Actor left to ask: 'Where's the money, Skip?' after court case
Thursday 02 July 2009
An actor who starred in the iconic 1960s Australian television show Skippy has lost a legal battle for a share of the millions of dollars it has generated in the past 40 years.
Tony Bonner played the dashing helicopter pilot, Jerry King, in the successful series which aired in more than 100 countries and spawned spin-offs including games, soft toys and videos.
However, Bonner's contract did not contain a provision for royalties and he has not earned any money from the show since leaving the set after the first series in 1968. Last year, after seeing Skippy released on DVD, he sued its production company, Fauna, for $A750,000 (£367,000) in the New South Wales Supreme Court.
But Justice Ian Gzell threw out the case yesterday, saying that Bonner, 65, had been paid $140 a week, in accordance with his contract and he was not entitled to a share of the profits, since he had assigned all rights to Fauna. Bonner was not available for comment yesterday but last year, he said: "Everyone assumes that all this time I've been receiving royalties, and they're gobsmacked to find out I haven't. My image has been used all these years without any recompense, or even a thank you. I'm honoured to be part of the most successful Australian series ever made, and probably one of the top 10 in the world, but I think it is time that a fair go and a sense of honour came to the fore," the actor said.
The series was set in a national park – Skippy was the pet of the park ranger's son. Viewers were gripped by the pair's adventures and the exploits of a kangaroo that could alert its human friends to trouble, as well as tie knots, see off venomous snakes and even play the piano.
Skippy has enjoyed extraordinary longevity. Just three series were made in the late 1960s yet the show continues to be screened overseas, including in Hong Kong, and Skippy is a universally recognised character.
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£1036224 - £1513056 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Educatio...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Are you a fully quali...