There’s nothing muddled about this local cat

TO many people he was a character in the Muddle-Headed Wombat but outside the ABC radio program, The Argonauts, he is Earle Cross.

FOND MEMORIES: Earle Cross, who now lives in Berry, spent many years living in lounge rooms across the nation as Tabby Cat from the ABC radio series The Muddle-Headed Wombat.

FOND MEMORIES: Earle Cross, who now lives in Berry, spent many years living in lounge rooms across the nation as Tabby Cat from the ABC radio series The Muddle-Headed Wombat.

Mr Cross moved to Berry about 20 years ago and started a new life but part of him will always be Tabby Cat.

“On radio I played Tabby Cat in The Muddle-Headed Wombat for five years,” he said.

The Argonauts became a large part of Mr Cross’s life. The radio series spanned three decades.

“On radio it was a much loved and respected program,” he said.

“It encouraged creativity in children in writing and music. And it was amazing the number of well-known people who were Argonauts.

“On the radio program we had many of the top people in art, literature, and music at that time.

“Jeffrey Smart talked on art.”

Mr Cross worked with many stars of the golden age of radio.

Many of them were people he had admired as a child listening to the Bakelite box in the lounge room.

His passion for performance saw him rise as a regular media personality in Brisbane by the time he was 20.

He moved to Sydney in 1957, the first year of television for the ABC.

The radio show continued to be broadcast every night, but it wasn’t long before his talents crossed over into television.

Mr Cross helped compere the Children’s Session on television twice a week.

“I was in one of the first TV drama series, The Outcasts,” he said.

Eventually, Mr Cross left the Children’s Session and performed in a few plays and two Phillip Street revues which were quite famous at the time.

“I worked with Jacki Weaver, Barry Creyton, Maggie Dence and Noeline Brown and we all keep in touch after 50 years,” he said.

In the late 1960s Mr Cross sailed to England, where for the next 15 years he played and sang

in a few West End musicals and toured in regional theatres.

“Thirty years ago I returned to a very different Australia to the one I left,” he said.

“Now there was a thriving film and television industry. Plays and books were being written and we had found our voice. 

“I was thrilled to record the voice of Dr Watson opposite Peter O’Toole as Sherlock Holmes for four animated films.”

While retirement has offered Mr Cross a quieter life outside the glare of lights and cameras, the feistiness of Tabby Cat remains and he said his head had not yet become muddled.

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