Graham Rouse and Philomena Moore
When friends and colleagues take a final bow from life it offers a time to reflect on their careers. In the last weeks two special people with links to ABF have left us, actor Graham Rouse and legendary artists’ agent Philomena Moore.
Graham was one of our best-known character actors with credits arching across screen, television and stage. He was also husband for fifty-six years to Maggie Dence, someone very dear to ABF having served on the Committee for twenty years.
Graham and Maggie met in 1965 at Sydney’s Independent Theatre where Graham had been a regular artist since 1958. At that time Maggie was the title star of “The Mavis Bramston Show”, television’s brilliant satirical revue and Graham was a busy actor also well known to stage and television audiences.
Graham was born in Sydney where he and Maggie made their home. His distinguished acting career included roles in several classic Australian plays including the Nimrod Theatre premieres of “Travelling North” and “A Hard God”. Graham later recreated his role in the two film versions of A Hard God. He was also in the 1965 film and ABC television version of Sumner Locke Elliott’s controversial play “Rusty Bugles”. He played Alf Cook in “The One Day Of The Year” and Jim in “Away” bringing his distinctive Australian presence to each role. He also originated the role of Patrick Guiness in fellow actor Don Reid’s popular play “Codgers”.
His vast television career was launched in early Crawford Productions “Homicide” and “Matlock Police” followed by the lead in “Chopper Squad” and “The Emigrants” a TV series that followed the story of an English family migrating to Australia.
Graham appeared in numerous films including “Ride A Wild Pony” for Disney. However, his most surprising role was as Herbie in “Gypsy” playing opposite first Gloria Dawn and then Toni Lamond.
Graham later pursued a successful career as a television director working on “E Street” and “A Country Practice” among many others. After a long and successful working life and a happy marriage he will be greatly missed by friends, colleagues and especially Maggie.
The second great loss is Philomena Moore who was a senior agent at the prestigious ICS (International Casting Services), agency. Philomena along with the ICS founder Gloria Payton and senior agent Pauline Lee, guided the careers of many of Australia’s most successful actors. The alumni included Jacki Weaver, Philip Quast, John Gaden, Kris McQuade, John Waters, Helen Morse, Drew Forsythe, Andrew McFarlane and several ABF Committee members including Secretary Camilla Rountree the former Chair John Gregg and ABF current Chair Bruce Spence.
ICS closed its doors in 2013 after 52 years. Philomena, Gloria and Pauline were held in high regard by all the industry as old school, tough, sincere, doing the hard work for their clients for all the right reasons. Philomena passed away following a long illness. She will be mourned by the many actors, directors and creatives with whom she worked over her decades with the agency.