Person - Hazel Phillips

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HAZEL JULIA PHILLIPS

Born in 1929, Hazel Phillips in 1954 played the mother in Mona Brand's Better a Millstone, set in a London council flat, opposite Les Tanner as the father. In her memoir Hazel says she developed a crush on him and wrote a song “It Isn’t Forever” about a love affair that can’t go anywhere. She also recalled playing Mary in Reedy River with "a leftist group" she had joined. In 1957 she did a routine for NT’s 25th birthday at White City, organised by Betty Milliss.

Born in the UK where housing was a big problem postwar, Hazel Lovegrove migrated to Australia in 1951 following her father who worked on the Snowy Mountains Scheme and her fiancé Bill Phillips. They were “ten pound Poms”. After her marriage she acted with Sydney John Kay at the Mercury Theatre in St James Hall where she met Rod Taylor. She was friendly with John Barnard's wife Noel. Hazel's sons were born in 1953 and 1955.

Hazel and Bill split up in 1963, after which she had a successful radio, stage, film and TV career. She became friendly with Frank Hardy when she had her own Channel 10 TV chat show in the 1960s and shared his views on the plight of Aborigines. She also interviewed Mona Brand in 1966 to publicise Barbara. With Mark McManus and Noeline Brown she participated in Argyle Centenary celebrations in 1969. In 1970 she acted opposite Denis Doonan in The Set, a film about homosexuality.

Hazel Phillips won a 1967 Gold Logie in 1967, was recognised by an OAM in 2005, and competed in Australia’s Got Talent in 2011.

There is a lot of material online about Hazel Phillips, including a Wikipedia entry. Her autobiography Black River, Bright Star was published in 2008.



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