Ballet dancer; mime artist; make-up artist; musicals performer; choreographer; actor on stage and screen; director of ballets, plays and operas; co-artistic director of the Australian Ballet; and director of the 1970 Adelaide Festival of Arts - Sir Robert Helpmann was all of these and more. The importance and richness of his contribution to the performing arts both in Australia and overseas is without parallel. Despite the extraordinary breadth of his career and the acclaim his work in Australia received at the time, very little has been written about Helpmann's career in Australia. This beautifully illustrated biography develops a career profile of Helpmann, assessing the nature and value of his contribution to the performing arts in Australia.
Anna Bemrose is an honorary research adviser in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland.