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Graham Kennedy: “Gra Gra” born 15th February 1934 ~ CELEBRITY AUSTRALIAN HISTORY 😂😂

Graham Kennedy: “Gra Gra” born 15th February 1934

GRAHAME KENNEDY SHOWMAN

Graham Cyril Kennedy was an entertainer, comedian and variety performer, as well as a personality and star of radio, theatre, television and film. He was often called “Gra Gra”. Honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia, he was a six-time recipient of the Gold Logie, including the Logie Hall of Fame award, and won the Star of the Year Award in 1959. He is the most awarded star of Australian television. He was often referred to as “The King” or the “King of Australian television”. He was best known for his collaborations with Australian entertainer Bert Newton and American-born television personality Don Lane.

Graham was educated firstly at Euston College (which no longer exists) on the corner of Chapel and Carlisle streets, secondly at Caulfield North Central School (now Caulfield Junior College) and finally at Melbourne High School, South Yarra.

During a school break in 1949, Kennedy worked in his uncle’s hairdressing shop at 475 Collins Street, where he met clients who worked in the same building for the Radio Australia shortwave service of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. He was offered, and accepted, a job as a news runner from Collins Street to the ABC studios in Lonsdale Street. Shortly thereafter he joined radio station 3UZ, working in the station’s record library.

On 6TH May 1957, the 23-year-old Graham began a career of which he later said that he was “terrified for forty years”. The show, In Melbourne Tonight, it’s theme song was, “Gee, But You’re Swell”.

The Graham Kennedy Show began in February 1960 but was not popular in Sydney. The program was judged stilted compared to IMT. The Graham Kennedy Show in Sydney was dropped by ATN7 after 13 weeks. The program however was immediately picked up by TCN9 – its general manager Ken G. Hall saw potential in the program. After continued bad reviews its popularity increased in Sydney. By July 1960 it had reached its twenty-fifth episode and had the highest ratings in Australia.

On 7th July 1965 Kennedy appeared on a then-innovative live split-screen link with Don Lane, the host of Sydney Tonight, via the recently completed co-axial cable linking Melbourne and Sydney. Starting late September 1966, IMT itself was transmitted to Sydney via the coaxial cable.

Memorable, and controversial, moments, included the “crow call” controversy where, on 3 March 1975, He imitated a crow call (“faaaaaark”) highly reminiscent of another “colorful word”. This led the Australian Broadcasting Control Board to request that he “show cause” why he should not be removed from the airwaves. Rather than removing him, the ABCB banned him from appearing live, forcing him to pre-record the show on videotape.

Graham appeared in a number of memorable Australia films, TV Specials, and also hoisted his highly rated TV game, Blankety Blanks.

Films: They’re a Weird Mob (1966) (cameo as himself) – The Box (1975) (supporting role as himself) – Don’s Party (1976) – The Odd Angry Shot (1979) – The Club (1980) – Silent Reach (1982) (telemovie) – The Return of Captain Invincible (1982) (cameo) – Stanley (1984) – The Killing Fields (1984) – Travelling North (1987) – He also had a cameo appearance in On the Beach (1959) which was not used.

In 1991 he retired to a rural property at Canyonleigh, near Bowral in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, near his friends Tony Sattler and Noeline Brown. On 25th May 2005, aged 71, Graham died at the Kenilworth Nursing Home, Bowral, from complications from pneumonia.

A highly regarded Australian icon.

FEBRUARY 1976…🇦🇺💚Who watched Graham 🙋‍♀️

Graham Cyril Kennedy was an entertainer, comedian and variety performer, as well as a personality and star of radio, theatre, television and film. He was often called “Gra Gra”. Honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia, he was a six-time recipient of the Gold Logie, including the Logie Hall of Fame award, and won the Star of the Year Award in 1959. He is the most awarded star of Australian television. He was often referred to as “The King” or the “King of Australian television”. He was best known for his collaborations with Australian entertainer Bert Newton and American-born television personality Don Lane.

Graham was educated firstly at Euston College (which no longer exists) on the corner of Chapel and Carlisle streets, secondly at Caulfield North Central School (now Caulfield Junior College) and finally at Melbourne High School, South Yarra.

During a school break in 1949, Kennedy worked in his uncle’s hairdressing shop at 475 Collins Street, where he met clients who worked in the same building for the Radio Australia shortwave service of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. He was offered, and accepted, a job as a news runner from Collins Street to the ABC studios in Lonsdale Street. Shortly thereafter he joined radio station 3UZ, working in the station’s record library.

On 6TH May 1957, the 23-year-old Graham began a career of which he later said that he was “terrified for forty years”. The show, In Melbourne Tonight, it’s theme song was, “Gee, But You’re Swell”.

The Graham Kennedy Show began in February 1960 but was not popular in Sydney. The program was judged stilted compared to IMT. The Graham Kennedy Show in Sydney was dropped by ATN7 after 13 weeks. The program however was immediately picked up by TCN9 – its general manager Ken G. Hall saw potential in the program. After continued bad reviews its popularity increased in Sydney. By July 1960 it had reached its twenty-fifth episode and had the highest ratings in Australia.

On 7th July 1965 Kennedy appeared on a then-innovative live split-screen link with Don Lane, the host of Sydney Tonight, via the recently completed co-axial cable linking Melbourne and Sydney. Starting late September 1966, IMT itself was transmitted to Sydney via the coaxial cable.

Memorable, and controversial, moments, included the “crow call” controversy where, on 3 March 1975, He imitated a crow call (“faaaaaark”) highly reminiscent of another “colorful word”. This led the Australian Broadcasting Control Board to request that he “show cause” why he should not be removed from the airwaves. Rather than removing him, the ABCB banned him from appearing live, forcing him to pre-record the show on videotape.

Graham appeared in a number of memorable Australia films, TV Specials, and also hoisted his highly rated TV game, Blankety Blanks.

Films: They’re a Weird Mob (1966) (cameo as himself) – The Box (1975) (supporting role as himself) – Don’s Party (1976) – The Odd Angry Shot (1979) – The Club (1980) – Silent Reach (1982) (telemovie) – The Return of Captain Invincible (1982) (cameo) – Stanley (1984) – The Killing Fields (1984) – Travelling North (1987) – He also had a cameo appearance in On the Beach (1959) which was not used.

In 1991 he retired to a rural property at Canyonleigh, near Bowral in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, near his friends Tony Sattler and Noeline Brown. On 25th May 2005, aged 71, Graham died at the Kenilworth Nursing Home, Bowral, from complications from pneumonia.

A highly regarded Australian icon.

FEBRUARY 1976…🇦🇺💚Who watched Graham 🙋‍♀️

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