View Full Version : TV Legend Don Lane dead

October 22nd, 2009, 07:44 AM
TV legend Don Lane dead


October 22, 2009

Legendary television presenter Don Lane has died at the age of 75.

Entertainment legend Don Lane was charismatic and funny until the very end, his close friend and biographer Janise Beaumont says.

Lane, 75, died this morning after battling Alzheimer’s disease.

http://images.theage.com.au/2009/10/22/807042/gallo-don-recent2-600x400.jpg (http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/entertainment/don-lane--a-life--in-pictures/20091022-hapa.html?selectedImage=0)

Don Lane with Bert Newton

Click for more photos (http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/entertainment/don-lane--a-life--in-pictures/20091022-hapa.html?selectedImage=0)

He didn’t want this to happen, but he was still Don,’’ Ms Beaumont told Macquarie Radio.

‘‘And pretty much up to the end he was very tactile ... he loved hugs, he still could make eye contact, still be funny, still be charismatic - but this bastard of Alzheimer’s... we’ve got to find a cure.

‘‘I’ll go on any committee, I’ll dress up in a chicken suit to raise money to help find a cure because it robs people of so much.’’

The Nine Network will air a one-hour special, A Tribute to Don Lane, at 8.30pm tonight featuring highlights from his career.

Channel Nine CEO David Gyngell, in a statement, described Lane as a ‘‘stalwart of the industry and a great mate to so many’’.

‘‘While Don may have passed, the memories and the laughs he provided will remain with us for many years to come,’’ he said.

‘‘Our deepest condolences are conveyed to Jayne Ambrose, PJ and Don’s extended family.”

A private funeral service with very few in attendance would be held in Sydney tomorrow, but a public memorial would be held ‘‘down the track’’, Ms Beaumont said.

The television veteran was inducted into the Logie Awards Hall of Fame in 2003 and won 15 of the awards during his career. His former wife Jayne Ambrose, a talent agent, told The Age Lane’s son, PJ, was devastated by the news.

‘‘It’s a very sad day,’’ she said.

‘‘He was a fabulous father. If he was a good entertainer he was a better father.’’

She said she was focused on her son and did not want to speak further.

Last year, it was reported that Lane had been admitted to a care facility in Sydney.

Born in New York, he emigrated to Australia in 1965.

Lane was originally hired to fill in for someone at Channel Nine for six weeks. He went on to become one of the country’s most popular stars and at one time was the highest paid person on Australian television.

Celebrities, including Robin Williams, Billy Connolly, Dame Edna, Tony Curtis, Peter Sellers and Kiss all appeared on The Don Lane Show, which became must-see late night entertainment between 1975 and 1983.

PJ Lane had been booked to sing at an Alzheimer's Australia charity concert at Toorak's Trak Centre tonight to honour his father.

PJ Lane gave up a promising basketball career in the United States and Europe to move to Sydney to be with his father, he told Woman’s Day in June.

Five months ago, he said his father was still in good spirits and making jokes but he had decided to relocate closer to his father as his dementia was expected to worsen.

In the late 1968, Lane was charged with importing marijuana. He strenuously protested his innocence, claiming that a vengeful former business associate had planted the drugs in his jacket pocket. He was eventually found not guilty, after being defended by barrister Marcus Einfeld.

In 2003 he spoke to the ABC about his on-screen chemistry with fellow entertainer Bert Newton, describing it as ''magic''.

‘‘We were magic from the time he walked out from the curtain …you don't try to explain those things. You just take them and you use them and you enjoy them and most of all you appreciate them, because they don't happen often, they happen once in a rare while,’’ Lane said.

In an interview published in The Age’s Sunday Life magazine just last weekend, Newton spoke of his time working with Lane on the Don Lane Show.

‘‘I didn’t know that Don, whom I hadn’t met, had demanded that I be part of the show as part of his deal.

‘‘We hit it off from day one, which was suprising because we were so different.

"He was American for a start and we had very different lifestyles. He was a ladies’ man - women loved him.
‘‘I was married to Pattie, had only been for six months. But we clicked.

"He was a generous performer and didn’t mind where the laughs were coming from as long as they were there. He gave me carte blanche. Being second banana never concerned me.’’

Singer John Farnham, who made numerous appearances on Lane’s live television show, said the ‘‘great entertainer’’ had been invaluable in helping his career.

He said his thoughts were with Lane’s family and friends.

‘‘What a sad loss,’’ Farnham said.

‘‘As a young singer I worked on the Lane show often and we became good friends.

‘‘He helped me over my nerves on being on live TV, he always had something positive to say and always gave me much-needed advice, which I still rely heavily on today.’’

Farnham’s manager Glenn Wheatley said in his day, Lane had been television’s king of variety entertainment and was crucial to many singers’ budding success, including Farnham’s.

‘‘I certainly spent a lot of time working professionally together and his enthusiasm was always palpable, he was one of those people you couldn’t tie down,’’ Wheatley said.

‘‘I just remember him being truly professional ... and great for helping young Australian talent.

‘‘He was always straight forward in doing business (and) he really was a great entertainer in his own right.’’



October 22nd, 2009, 09:42 AM
I don't remember him at all. :confused: