Max Oldaker

Max Oldaker's parents listening to him performing on the radio (AOT, PH30/1/3548)

Maxwell Charles Oldaker (190772), singer and actor, was born and educated in Devonport, but left there in 1930 to establish his career in England. He had good looks, elegance and a natural charm and his lyric tenor voice was enhanced by professional training. Gaining experience ranging from opera to vaudeville, including broadcasting and recording, he returned to Melbourne as a celebrity in 1939. A star of the JC Williamson Company for more than a decade, he understudied Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady in England but, disappointingly, was denied the lead in Australia.

Oldaker returned to Tasmania in 1959, still playing roles on the mainland but participating in local radio and television broadcasting, music and theatre reviewing, vocal teaching, and acting and producing, bringing professionalism to all that he undertook.

Further reading: ADB 15.

Gillian Winter