SYDNEY, AUS (CelebrityAccess) – Australian television pioneer Brian Walsh passed away unexpectantly on Thursday (March 16) in Sydney. Foxtel Group confirmed the shocking death of one of its most senior management team executives, credited for helping launch the careers of several Australian stars. A cause of death has not been given. He was 67.
Skynew.com.au reports Foxtel’s CEO, Patrick Delany said it was a “difficult day” for the Australian media and those in the creative industry.
“This is a very difficult day for the Foxtel Group family, for Australia’s creative community, and the millions of Australians who watched and love the stories that Brian brought to life through television.
“For us, the loss is heavily felt. At the Foxtel Group, Brian was a long-time mentor, a confidant, a colleague and an unwavering friend to so many. Our condolences go to his family and to those closest to him. Rest in peace Brian.”
Walsh’s four-decade-long career started at ABC before moving into feature film production and promotions/publicity at Sydney’s radio station 2SM. He then moved to Network Ten where he was a crucial part in launching major network events. The icon is also credited for launching one of Australia’s leading soap operas, Neighbours, launching the careers of Kylie Minogue and Guy Pearce.
Pearce took to social media to express his grief over the loss of a “long-time friend and mentor.”
I’m in shock & utterly devastated at the news of losing my long time friend & mentor Brian Walsh. Your compassion & support will never be forgotten mate, nor will ur guidance as we journeyed down Ramsay st & beyond. Love you Walshie. May you travel peacefully sweet friend. RIP xx
— Guy Pearce (@TheGuyPearce) March 16, 2023
Walsh, while at Foxtel, oversaw all original productions, including the beloved TV show Wentworth, Upright, The End, The Kettering Incident, Colin From Accounts, The Twelve, and most recently, the award-willing series, Love M.
Walsh was also a key part in the campaign of the famous using Tina Turner’s hit song, “Simply the Best,” for the National Rugby League (NRL) season launch, as well as was a part of the marketing and publicity team of the Grand Final and State of Origin Entertainment.
Hugh Jackman and his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness also took to social media to express their shock over Walsh’s death.
“Hugh & I are devastated to hear of the passing of our dear, dear friend Brian Walsh. For over 30 years, we have shared our lives professionally and personally.”
His family, including his three sisters Maureen Walsh, Jeanette Walsh, Bernadette Walsh, Bernadette’s husband Wayne Cooper, and Brian’s nieces and nephew released a statement regarding the loss:
“We are deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of our beloved brother Brian. There are no words to say just how heartbroken we are,” it said.
“He had an extraordinary life and accomplished so much. His contributions were celebrated and widely acknowledged. We will always remember him by his love of family, his generosity and the value he put on a life not wasted but full and well lived.
“His greatest gift was bringing joy to people including through the industry he was so passionate about and all those he collaborated with over so many years. We were so proud of him and we know Mum and Dad would have been too.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for Brian. Details of how we will celebrate his life will follow but for now we remember our darling Brian and ask for privacy during this difficult time.”