Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
As an adolescent, Tingwell was encouraged by his father to be an accountant, but failed the entrance exam. Not long after, he was drafted as a pilot during World War II. He subsequently saw action flying reconnaissance missions overseas. After returning to Australia, he married his childhood sweetheart, Audrey. He also began to seriously consider a career in film, which had been a passion of his before the war.
In 1946, Tingwell won his first film role, as a control tower officer in the film Smithy. He took on several roles over the next few years, increasing in stature, until he caught the attention of Hollywood in 1952, and won the part of Lt. Harry Carstairs in the film The Desert Rats, alongside Chips Rafferty , James Mason and Richard Burton.
After filming The Desert Rats, Tingwell stayed in Australia for three years, making three films, including King of the Coral Sea, which also featured Rafferty. In 1956, Tingwell moved to England. The following year, he took on his first recurring television role, playing an Australian surgeon in the live television serial Emergency Ward 10. He also won the role of Inspector Craddock in Agatha Christie's Mrs Marples series, and played the character in four films between 1961 and 1964.
Tingwell made numerous other films while in England, but in 1973, returned to Australia with his wife and children, and soon after, won the role of Inspector Reg Lawson on the long-running series Homicide. This was followed by small roles in a number of major Australian films, such as Breaker Morant, Puberty Blues and All The Rivers Run.
His career went through a quiet period throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, until he took on the role of a grandfather in a recurring segment for the satirical series The Late Show in 1993. He was awarded the prestigious Gold Logie Hall of Fame award in 1994. His role in The Late Show was later to win him a major role as lawyer Lawrence Hammill in the major 1997 film The Castle . He later said that this role helped him recover from the death of his wife not long before.
After the success of The Castle, Tingwell's career has undergone a revival during the late 1990s and early 2000s. This saw him take on small roles in commercial films The Craic and The Dish, the mini-series Changi, as well as the lead in the romance Innocence.
As of 2004, Tingwell is still acting regularly, alternating between both theatre and film.
- The Desert Rats (1953) Lt. Harry Carstairs
- King of the Coral Sea (1953) Peter Merriman
- The Shiralee (1957) Jim Muldoon
- Breaker Morant (1980) Lt. Col. Denny (President of Court Martial)
- Puberty Blues (1981) The Headmaster
- The Castle (1997) Lawrence Hammill
- The Wog Boy (2000) Mr Walker
- Innocence (2000) Andreas Borg
- The Dish (2000) Reverend Loftus
- Changi (2001) Older David Collins
- Bud: A Life (2004)
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