Jill Perryman

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Jill Perryman

Jill Perryman.jpg
Perryman in 1966
Born (1933-05-30) 30 May 1933 (age 88)
Melbourne, Victoria
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1953–2006
Known forWork with J. C. Williamson theatre, musical theatre performer
Notable work
Spouse(s)Kevan Johnston
Children Tod Johnston
Trudy Johnston (Dunn)
  • William Thomas Perryman (father)
  • Dorothy Eileen Perryman (Duvall) (mother)
Family Diana Perryman (sister)
Bill Perryman (brother)

Jill Perryman (born 30 May 1933) (AM, MBE) [3] is an Australian former stage and screen actress and singer. Combining both her stage acting and her singing, she featured in numerous musical theatre roles, over eight decades, performing from the age of three in a production of operetta White Horse Inn [4]


Jill Perryman in I Do! I Do!.jpg

She toured twice with a production of Hello Dolly! firstly in 1965 , as a member of the ensemble cast in 1965, as character Irene Molley and again almost thirty years later in 1994 in the leading role. [1]

Personal life

Perryman was born in Melbourne to a family notable for its achievements in theatre and entertainment. Her father, William Thomas Perryman, was an actor and performer, with notable credits from 1919 until 1938 [2] and her mum Dorothy Eileen (formerly Duvall), born in Adelaide was an actress and singer, who appeared in a few productions from 1923 until 1932. [5]

Her older sister, Diana Perryman, also born in Melbourne (19 November 1925 - 10 January 1979) was also prominent in Australian theatre and also appeared in television roles. [6] Her husband is Western Australian dancer-choreographer Kevan Johnston, and they have a son Tod Johnston, who is a media personality, radio and television presenter, and musician.


Perryman when aged 19, joined the company of J. C. Williamson Theatres Ltd as a member of the chorus and in 1953 was understudying leading roles in stage musicals, including Evie Hayes in the Australian production of Call Me Madam . [7]

Perryman was strong in voice and personality, and a long series of understudy and small roles eventually led her, through the recommendation of John McCallum (who was then joint managing director of J. C. Williamson Theatres Ltd), to take the lead in the key Australian production of Funny Girl , a performance that won her an Erik Award for Best Actress and led to major roles in other productions. These included I Do! I Do! in 1969; The Two of Us in 1971. No, No, Nanette in 1972 won her another Erik Award for Best Actress for her role as Lucille Early, then in 1973 she starred in A Little Night Music . [8] In 1976 she played Gladys Zilch in Leading Lady, a musical production created especially for her. She also toured during 1977 in Side by Side by Sondheim . She played Miss Hannigan in Annie in 1978. She won also the AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1980. [9]

She toured in the musical's Chicago in 1988 and The Boy From Oz [1]

Stage roles

source= AusStage [1]

1953 Call Me Madam Ensemble (u/s Mrs Sally Adams)Australian tour starring Evie Hayes
1954 Paint Your Wagon Elizabeth WoodlingAustralian tour
1955 Can-Can CelestineAustralian tour
1957 The Pajama Game MabelAustralian tour starring Toni Lamond
1962 Carnival! RosalieAustralian tour
1965 Hello, Dolly! Irene MolloyAustralian tour starring Carole Cook as Dolly Levi
1966 Funny Girl Fanny Brice Australian tour
1969 I Do! I Do! AgnesAustralian tour
1972 No, No, Nanette Lucille EarlyAustralian tour starring Cyd Charisse
1973 A Little Night Music Countess MalcolmAustralian tour
1977 Side by Side by Sondheim HerselfAustralian tour
1978 Annie Miss HanniganAustralian tour
1983 Noises Off Dotty OttleyAustralian tour
1983 Chicago Mama Morton Playhouse Theatre, Perth
1984 ‘night, Mother Jessie CatesAustralian tour
1985 Brighton Beach Memoirs BlancheAustralian tour
1994 Hello, Dolly! Dolly LeviAustralian tour
1998 Follies Carlotta Champion Sydney Opera House concert
1998 The Boy from Oz Marion WoolnoughAustralian tour

Selected TV roles

The Good Oil (TV movie)19632Bunny
Dynasty (TV series)1971Jenny Farmer
Perryman on Parade (TV series)As herself
Bellbird (TV series)1971-1975Cheryl Turner (328 episodes)
Homicide (TV series)1976Kate Holsworth
Ticked Pink (TV series)1978Vera
...Maybe This Time1981Mother
Home Sweet Home (TV series)1981Mother Superior
Windrider1986Miss Dodge
Flight Into Hell (TV miniseries)1987unknown
The Flying Doctors (TV series)1989Josie Sterling
A Country Practice (TV series) 1989-1990Lois Gardner (4 episodes)
Clowning Around1992Miss Gabhurst
Love in Limbo1993Aunt Dorry
Changi (TV miniseries)2001Older Kate
Hidden Creatures (film short)2006Doris

Selected appearances

Pantomime Quiz (TV series)1957Self
BP Super Show (TV series)1966Self-Singer
Sydney Tonight (TV series)1969Self
The Mike Walsh Show (TV series)1970Self
Matt Fllinders (TV series) 1972Self
Kamahl'. (TV series) 1972Self
Jill (TV movie)1973Herself
The Ernie Sigley Show (TV series) 1974Self as performer
The Graham Kennedy Show (TV series)1975Self as performer


In the 1979 New Year's Honours, Perryman was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). [10]

In the 1992 Australia Day Honours, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). [11]

In 2011 she received the JC Williamson Award, a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to the Australian live performance industry, alongside contemporaries Toni Lamond and Nancye Hayes [12]

In October 2013, Perryman and her husband, Kevan Johnston, jointly received the Australian Equity Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award at a presentation on the stage of Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne.

Diana Perryman MBE

Her sister, actress Diana Perryman, who died in 1979, posthumously was awarded an MBE. [13]

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  10. It's an Honour: MBE
  11. It's an Honour: AM
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