Person - Kleber Claux

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KLEBER CLAUX (1893 - 1971)

Known as Ray, a life-long anarchist and practising nudist, Kleber acted in NTL’s Transit in 1938, the same year his daughter Moira acted in Six Men of Dorset. He played a rabbi in a revival of Bury The Dead 1939 and was also in The Gentle People 1940. (Claux ~ which rhymes with “low” ~ may not be his birth name.)

Born in France, Kleber said he was a conscientious objector in the First World War. By the 1920s he was living in England in the Cotswolds on an anarchist commune where free love was practised, G B Shaw plays staged, and lectures on psychoanalysis given. He and Kathleen Mary Crick “Molly” migrated to northern Queensland in 1929 hoping to set up an anarchist community there but settled in Sydney in 1931. Sporting long hair and a heavy beard, Kleber was a practising vegetarian and nudist and lobbied for land to be set aside for a nudist colony. He wore shorts and sandals summer and winter and landed small character roles in the films Eureka Stockade and Kangaroo.

By 1945 he had set up business as a barrowman and was living with Molly and their four children, all practising nudists and vegetarians, in Forbes Street East Sydney. He gave up his fruit and vegetable stall on Liverpool Street near Central Police Station in 1956, and two years later sailed with Molly as delegates to the World Naturalist Congress in England where they met Audrey Murden. A "£10 Pom", before her marriage in 1960 to Cec Grivas , Audrey lived with the Claux family (all still nude at home) at West Botany Street, southern Sydney. They later moved to Marrickville where Kleber died in June 1971. Molly died in 1978.

Kleber attended a NTL conference on establishing a national theatre in 1945. Also there was Miles Franklin who described him as a bearded middle-aged man wearing shorts and sandals and smelling like a goat, and a seller of vegetables at high prices.

Kleber and Molly’s oldest child Eugene Crick Claux was born in Gloucestershire on 8 January 1929, studied art at East Sydney Tech 1944 -49 and had paintings exhibited in the 1946 and 1947 Wynne Prize. He graduated in life drawing in January 1950, two months before he died aged 21 on 8 March after a mental breakdown. Eugene's dry point sketch of his father’s head was donated to the Art Gallery of NSW in 2013. There were two younger brothers: Kleber jnr who married into the family of civil libertarian academic Ken Buckley, and Peter who went to the USA.

Only daughter Moira, born 1931, was in NTL’s Six Men of Dorset in 1938. From the age of 14 she worked as an artist’s model; in 1948 aged 16 she posed nude for a film Water Nymph and stills River Nymph. The banning of these at the Manly Fun Pier (where the coin-in-the-slot viewing machines gave teenage lads titillating sights of the female form) made newspaper headlines. Moira danced with the Bodenwieser company in the 1950s. She lived with George Finey’s son Bruin with whom she had three children. She acted on television in Prisoner: Cell Block H, in the feature films The Road Warrior, Mad Max 2 and Squizzy Taylor, and was continuity on Peter Weir’sThe Last Wave.

A sound interview with Moira Claux recorded in 2012 is held by the National Library of Australia.

Kleber Claux has a Wikipedia entry.


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