Entertainer Jon English Jon English has been remembered as a magnetic performer, a larger-than-life character and a unique Australian talent, at a public memorial in Sydney.
More than 1300 people packed into the Capitol Theatre to watch stars including John Paul Young, John Waters and Peter Cupples perform in tribute to the screen and stage icon, who died last month aged 66.
English, whose decades-long career included several hit singles, numerous Aria Awards and a Logie, was described as “a titan of the stage” and a family man by his former manager, Peter Rix.
Mr Rix said there was unlikely to be another performer who would master so many skills or who would leave such a “profound archive of outstanding achievement”.
“He was so talented, so focused on his audience, so focused on the people that came to see him perform, that I found he could barely leave the stage without winning over every single audience member to the back row,” Mr Rix said.
In a pre-recorded video message television presenter Richard Wilkins described the Against the Wind and All Together Now star’s enthusiasm as addictive.
“He was a talented, magnetic and dynamic performer,” Wilkins said.
John Paul Young performs at the memorial
Actress Amanda Muggleton recalled for the audience her former co-star’s stage presence and “remarkable” dedication to his job.
“The energy would burst out of him every single show,” she said.
“I don’t think that man ever went off stage. I don’t think he ever missed a show because of sickness.”
Tribute messages from Australian celebrities including Cameron Daddo, Rebecca Gibney and Marcia Hines were spliced with renditions of English’s hits by John Paul Young, John Waters, Simon Gallaher, and Peter Cupples, with backing by English’s former band the Foster Brothers.
John Waters sang a tribute to his friend
English’s daughter Josephine recalled a different side of the performer, describing him as “a private person with a very public job” who was most at home on his farm.
She said his final weeks were filled with love and laughter.
“He was larger than life, both at home and on the stage,” she said.