Robert Hughes (Australian actor)

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Robert Hughes
Robert Lindsay Hughes

(1948-08-19) 19 August 1948 (age 70)
Nationality Australian
OccupationActor, voice actor, musician
Years active1976–2013
Known for Hey Dad..! , ABBA: The Movie
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Spouse(s)Robyn Gardiner
Conviction(s) Two counts of sexual assault, seven counts of indecent assault and one count of committing an indecent act involving girls from 6 to 15
Criminal penalty10 years 9 months' imprisonment (6 years non-parole)

Robert Lindsay Hughes (born 19 August 1948 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian former actor, voice actor, and musician, whose most significant roles include ABBA: The Movie and the television sitcom Hey Dad..! . In May 2014, he was convicted of sexual offences against children and sentenced to 10 years and 9 months' imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 6 years. [1]

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.


Early career

Hughes first worked as a cadet journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald . [2]

<i>The Sydney Morning Herald</i> newspaper published in Sydney, Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) is a daily compact newspaper in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia owned by Nine. Founded in 1831 as the Sydney Herald, the SMH is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia and a national online news brand. The print version of the newspaper is published six days a week.

Hughes was briefly the bass player for the pop/country rock band the Flying Circus in 1967–68, billed as Bob Hughes, before they had hits with the songs "Hayride" and "La La". [3]

The Flying Circus were an Australian pop and country rock band with founding mainstays, Doug Rowe on lead guitar and vocals and Colin Walker on drums. They had three top 30 pop hits, "Hayride", "La La" and "Run Run Run", in Australia from 1968 to 1971. These were not typical of their live work nor later recordings. They re-located to Canada from 1971 to 1974 where they achieved chart success with "Old Enough " and "Maple Lady". Doug Rowe died in July 2015.


Hughes has acted extensively in Australian theatre, film and television. He was a Sydney Theatre Company company artist from 1981. His theatre roles have included The War Horse and Great Big Adventure Book for Boys . His television roles include Chopper Squad , Cop Shop , The Sullivans , Skyways , Tickled Pink , The Paul Hogan Show , Dick Emery in Australia , Daily at Dawn , The Timeless Land , Kingswood Country , The Flying Doctors , A Country Practice , Learned Friends , Prisoner and The New Adventures of Blinky Bill . His film roles include Cathy's Child , Fatty Finn , ABBA: The Movie and Squizzy Taylor . [4] Following this he played the lead role in Hey Dad..! from 1987 until leaving the series in 1993.

Sydney Theatre Company arts organisation in Australia

Sydney Theatre Company (STC) is an Australian theatre company based in Sydney, New South Wales. The company performs in The Wharf Theatre at Dawes Point in The Rocks area of Sydney, as well as the Roslyn Packer Theatre and the Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre.

The War Horse is a 1927 American drama film written and directed by Lambert Hillyer and starring Buck Jones, Lola Todd, Lloyd Whitlock, Stanley Taylor, Yola d'Avril and James Gordon. It was released on February 6, 1927, by Fox Film Corporation.

Chopper Squad is an Australian television series produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the 0-10 Network.

Hughes did not participate in two Hey Dad..! cast reunions: on the television series Where Are They Now? in 2006, [5] and a radio reunion on Brisbane station B105 FM in 2009. [6]

Brisbane capital city of Queensland, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of and the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.5 million, and the South East Queensland metropolitan region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.6 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the historic European settlement and is situated inside a peninsula of the Brisbane River, about 15 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas (LGAs)—most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. The demonym of Brisbane is "Brisbanite" or "Brisbanian".

In 1979, he was on the Australian spin-off version of The British show Love Thy Neighbour in Australia. Only 7 episodes were created.

<i>Love Thy Neighbour</i> (1972 TV series) 1970s British TV sitcom

Love Thy Neighbour is a British television sitcom, which was broadcast from 13 April, 1972 until 22 January, 1976, spanning seven series and 54 episodes. The series was produced by Thames Television for the ITV network.


