Tony Morphett

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Tony Morphett
Tony Morphett 2011.jpg
Tony Morphett in October 2011
Anthony David Morphett

(1938-03-10)10 March 1938
Died2 June 2018(2018-06-02) (aged 80)
Years active1964–2018
  • Betty Savage
    (m. 1961;div. 1968)
  • Inga Hunter
    (m. 1969;died 2018)
Website Tony Morphett – The Bottom Drawer

Anthony David Morphett (10 March 1938 – 2 June 2018) professional pen name Tony Morphett, was an Australian screenwriter, who created or co-created many Australian television series, including Dynasty , Certain Women , Sky Trackers , Blue Heelers , Water Rats , Above the Law and Rain Shadow . Morphett wrote or co-wrote seven feature films, ten telemovies, twelve mini-series, and hundreds of episodes of television drama, as well as devising or co-devising seven TV series. He won 14 industry awards for TV screenwriting.

<i>Dynasty</i> (Australian TV series) television series

Dynasty is an Australian TV series that aired from 7 October 1970 to 6 October 1971, based on the 1967 Tony Morphett novel of the same name.

<i>Sky Trackers</i> television series

Sky Trackers is an Australian children's television series created by Jeff Peck and Tony Morphett in 1994. It was produced by Patricia Edgar and Margot McDonald for the Australian Children's Television Foundation. The pilot was produced by Anthony Buckley. The series was a winner of various television awards.

<i>Blue Heelers</i> Australian police drama series

Blue Heelers is an Australian police drama series that was produced by Southern Star Group and ran for 12 years on the Seven Network, from 1994 to 2006. Although based around the policing of the town, the series generally depicted the everyday lives and relationships of the residents of Mount Thomas, a fictional small town in Victoria. The series was one of the highest-rated and most-awarded programs in the history of Australian television, having won 5 Logie awards, it is equal as the most awarded show in Logies history with The Don Lane Show. It is also noted for its two main stars Lisa McCune, a four-time recipient of the Gold Logie, and John Wood, who also won Gold.



Morphett started as a copy-boy and cadet reporter for The Daily Telegraph in 1956.

<i>The Daily Telegraph</i> (Sydney) Australian daily tabloid newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales

The Daily Telegraph is an Australian daily tabloid newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, by Nationwide News Limited, a division of News Corp Australia, formerly News Limited.

He moved to the ABC in 1957 where he worked in the ABC Talks Department for 10 years, presenting The Lively Arts and Spectrum. While at the ABC he published his early novels. He left the ABC in 1968 to become a freelance writer, writing primarily for TV and film.

Morphett was on the literature board of the Australia Council for four years from 1977–1981, and the board of the Australian Children's Television Foundation for eight years from 1985–1994. From 2003, he was a board member of the Australian Writers' Foundation, and occasionally served on the committee of the Australian Writers' Guild.

The Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF) is a national non-profit children’s media production and policy hub.

The Australian Writers' Guild (AWG) is the professional association for Australian performance writers, that is, writers for film, television, radio, theatre, video and new media. The AWG was established in 1962. The AWG is a member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Career highlights include writing the scripts for the feature films The Shiralee , The Last Wave and Robbery Under Arms , and creating the television series Blue Heelers , Water Rats and Certain Women .

The Shiralee is a 1987 Australian television film directed by George Ogilvie, based on the novel of the same name by D'Arcy Niland.

<i>The Last Wave</i> 1977 film by Peter Weir

The Last Wave is a 1977 Australian mystery drama film directed by Peter Weir. It is about a white solicitor in Sydney whose seemingly normal life is disrupted after he takes on a murder case and discovers that he shares a strange, mystical connection with the small group of local Australian Aborigines accused of the crime.

<i>Robbery Under Arms</i> television series

Robbery Under Arms is a bushranger novel by Thomas Alexander Browne, published under his pseudonym Rolf Boldrewood. It was first published in serialised form by The Sydney Mail between July 1882 and August 1883, then in three volumes in London in 1888. It was abridged into a single volume in 1889 as part of Macmillan's one-volume Colonial Library series and has not been out of print since.

Personal life

Two marriages:

Percival Savage

Major Percival James Savage, DSO, MBE was an Australian soldier, farmer and agricultural administrator. He was a World War I veteran, fighting as an ANZAC in Gallipoli, the Somme, Pozières, Passchendaele and Amiens. He rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming a Major at the age of 21. He was mentioned in dispatches three times. He was awarded a DSO on 14 December 1916 by King George V.

Morphett and Inga Hunter lived together in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, with a number of cats.

Blue Mountains (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Blue Mountains are a mountainous region and a mountain range located in New South Wales, Australia. The region borders on Sydney's metropolitan area, its foothills starting about 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of centre of the state capital. The public's understanding of the extent of the Blue Mountains is varied, as it forms only part of an extensive mountainous area associated with the Great Dividing Range. Officially the Blue Mountains region is bounded by the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers in the east, the Coxs River and Lake Burragorang to the west and south, and the Wolgan and Colo rivers to the north. Geologically, it is situated in the central parts of the Sydney Basin.


In 2007 following a bout of influenza, Morphett suffered heart failure, a condition he suffered from, for the rest of his life.

On 2 June 2018, after a brief period of hospitalisation, he died at Katoomba Hospital from a heart attack. He was with family as he died. [1] [2]


Stage plays


Awards and nominations

Related Research Articles

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  1. "Vale: Tony Morphett". TV Tonight. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. "Tony Morphett, screenwriter for The Sullivans, dies aged 80 after prolific career". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. "Tony Morphett – Complete Guide to the Playwright". The Playwright's Database. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  4. Adrian Guthrie (2009). "The experimental Jane Street seasons: seeking the Australian play and finding Australian performances". Double Dialogues. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  5. ""The Magic apron" by Tony Morphett, 1969". State Library of NSW. 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  6. Don Storey (2008). "Classic Australian Television – Delta Episode Details". Classic Australian Television. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Don Storey (2008). "Classic Australian Television – Dynasty Episode Details". Classic Australian Television. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
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  11. T. Zuk (1998–2011). "Australian Television Information Archive". Australian Television Information Archive. Retrieved 23 April 2011.