Ron Shand

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Ronald Ernest "Ron" McMurtry (3 February 1906, in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia – 8 August 1993), professionally known as Ron Shand was Australian actor and comedian who worked extensively in numerously genres of the show business industry including, circus, soft shoe, theatre, cabaret, revue vaudeville, radio, television and film. Shand was also a recording artist. He was probably best known however for his role in television soap opera Number 96 as Herbert "Herb" Evans


Born to entertainer parents, the name "Shand" was given to his grandparents as travelling circus performer's and Ron grew up with them in Melbourne. He started his career in the circus with his parents as a clown, and later performed as a song and dance man in vaudeville, did tent shows and performed comedy. He appeared in the Tivoli circuit for many years playing in revue and pantomime, before joining the J. C. Williamson theatre company for several seasons in musical comedy. Roles with J C Williamson included Pyjama Game, Can Can, The Sentimental Bloke, and Sail Away produced by Noël Coward. he also appeared in numerous plays with the John Alden Shakespeare company.

Shand was then one of the original members of the John Alden Shakespearean theatre Company that toured all the capital cities of Australia. Shand played in several straight dramatic roles with the company, appearing in such plays as The Man Who Came to Dinner, Arsenic and Old Lace , Love Thy Neighbour and Bell, Book and Candle. Through the 1960s Shand also acted in several Australian television drama series, including Matlock Police, Division 4 and Homicide

Shand subsequently found his widest audiences in the 1970s on television through his portrayal of hen-pecked Herbert Evans, husband to shrill gossip Dorrie (Pat McDonald), in the phenomenally successful sex-comedy soap opera Number 96. Comedy characters Dorrie and Herb became two of the show's most popular figures and continued in the series its entire 1972–1977 run. After the series ended Shand acted in television dramas The Young Doctors, A Country Practice, Prisoner and G.P. and the acclaimed miniseries Poor Man's Orange. He also was part of the cast of a 1977 The Benny Hill Show TV special made in Australia, in place of Hill's usual short, bald stooge Jackie Wright.[1] He was married to Letty Croydon, whom he appeared with in revues and had a sister Iris Shand, whom worked with Shand's parents in the circus.


  1. ^ Atterton, Margot. (Ed.) The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Australian Showbiz, Sunshine Books, 1984. ISBN 0-86777-057-0 p 202

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