YearTitleRole Allmovie rating
1977 ABBA: The Movie Ashley WallaceStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1979 Cathy's Child MikeStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1980 Fatty Finn PercyStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1981 Winter of Our Dreams Martin HarrisStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1982 Squizzy Taylor Reg HarveyStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1982DeadlineFletcherStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1984 The Great Gold Swindle Brian Mickelberg Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1996 Race the Sun Judd PotterStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link
1999 First Daughter Dan(unrated) link
2000 Nowhere to Land AFP Bill Ryan(unrated) link

Allegations of sexual misconduct, arrest, and conviction

In March 2010, Sarah Monahan alleged that Hughes, who then was living in Singapore, had engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour on the set of the Hey Dad..! show. Fellow cast members Ben Oxenbould and Simone Buchanan commented in support of her allegations. [7] On 29 March, police announced the creation of a strike force to investigate Monahan's claims. [8] Monahan said she spent more than 35 hours testifying to police. [9] In September 2010, six months after the allegations were published, it was reported that more than 100 people had been interviewed. Police had not yet spoken to Hughes and were weighing up whether a formal interview would take place. [10]

In an interview broadcast on Channel Nine's A Current Affair on 14 March 2011, a niece of Hughes's claimed that she had also been molested by him. [11] Hughes's daughter rejected the allegations and questioned why these accusations had not been raised earlier. [12]

A mother of a victim later said: "We first went to [New South Wales] police about Hughes in 1988 when my daughter was nine years old" and says she was told by the investigating detective "I've tried to get this guy but every time I do someone covers for him". [13] NSW Police had interviewed Hughes about claims of sexual abuse as early as 1985. [14]

Hughes was arrested in London in August 2012 and the New South Wales government sought his extradition to Australia. He was granted bail and a hearing was held on 19 September 2012. [15] At that hearing, Hughes indicated that he intended to return to Australia for questioning. [16] After being extradited to Australia, Hughes was charged with 11 counts of child sexual abuse and released on bail. [17]

His trial started on 10 February 2014, at Downing Centre District Court where he pleaded not guilty to eleven charges. [18] In April 2014, the jury found Hughes guilty of two counts of sexual assault, seven counts of indecent assault [19] and one count of committing an indecent act. A final charge, relating to an indecent act with a child under the age of sixteen, resulted in a hung jury. No outcome was recorded in relation to this charge. [20]

On 16 May 2014, Hughes was sentenced to 10 years and 9 months' imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 6 years. His earliest date of eligibility for release will be in April 2020 when he will be aged 71. [1] After sentencing, Hughes was sent to Goulburn Correctional Centre, where his fellow inmates doused him in excreta upon his arrival, despite his being in protective custody. [21] Prison officials constructed a wall of wire screening to deflect further attacks upon Hughes's person. [22]

Hughes appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeal, but his appeal was rejected on 21 December 2015. [23] The court did, however, mandate that Hughes's allegations of physical abuse in prison be referred to the Minister for Justice and the Commissioner for Corrective Services. [23] On 18 January 2016, Hughes lodged an appeal with the High Court of Australia. [24] Hughes has since lost his High Court challenge to child sex convictions. [25]

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  3. "Flying Circus". Retrieved 27 March 2010.
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  18. Bibby, Paul (10 February 2014). "Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes pleads not guilty to child sex offences". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  19. Paul Bibby (7 April 2014). "Robert Hughes from 'Hey Dad!' found guilty of sexually assaulting girls". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  20. Bibby, Paul (8 April 2014). "Hey Dad! star found guilty of exposing himself on set of show". Retrieved 8 April 2014.
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  23. 1 2 Kidd, Jessica; Staff (21 December 2015). "Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes loses appeal against sexual offence conviction". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  24. "Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes appeals against sexual assault conviction". Yahoo!7. Yahoo!7. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  25. "Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes loses High Court fight against child sex convictions". ABC. ABC. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.