The Sydney Morning Herald
By Debbie Cuthbertson
May 21, 2014
The acting community is in mourning following the sudden death of Melbourne actor Peter Curtin at the age of 70.
Curtin starred in a number of Melbourne Theatre Company productions, from The Plough opposite Wendy Hughes in 1973 to a later revival of Ray Lawler's Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, over a career spanning more than 40 years. His final MTC performance was the 2003 production of The Goat with Philip Quast and Hughes, who died in March. He also performed with Playbox Theatre in its 1990 production of Hannie Rayson's Hotel Sorrento and in Stephen Sewell's The Sick Room in 1999, as well as Red Stitch's The Night Season (directed by his wife Ailsa Piper) in 2005.
He also appeared in TV series MDA, White Collar Blue, All Saints, Blue Heelers, Something in the Air, The Games and SeaChange, and in films including Till Human Voices Wake Us, Don’t Peek and Blood Money.
Curtin died on Monday, May 19. Piper, a writer, director and performer, announced his passing in a death notice published in The Age on Wednesday.
"Theatre was where he felt most free," Piper told Fairfax Media via her agent, James Laurie. "The theatre family was our family."
Most recently Curtin had been working on a TV production, Laurie said.
Former MTC artistic director Roger Hodgman described Curtin as a wonderful, gentle man.
Hodgman said Curtin starred in one of his first productions as MTC artistic director, as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire alongside Helen Morse in 1988.
"He was very generous and very warm and quite a special human being, and a lovely actor as well," he said of Curtin.
"The performance I remember most was his Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire. It was stunning ... I'll always remember scenes with him and Helen Morse."
Peter Curtin and Wendy Hughes in the 1973 Melbourne Theatre Company production of The Plough.
"He was the best Mitch I've ever seen."
Current MTC artistic director Brett Sheehy said Curtin's connection with the MTC spanned much of the history of the theatre company.
“He was known and loved by so many and his presence on our stages will be sorely missed," Sheehy said.
"Our hearts go out to his wife Ailsa Piper, also a much-loved member of the MTC alumni, and to her
and Peter's family and friends."
Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.
Died: 5/19/2014, Melblourne, Australia
Peter Curtin’s westerns – actor:
In Pursuit of Honor (TV) – 1995 (Sgt. Ernest Gruber
Ponderosa (TV) – 2001-20002