Kiwi comedian John Clarke dies

John Clarke as his most famous creation, Fred Dagg. Photo: mrjohnclarke.com.

New Zealand–Australian comedian, writer, and satirist John Clarke has died, aged 68.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, for whom John worked, has confirmed he died on Sunday of natural causes, while hiking in the Grampians National Park in Victoria. 

John first became known during the mid to late 1970s for portraying a laconic farmer called Fred Dagg on stage, film and television. Gumboot and singlet-clad, Dagg had seven sons all named Trev.

John also recorded a series of records and cassettes and published several books as Dagg. Thirty years after its release, the first Fred Dagg album, Fred Dagg's Greatest Hits (1976), remains one of New Zealand's biggest selling records.

John was the voice of Wal Footrot in the feature-length animated film, Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale (1986), based on the comic strips by Murray Ball, who also passed away last month.

John was born in Palmerston North and has lived in Australia since the late 1970s. He was a regular actor and writer on Australian television.



5 Comments

@Morepork

Posted on 11-04-2017 11:00 | By Papamoaner

Yes, the passing of Murray Ball was also very sad. These guys contributed so much. There was recently a feature newspaper article about the gradual decline of Murray Ball and the effect it had on his family at the time. It could not be read with a dry eye. Doubtless there will be more to come on John . He seemed to be a rather private man in private life.

golly gosh

Posted on 10-04-2017 19:31 | By old trucker

I had the privilige of meeting him many yrs ago in Taupo, what a AWESOME guy,very sad,but now in a better place,RIP, Love from the old Trucker,Sunlive Thankyou,10-4 out.

My favourite...

Posted on 10-04-2017 18:10 | By morepork

was "The Flea race" (1976). With "Big Hero" by "Jumping One Night" out of "Trevor's Sock"... but "Don't you worry about Daggy Boy..." Hard to believe he is gone AND Murray Ball. They will be sadly missed.

Sad news

Posted on 10-04-2017 16:04 | By Papamoaner

Brought us such good comedy. A big contributor to society and will be missed. Get in behind John.

A sad day

Posted on 10-04-2017 15:41 | By nerak

We'll miss John and his outstanding sense of humour. Thanks Fred, for the Gumboot song, We don't know how lucky we are, and more.

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