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Aussie A-listers mourn the death of Australian director Shirley Barrett


The Australian film and television industry is in mourning this week following the death of acclaimed writer and director Shirley Barrett.

Barrett, 60, died on Wednesday following a five-year battle with cancer after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2017.

She’s best known for directing some of Australia’s most notable TV dramas and for winning the Cannes Camera d’Or prize in 1996 for her debut film, Love Serenade.

The Australian film and television industry is in mourning this week following the death of acclaimed writer and director Shirley Barrett (pictured)

The Australian film and television industry is in mourning this week following the death of acclaimed writer and director Shirley Barrett (pictured)

Celebrity tributes from many of the Aussie A-listers that Barrett worked with over the years have come pouring in on social media over the last few days. 

Rebecca Gibney, who worked with Barrett on Packed To The Rafters, called the director ‘one of a kind’ in an emotional post on Thursday.

‘From my burlesque dancing on Rafters to our debates on what makes a must-view. You pushed for excellence and you never wavered,’ Gibney wrote.

‘What a brilliant exceptional human. I’m going to watch Love Serenade for the 50th time tonight. Go gently beautiful you, until we meet again.’

Barrett, 60, died on Wednesday following a five-year battle with cancer after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2017

Barrett, 60, died on Wednesday following a five-year battle with cancer after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2017

Julia Morris commented on the post, writing: ‘Loved Shirley so much. She was my first director in House Husbands and was such an inspiration. What a loss.’

Asher Keddie, who worked with the late director on Offspring, wrote: ‘There’ll always be a piece of you with me on every set, egging me on to be my best, bravest self.

‘Ruffling everyone’s feathers with delight, always reaching for more. Insisting on joy. You incomparable, brilliant, wickedly funny, wondrous human Shirley Barrett… RIP.’

Other celebrities that paid tribute included Georgie Parker, Kat Stewart, and Kerry Armstrong.

Julia Morris (pictured) paid tribute, writing: 'Loved Shirley so much. She was my first director in House Husbands and was such an inspiration. What a loss.'

Julia Morris (pictured) paid tribute, writing: ‘Loved Shirley so much. She was my first director in House Husbands and was such an inspiration. What a loss.’

Asher Keddie, who worked with the late director on Offspring, wrote: 'There’ll always be a piece of you with me on every set, egging me on to be my best, bravest self.' Asher and Shirley pictured together on set

Asher Keddie, who worked with the late director on Offspring, wrote: ‘There’ll always be a piece of you with me on every set, egging me on to be my best, bravest self.’ Asher and Shirley pictured together on set

Barrett directed some of Australia’s most popular TV dramas during her career, including Home and Away, Heartbreak High, Love Child, and Packed to the Rafters. 

She got her big break in 1996 with her first feature film, Love Serenade, which wowed critics and swept the awards circuit. 

Hollywood soon came knocking, but Barrett made a number of bad career decisions, including turning down both Erin Brokovich and American Beauty – two films which went on to sweep the Oscars.

Despite fumbling Hollywood stardom, Barrett says she has no regrets about her life.

‘I feel I’ve had a lucky and privileged life, even though I’m dying a bit earlier than I’d have liked to,’ she previously told The Guardian.

‘I’ve had a loving family, a wonderful husband, beautiful kids, and a career where I’ve been able to do exactly what I’ve wanted to do. I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything.’

Barrett directed some of Australia's most popular TV dramas during her career, including Home and Away, Heartbreak High, Love Child, and Packed to the Rafters

Barrett directed some of Australia’s most popular TV dramas during her career, including Home and Away, Heartbreak High, Love Child, and Packed to the Rafters

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