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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

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Manoly Lascaris (1912–2003)

by Valerie Lawson

Manoly Lascaris, the lifelong partner of the Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick White, has died in Sydney at the age of 91. He died at the nursing home Lulworth House, in Elizabeth Bay, where he had spent the past three months.

Lulworth House is Patrick White's childhood home. The modern building stands on the garden of the original Lulworth House, the White family's home from 1916.

The Lulworth garden was "a place where White's imagination was formed", in the words of his biographer, David Marr.

News of Mr Lascaris's death comes nearly a week after he died last Thursday. The delay parallels the circumstances of White's own death, aged 78, in 1990. It was his wish that no death notice appear for a week, partly to spare Mr Lascaris's feelings.

Patrick White's ashes were scattered in Centennial Park, near where the two men had lived in a Federation bungalow since 1964, and where Mr Lascaris lived until his illness.

The two men met in Egypt in 1941, when both were 29. White had joined the Royal Air Force when he met Mr Lascaris, who was born in Cairo. They moved to Australia in 1948.

A friend of Mr Lascaris, the film producer Elizabeth Knight, said yesterday that White called him "my solid mandala", a reference to his 1966 novel, The Solid Mandala. The novel, which White said was a book "in which I said most nearly what I wanted to say", concerned twin brothers who represented two aspects of human nature.

Mr Lascaris's death means the indigenous dance college, the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association, stands to gain a quarter of White's estate. The author stipulated that the college would not receive the bequest until Mr Lascaris died.

NAISDA has been dogged this year by debt, staff changes and board upheavals. A quarter of the proceeds from a sale of the Centennial Park house would amount to about $1 million.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Valerie Lawson, 'Lascaris, Manoly (1912–2003)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


5 August, 1912
Cairo, Egypt


13 November, 2003 (aged 91)
Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.