Roy Billing Biography
Roy Billing OAM is a New Zealand television actor, now based in Sydney, Australia. He was born as Roy Harwood Billing in 1947 and brought up in Ruawai, Northland, New Zealand. He went to Ruawai District High School and later Mt Roskill Grammar School in Auckland where the family moved in the early sixties. He attended Auckland University where his education took second place to swinging 60s activities like playing bass in the short lived psychedelic rock band The Ministry of Fog.
Roy Billing Career
Roy’s first job was for the NZ Inland Revenue Department but he soon decided the life of a bureaucrat was not for him and started work in the advertising industry. He developed an interest in amateur dramatics and finally went professional in 1977 and joined Auckland’s ensemble theatre company Theatre Corporate. The first year in the company was mainly spent on the road travelling with the theatre’s Theatre in Education troupe. That lead to a place in the main company and over four years he performed in many classic and contemporary plays. As well as performing he attended classes run by the theatre’s Artistic Director, Raymond Hawthorne, a graduate of the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
After four years of back-to-back plays with the company he left to pursue a freelance career and in no time was working regularly in film and, mainly, television. Roy arrived in Australia in 1989 and soon found himself working regularly in film, television and theatre with roles in TV shows like E-STREET, HEY DAD, HAMPTON COURT and POLICE RESCUE and various roles at The Ensemble Theater. His work biography reads like a history of Australian film and television.
Billing has starred in many television shows and has had the priviledge of playing main roles on Bad Cop, Bad Cop, Dossa and Joe and Hell Has Harbour Views. Billing also had a recurring role on Blue Heelers as Senior Constable Ian Goss, on Always Greener as Eddie McGill, in Packed to the Rafters as Ron Barrett, and in Under the Mountain. In 2000 he featured in the film The Dish, portraying the Mayor of Parkes in a comedy about the moon landings. He also appeared as part of the ensemble on the 2006 season of Thank God You’re Here. He has had a guest role on All Saints.
In the Jack Irish television drama series and television movies adapted from the detective novels by Peter Temple he played Harry Strang. Billing in 2009, played Griffith drug lord Robert Trimbole in the high-rating drama series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, starring alongside Matthew Newton. He also starred in the film Charlie and Boots. In the 2010 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as well as a recurring character in the Nine Network police drama Cops L.A.C.,Roy played the part of Chief Dufflepud .
He started acting with Theatre Corporate, Auckland in the late 1970s. Early roles in New Zealand were in Sea Urchins a 1980-84 New Zealand TV series, the 1982 films The Scarecrow and Beyond Reasonable Doubt, the 1985 film Came a Hot Friday, and as Captain Gordon Vette in the 1988 miniseries Erebus: The Aftermath. In 2013 he appeared in the New Zealand television comedy Agent Anna, for which he agreed to be paid at New Zealand rates. He is one of Australia’s busiest actors and voice over artists yet finds time to be involved in industry and charity matters.
Roy Billing Awards
Billing was nominated in the ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ award at the AFI Awards for his role in Siam Sunset in 1999. In 2009, he won the ‘Best Actor in a Television Drama’ award at the AFI Awards, and was nominated for the ‘Outstanding Actor’ award at the 2010 Logies for his role in Underbelly. In 2009, his career achievements were honoured when he was inducted into the Australian Film Walk of Fame. On 26 January 2015, Billing was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for “service to the performing arts, particularly as an actor, and to the community”.
Roy Billing Age
Billing was born as Roy Harwood Billing in 1947 . He is 71 years old
Roy Billing Wife
He is married to Linda Tizard who runs a business consultancy for creative people through their joint company, The Broad Picture Pty Ltd.
Roy Billing Children
He has a daughter Kelly, and son-in-law Carlos who teaches at an international school in Santiago, Chile. Kelly and Carlos have a son, Jason.
Roy Billing Movies and TV Shows
- Jack Irish (TV Show)
- Sisters (TV Show)
- Hounds (TV Show)
- The Secret Life of Us (TV Show)
- Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (TV Show)
- Chandon Pictures (TV Show)
- The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (Movie)
- Aquamarine (Movie)
- Strange Bedfellows (Movie)
- Rabbit-Proof Fence (Movie)
- When Good Ghouls Go Bad (Movie)
- The Dish (Movie)
- A Little Bit Of Soul (Movie)
- Doing Time For Patsy Cline (Movie)
- Children Of The Revolution (Movie)
- Dallas Doll (Movie)
- Tearaway (Movie)
- Came A Hot Friday (Movie)
- Nate And Hayes (Movie)
- The Scarecrow (Movie)
- Children of the Dog Star (TV Show)
- Agent Anna (TV Show)
Roy Billing News
Roy Billing challenges Labor MP’s assertion on the number of Australian actors
Updated On: 5th September 2017
Actor Roy Billing has questioned whether Labor MP Susan Templeman had properly read his submission to the House of Representatives inquiry into the growth and sustainability of Australia’s film and TV industry.
Billing wrote to the Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts after a transcript of the evidence he gave to the inquiry showed Ms Templeman had misquoted him.
The Underbelly, Rake and Jack Irish star told a special hearing of the committee in Canberra that the requirement to consult the MEAA on issuing temporary visas for foreign crew and actors is unnecessary and overly complex and that no other industry requires union consultation.
There are many producers who believe the MEAA should lose the right to be consulted on issuing visas for foreign performers but are afraid to take a stand publicly, he said.
He advocated that Screen Australia should determine which foreign actors fit within the criteria of Significant Australian Content and each case would then be referred to the Department of Immigration and Border Control.
During the hearing Templeman, a former journalist and MEAA member, asked him how many Australian actors were working in the US. He replied at least 100, citing figures supplied by Ausfilm.
The member for Macquarie then misquoted Billing’s submission that there are 46,000 actors in Australia, observing: “So it is 100 out of 46,000 who are successfully working overseas. Presumably a lot of those ones are still trying to get work in Australia and don’t have the wherewithal to get to the States. “
Billing corrected her, stressing he had quoted a 2015 Deloitte Access Economics report commissioned by the Australian Screen Association which estimated there are more than 46,600 people who earn a full-time living out of the screen industry.
He repeated his contention that while there are 5,000 actors on the union’s books, only around 1,250, or 25 per cent, derive their primary source of income from acting in screen productions.
In his letter to the committee’s secretariat Billing stated: “Ms Templeman’s rather extraordinary claim that there are 46,000 Australian actors indicates to me that she had not properly read my submission… For Ms Templeman to claim that there are 46,000 actors in Australia concerns me. I think I am entitled to expect better due diligence from a member of an Australian Parliament House Standing Committee?”
Templeman told IF today she had read Billing’s submission and that she is grateful that he “beautifully” clarified the data he had provided to the inquiry.
Asked what he hoped might ensue from the committee’s report, Billing told IF, “There are so many issues involved I don’t really know what recommendations the committee will make, nor whether the government will act on them.
“I do, however, have a hope that my particular “bee in the bonnet” might get attention. Apart from the Labor people in my hearing, I think the committee understood what I was about. And since the hearing a number of people have contacted the committee lending support to my submission, especially when they realised they could do so without their names being made public.”
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