Friday, October 23, 2009

Vale Don Lane (1993-2009)‏

Well it's not such a good day is it really, but at least this great man of entertainment is finally at rest. A very unfitting demise for a man who came to this country and became an Australian in more ways than most and certainly has left us with a legacy of laughs and memories of great entertainment. I believe that the appeal that Don Lane had with his audience went beyond that of an entertainer. Yes, he was known affectionately as the "Lanky Yank" but it was his genuine love for the Australian public and its unique culture that made him as Aussie as you and I.

I am not a name-dropper but I am proud to tell you that I had the pleasure and the honour of meeting this man three times in my life. As a young student in the early 80's studying Television and Film production, Don lane would come to one of my classes and VOLUNTEERED his time to assist the class in studio work by allowing us to interview him.

In 1986 I was the concierge at the TV Logie Awards held at the State Theatre in Sydney. I managed to have another chat with Don there and he actually remembered me from the TV school.

In 2005, when Grahame Kennedy left us, I was so moved by Don's public eulogy, that it inspired a caricature which I did of him and sent to him. Not only did he reply but he personally phoned me and thanked me. He again remembered me and said that it was a good job that I didn't get into TV production as it would have been a waste of my talent. He told me that the caricature had pride of place in his home. I only wish that I had a copy of it.

As a kid in the 70's I was very unlike many of my peers because I would never miss the Don Lane Show. I enjoyed the variety and comedy as much as my grandparents, who would also have enjoyed the great talent of this man with me. Great memories indeed.

God bless Don lane, Rest in Peace and thank you so very much. I am sure there will be one hell of a show to see in heaven tonight.

Tribute from Bert Newton here. Highlights of Don Lane's life and career here.

No comments: