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THE JOBBING ACTOR: Rules of engagement

Lex Marinos

Platform Papers 53

Lex Marinos

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"How to define the jobbing actor? Not the handful who find fame and fortune and power. The ones that audiences pay to see […] the vast majority of actors, the ones that struggle to stay employed. The ones for whom acting is, variously, a hobby, a job, a career, a vocation. It calls to you and you’re compelled to follow."

In this, another of Platform Papers’ The Professionals, actor Lex Marinos shares the excitement of his initiation into the arts boom of the 1970s, the extraordinary demands his work has made on his body, mind and family; and his reflections on a life well lived. Marinos is a graduate of the University of NSW and from 1972 was one of the actors that established Sydney’s New Wave. He quickly became a regular in TV comedy on ABC and SBS, As an Australian-born Greek he played undefined ‘ethnic’ stereotypes until in 1980 he was cast as Bruno, an Italian-Australian, in the TV comedy Kingswood Country (1980-84) and won the fight to use his Australian accent. He was director of the multicultural festival Carnivale 1996- 99; and executive producer of the Yeperenye Festival in Alice Springs for the Centenary of Federation. Between 2006–14 he worked as an actor with Big hArt touring regional festivals.

Marinos kept the jobs going in comedy, as a sports commentator, TV and festival director, ethnic affairs and community advisor, and host of multicultural celebrations. A lasting record of his talent is his acclaimed role as Manolis in the ABC TV series The Slap (2011). In 1994 he received the OAM for services to the performing arts. 

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About the Author

Lex Marinos is a graduate of the University of NSW and from 1972 was one of the actors
that established Sydney’s New Wave. He quickly became a regular in TV comedy on the
ABC and SBS.