Uncle Jack Charles: a story-teller of his time
Beloved Indigenous Elder and storyteller Jack Charles has been remembered for his persistence, against all odds and his ability to elevate those around him. The actor, musician, activist and member of the Stolen Generations suffered a stroke and died at Royal Melbourne Hospital on Tuesday, September 13, aged 79.
“We’re heartbroken to be announcing the passing of our much loved Yorta Yorta senior Elder, Uncle Jack Charles,” his family said in a statement.
“We are so proud of everything he has achieved in his remarkable life.”
Before he passed away, his family were able to send him off on Country during a smoking ceremony at the hospital.
The Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta man’s career spanned decades.
While revered as the grandfather of Indigenous theatre, Charles became better known to audiences for his film roles in The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) and Blackfellas (1993).
More recently he voiced the frilled-neck lizard character Greg in animated film Back to the Outback (2021).
His works include touring his one-man show Jack Charles v The Crown based on his life, and the ABC TV series Cleverman and Preppers. He also appeared on the SBS series Who Do You Think You Are…