)

Singing performances (selected) [5][edit]

1975 The Double Dealer (Melbourne Theatre Company)

1976 Don Pasquale (Victorian Opera Company)

1998 Tannhauser (Opera Australia)

Director/producer (selected)[5][edit]

1974 The Importance of Being Earnest (Melbourne Theatre Company) - Director

1976 The Italian Girl in Algiers (Victoria State Opera) - Director

1979 The Marriage of Figaro (Canberra Opera Society) - Producer

1980 Nine Little Australians! Season Two (Melbourne Theatre Company) - Director

Playwright/adaptor (selected)[5][edit]

1976 The Diary of a Madman (Melbourne Theatre Company) - Adaptor (also appeared as actor)

1997 Jungfrau (Playbox Theatre Company) - Writer


  1. ^ "Kiwi actor Jonathan Hardy dies aged 71". NZ Herald. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Juddery, Mark (9 September 2012). "Versatile actor carved out a remarkable career". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  3. ^ "ATC mourns actor Jonathan Hardy". 31 July 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Jonathan Hardy". IMDb. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Jonathan Hardy". AusStage. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Breaker Morant". AusStage. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Jonathan Hardy - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Backstage (1988)". IMDb. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Matilda Awards Archive". Matilda Awards. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  10. ^ "David Letch filmography". IMDb. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Oscar-nominated NZer Jonathan Hardy dies". 31 July 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2017.