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Harold Francis (Hal) Lashwood (1915–1992)

One of Australia's best-known old-time radio comedians and the father of Actors Equity, Hal Lashwood, has died in Sydney aged 75. He suffered from cancer.

Mr Lashwood gained fame as the straight man or nosy neighbour Lasho opposite his friend and famous comedian Roy "Mo" Rene in McCackie Mansions, broadcast nationally in the late 1940s.

He was instrumental in setting up Actors Equity and was president for 25 years. He was also Waverley's deputy mayor in 1976.

"Apart from a great love of theatre and performing, Australian nationalism, a fair go for Australian actors and running Actors Equity were the passion of Hal's life," fellow radio actor Harry Griffiths said yesterday.

Mr Griffiths said Mr Lashwood was "marvellous" as Roy Rene's straight man, and was of "great assistance in helping Mo transfer from stage to radio".

Mr Griffiths played Young Harry in McCackie Mansions, which he said had an audience of four million people and was so popular it affected the movie audiences on Tuesday nights.

When the radio boom ended with the advent of television in Australia in 1956, Mr Lashwood produced the Minstrel Show on ABC TV, and then wrote, starred, produced and directed Alabama Jubilee also on ABC TV.

He was appointed Commissioner of the ABC in 1973.

He is survived by a daughter, Angela. Mr Griffiths believed Actors Equity was planning a memorial service for Mr Lashwood.

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Citation details

'Lashwood, Harold Francis (Hal) (1915–1992)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Davies, Harold Francis

13 August, 1915
Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


26 March, 1992 (aged 76)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (not specified)

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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism