Last night, as I flicked through Twitter on my phone, I was saddened to read the words RIP Jon Blake.
As a kid, I was interested in all things First World War, especially Gallipoli. I remember when the ANZACs mini-series aired, watching it intrigued and loving it. Amongst the stars of Paul Hogan and AndrewClarke, a young good looking guy playing Pvt Flanagan, the larrikin hero, stood out. That was Jon Blake.
Just a few years later, Jon had finished filming The Lighthorsemen (another great Aussie film) and was involved in an awful car crash that left him severely brain damaged. It was a miracle that he was alive. For the next 25 years, he was cared for by his mother and then his son. It's almost James Dean-esque – the life of a young, good looking man left in tatters, a promising career cut short. In the years that followed, an odd magazine article would be written about 'what could have been'.
The end of this tragic tale came yesterday when Jon died of pneumonia. RIP Jon Blake.