Steve J. Spears
|Born||Steven John Peter Spears|
22 January 1951
Adelaide, South Australia
|Died||16 October 2007 (age 56)|
Aldinga, South Australia
Steven John Peter Spears (22 January 1951 – 16 October 2007) was an Australian playwright, actor, writer and singer. His most famous work was The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin (1976). He was cited as "one of Australia's most celebrated playwrights".
Spears was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1951 and, after his parents separated when he was very young, grew up with relatives in the suburb of Mile End. He studied Law at the University of Adelaide, but through writing and performing student revues, was distracted into a career in the theatre.
Spears moved to Sydney in the 1970s. In his own words, he was a "born-again Sydney-sider".
Spears' theatrical works include:
- Africa: A Savage Musical (1974)
- People Keep Giving Me Things (1975)
- Roaring Boy (1975)
- There Were Giants in Those Days (1975)
- Young Mo (full title "The Resuscitation of the Little Prince Who Couldn't Laugh as Performed by Young Mo at the Height of the Great Depression of 1929") (1975), about the Australian comedian Roy "Mo" Rene
- The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin (1976), closely identified with the career of the actor Gordon Chater.
- When They Send Me Three and Fourpence (1976)
- The Death of George Reeves (1978)
- King Richard (1978)
- The Time of the Bodgie (1980)
- Froggie (1983)
- Glory (1988)
- Namatjira Park (1992)
- A Little Theatre (1995)
His final theatre work was The Dance Angelic (1995).
Over his career, Spears wrote prolifically for television. His credits include:
- episodes of:
- A Country Practice
- Hey Dad..!
- All Together Now
- E Street
- Heartbreak High
- the children's series The Genie From Down Under (including the first episode Wishing and Hoping) for the Australian Children's Television Foundation, ABC and BBC.
- the children's animated series The Greatest Tune on Earth for the Australian Children's Television Foundation and Seven Network.
- the children's animated series Fairy Tale Police Department for Yoram Gross-EM.TV and Seven Network.
- the children's animated series Gloria's House for Energee and Seven Network.
- the children's series Sky Trackers for the Australian Children's Television Foundation and Seven Network.
- The Big Wish for the Australian Children's Television Foundation.
Spears wrote an "anti-memoir" "In Search of the Bodgie", published in 1989
In 2004, Spears' detective novel Murder at the Fortnight was published. It was planned as the first of a thirteen part series, The Pentangeli Papers, but only one more, Innocent Murders (2006) was published before his death.
- Temperament Unsuited (1979) - Mark
- Mad Max 2 (1981) - Mechanic
- Going Down (1983) - Trendy at party
- The Empty Beach (1985) - Manny
- Those Dear Departed (1987) - Dangerman
- Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train (1988) - Singer
- Afraid to Dance (1989) - Garage Man
- Hornery, Andrew; Ben Wyld (24 November 2002). "Theatre yarn starts to unravel". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
- George, Rob (28 November 2008). "Steve J Spears 1951–2007 An Excellent Obit". Retrieved 7 February 2009.
- "AustLit Agent". austlit.edu.au. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Spears, Steve (1989). In Search of the Bodgie. Sydney: Imprint (Collins Publishers Australia). p. 162. ISBN 0-7322-2524-8.
- Morgan, Clare (17 October 2007). "Playwright loses his cancer struggle". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "STEVE J SPEARS". Doollee.com, The Playwrights Database. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
- "Steve J. Spears". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- "The Rocky Horror Show (Australian Cast) (1981)". rockymusic.org. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- IMDb filmography for "Steve J. Spears" accessed 20 March 2011
- "Books by Steve J. Spears". biblio.com. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
- Steve J. Spears at IMDb
- Penelope Debelle, Obituary, The Age, 22 October 2007, p. 11
- Picture of Spears in his University of Adelaide years