Hector William Crawford
14 August 1913
|Died||11 March 1991 77) (aged|
|Occupation||music conductor and director, radio and television producer|
|Known for||Broadcast Exchange of Australia, Crawford Productions|
Hector William Crawford CBE AO (14 August 1913 –11 March 1991) was an Australian entrepreneur, conductor and media mogul, best known for his radio and television production firms. He and his sister Dorothy Crawford founded Crawford Productions, which was responsible for many iconic programs and initiated the careers of a number of notable Australian actors and entertainers. His influence on the Australian entertainment industry was immense and enduring, and one obituary described him as "one of the best-known and most respected names in the history of Australian entertainment".
Hector William Crawford was born in Melbourne in 1913. His parents were William Henry Crawford, a commercial traveller, and Charlotte, née Turner, a contralto and organist.He studied at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and later conducted the orchestra there. In 1940 he became the musical and recording director of Broadcast Exchange of Australia, a radio broadcasting house, and its managing director in 1942.
In 1945 he and his sister Dorothy Crawford founded Crawford Productions. Hector managed music, administration and sales, while Dorothy attended to script-editing and casting.They produced musical radio programs in Melbourne such as Music for the People, in which concerts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, often conducted by Hector, were attended by large crowds and broadcast live on radio. The concept developed, and culminated in the concert given by The Seekers at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in 1967, which attracted a record-breaking crowd of 200,000 people.
Other shows included Opera for the People, The Melba Story (which starred the then unknown soprano Glenda Raymond, who shared the role with Patricia Kennedy),The Amazing Oscar Hammerstein , and The Blue Danube. The singing competition Mobil Quest first brought coloratura sopranos Joan Sutherland and June Bronhill and tenor Donald Smith to public notice.
There were also radio dramas such as No Holiday for Halliday, Sincerely Rita Marsden, My Imprisoned Heart, A Woman in Love, Inspector West, and Lone Star Lannigan.
Crawfords became the first independent producer to screen a programme on Australian television. Wedding Day was a games/quiz show, in which newly married couples came into the studio straight from their wedding reception, in the hope of winning prizes. It premiered on HSV-7 on 10 November 1956 (his own 6th wedding anniversary) and ran for 39 weeks.
Australia's first hour-long television drama series, Consider Your Verdict premiered in 1961, and the hugely successful police drama Homicide in 1964, which lasted till 1977. Then came Showcase (1965–69; a major talent quest that discovered a large number of big names; Hector Crawford also conducted the Showcase Orchestra), Hunter (1967–69), The Box (1974–77), The Sullivans (1976–82), the miniseries All the Rivers Run (1983), as well as Division 4 , Matlock Police , Cop Shop , Skyways , The Flying Doctors and Carson's Law , among other programs.At one point, all of the country's then three commercial television networks were showing Crawford studio dramas.
In the 1970s he was involved in the Make It Australian campaign to encourage more locally produced television content.The Whitlam Government appointed Crawford a member of the Australian Film and Television School in 1973, and a member of the Australian Film Commission in 1974.
Hector Crawford married Melbourne coloratura soprano Glenda Raymond on 10 November 1950.They had two children.
Hector Crawford sold his controlling interests in Crawford Productions in 1987 and retired in 1989.He died in 1991, aged 77, survived by his wife Glenda Raymond and children, Joanne and Tim.
Hector Crawford was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year's Honours of 1968, "in recognition of service as Director of Music for the People".In the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1980, he was raised to Commander of the order (CBE), "in recognition of service to the arts".
In the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1986, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), "for service to Australian television production".
Hector Crawford was awarded special Logie Awards in 1969, 1971, 1975 and 1976, for outstanding contribution to Australian television and show business. In 1984, he was the first inductee into the Logie Hall of Fame.
Other awards included the Footlighter's Award, the Colin Bednall Award, the Chips Rafferty Memorial Award, the Sir Charles McGrath Award of the Australian Marketing Institute, an Advance Australia Award, the Hartnett Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, the Sir Arthur Cowan Award, the inaugural BHP Australian Television Festival Award for Excellence, and Life Membership of the Screen Production Association of Australia (SPAA).
The "Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture" is given at the annual SPAA Conference. It is the major annual public statement on the screen production and broadcasting industries in Australia.
The Logie Awards is an annual gathering to celebrate Australian television, sponsored and organised by magazine TV Week, with the first ceremony in 1959, known then as the TV Week Awards, the awards are presented in 20 categories representing both public and industry voted awards.
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The 12th Annual TV Week Logie Awards were presented on Friday 20 March 1970 at Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne and broadcast on the Nine Network. Bert Newton from the Nine Network was the Master of Ceremonies. Miss World 1968 winner Penny Plumber, British television actor Peter Wyngarde and American actors Peter Graves and Robert Young appeared as guests. Peggy Lipton, star of the US series The Mod Squad, was also originally scheduled to appear but cancelled at the last minute due to a severe middle-ear infection. This article lists the winners of Logie Awards for 1970:
The 18th Annual TV Week Logie Awards were presented on Friday 12 March 1976 at Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne and broadcast on the Nine Network. Bert Newton from the Nine Network was the Master of Ceremonies. American film star Lee Marvin, television actors Henry Winkler, Martin Milner and Arte Johnson, and British actors Gordon Jackson and Susannah York appeared as guests.
Crawford Productions is an Australian media production company, focused on radio and television production. Founded by Hector Crawford and his sister, actress and voice artist Dorothy Crawford, the company, also known as Crawfords Australia, is now a subsidiary of the WIN Corporation.
Consider Your Verdict is an Australian television series made by Crawford Productions for the Seven Network originally screening from February 1961 through to June 1964. It was based on a radio series with the same name broadcast on 3DB in Melbourne from 1958 to 1960.
Gerard Kennedy is an Australian double Gold Logie award-winning actor, best known for his roles in early television series. After playing six different characters in guest appearances in Crawford Productions series Homicide in 1966 he shot to fame as the antagonist in Australian television spy drama Hunter, becoming so popular that his character changed sides, eventually becoming the main character after lead actor Tony Ward left the series. Kennedy won a TV Week Logie Award for 'Best New Talent' for his portrayal of the character. Kennedy followed this with a starring role in police procedural television series, Division 4, winning multiple Logie Awards—including two Gold Logies as most popular personality on Australian TV—for his work in the series. He has consistently acted in Australian television and film productions since that time. He played the part of Kaiwanasha in the American film Blood Crime in 2002.
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Dorothy Muriel Turner Crawford, other names Dorothy Balderson, Dorothy Strong and Dorothy Smith, was an Australian actress and announcer, as well as a producer in radio and television, who, with her brother Hector Crawford, co-founded the important Australian broadcasting production company Crawford Productions.
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