14 June 1931 |
|Occupation||Actor / comedian / Voice Artist.|
|Years active||Since 1946|
Ross Higgins (born 14 June 1931) is an Australian character actor, comedian and voice actor. He is best known for his role as Ted Bulpitt in the 1980s television situation comedy series Kingswood Country.
Actor and Entertainer
Ross Higgins' entertainment industry career began in 1946, when he took a cadetship at Sydney's Radio 2GB at the age of 16. This led to an on-air announcing position, and hosting of breakfast, and later, evening variety shows. A trained singer, he soon began recording singles which lifted his profile around Australia. His flair for comedy came to the fore in the 1950s, when he became a cast member of the very popular "The Jack Davey Show". He moved between commercial radio and the ABC, touring the country, hosting and singing with the ABC show band. It was during this period he performed with luminaries such as Peter Dawson, Slim Dusty and Mel Tormé. His radio career reached a peak in the mid-1950s, and when television arrived in 1956, he successfully made the transition, appearing on variety shows, hosting game shows (7 Network) and in the early '60s on "Singalong" and "Bobby Limb's "Sound of Music" (9 Network).
During the 1960s, he consolidated his position as a leading voiceover artist, creating character voices for TV and radio ads and cartoons. His earliest character voice – "Louie the Fly" (an animated fly for the Mortein fly-spray commercials), is still recorded by him – most recently in 2008. It is now the longest continuously running campaign in television history, having run for over 50 years (1958 – 2008)
During the mid-1960s, Higgins worked in theatre, doing several back-to-back seasons at Sydney's Menzies Theatre Restaurant – a popular nightspot where musicals were staged under the direction of Hayes Gordon. He had an ongoing role playing a priest in an early Australian soap opera Motel in (1968), and took guest roles in various series including Division 4 and Skippy.
Throughout the 1970s, he and voiceover colleague Kevin Golsby dominated Australian airwaves in the voiceover field, and while enjoying this success another break-through role came in 1977, where he and Goldsby were key regular performers in sketch comedy series The Naked Vicar Show. He played various characters in that series, which lasted two seasons. In 1980, a spin-off series based on a bombastic, Holden Kingswood driving character he had portrayed in one sketch of The Naked Vicar Show was created, titled Kingswood Country. This series had a successful five-year run, completing five-and-a-half seasons.
In 1987 he auditioned for the role of Alf Stewart in Home And Away, The role however went to Ray Meagher. He played a straight dramatic role in soap opera Richmond Hill (1988). His character, a dour policeman, was the show's main authority figure. The series was cancelled at the end of 1988. In 1992, he starred in the Ten Network's sitcom Late for School (which launched the TV careers of Matthew Newton and Stephen Curry). Higgins' most recent role was a reprise of the Ted Bullpitt character in the situation comedy Bullpitt! in 1997, which had two seasons on the 7 Network. The series "Kingswood Country" has more recently found new audiences via cable TV on DVD.
Ross Higgins has used his vocal talents on thousands of projects during his 60 years in radio and television, including recording the song "Monster Mash" for ABC For Kids Video Hits, recording an album of himself reading the classic Australian children's story "Blinky Bill".
- Erica Thompson (7 October 2008). "Ross Higgins' role of Ted Bullpitt appeals to a new un-PC generation". Courier Mail. Retrieved 6 Feb 2010.
- "21 Years of TV Times". TV Times. 7 July 1979.
- Louie the Fly. Straight from rubbish tip to you!
- "What's On (February 3–9):". TV Times. 3 February 1979. Retrieved 5 Feb 2010.
- Andrew Mercado (2004). Super Aussie soaps: behind the scenes of Australia's best loved TV shows. Pluto Press Australia. pp. 274–277. ISBN 1-86403-191-3. Retrieved 5 Feb 2010.
- "ABC for kids [videorecording]". 1 Feb 2000.
- "Blinky Bill". Screensound Australia.
- "The adventures by Blinky Bill Dorothy Wall, narrated by Ross Higgins".