By Kinta Walsh-cotton for Daily Mail Australia
March 18, 2023 01:19, updated March 18, 2023 01:28
Nicole Kidman has shared a heartwarming tribute to Brian Walsh after learning of the legendary TV director’s death at the age of 68.
The 55-year-old actor, whose career was launched by Walsh’s Vietnam and Bangkok Hilton shows, shared his sentiment. The Daily Telegraph on Saturday
He said he was “devastated” by the news of the death of the late industry powerhouse and was “still in deep shock”.
“We are absolutely devastated, he was family to us and we are still in shock,” he said.
The Nine Perfect Strangers star wrote her statement alongside many Australian film celebrities who called Walsh her friend, including Russell Crowe.
“Brian Walsh has had a huge impact on Australian media and television,” he said in the release.
‘A “go to” person who can really get things done. He was a gentleman, a believer, an innovator and a power.”
It comes after Hugh Jackman also shared a heartfelt tribute to Walsh on Friday.
The 54-year-old actor wrote a lengthy statement on behalf of himself and wife Deborra-Lee Furness.
In his statement, Jackman said he and Furness were “devastated” at the loss of their “dear friend” who launched the couple’s golden Hollywood career.
“We have shared our lives professionally and personally for over 30 years,” he wrote.
“He championed Deb and I early in our careers. He believed in us, encouraged us, loved us and helped us in every step of our lives.’
The Wolverine star said that not only did Walsh help the couple launch their careers in the film and television industry, but his “whole family”.
“Brian was the most generous, thoughtful, creative and genuine of men,” added Jackman.
“He made a huge difference in the lives of so many, and we will never forget him. We are sending love to his family. May he rest in peace.”
News of Walsh’s death was announced Friday morning.
Walsh – who over a decade-long career was responsible for many of Australia’s biggest entertainment exports across radio, film and television – was a key driver behind the global success of Neighbors and launching the careers of star Kylie Minogue., Jackman and Kidman.
The TV executive, who was most recently an executive at Foxtel, was described by the company as “an iconic figure throughout Foxtel’s 28-year history and one of the most admired creative leaders in Australian television”.
After working in radio as a youth, Walsh joined Network Ten where he launched major network events including the acclaimed Kennedy Miller miniseries Vietnam, The Bangkok Hilton and The Dirtwater Dynasty.
Walsh created the Simply The Best season presentation for the National Rugby League starring Tina Turner, and was also behind the rugby league grand final and State of Origin Entertainment shows and events.
He also acted as publicist for the Australian concert tours of Megastar, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, Ricky Martin and Barbra Streisand.
At Foxtel, he had creative control over the Australian series Wentworth, Upright, Deadline Gallipoli, The Kettering Incident, The End and most recently the award-winning and globally distributed series Love Me, Colin from Accounts and The Twelve.
Paying tributes to Walsh on Friday, commentator Prue MacSween described him as “larger than life, a kingmaker and a true showman … loyal, genuine and a great loss”.
Lisa Wilkinson said Brian was responsible for her early television career as a contestant on Beauty and the Beast.
In a statement expressing the Foxtel Group’s deep sadness, CEO Patrick Delany said: “This is a very difficult day for the Foxtel Group family, Australia’s creative community and the millions of Australians who watched and loved the stories Brian brought to life on television.
“The Australian creative community has lost a much-loved figure in Brian. For us, it feels like a lot of loss.
“At Foxtel Group, Brian was a long-time mentor, confidant, colleague and constant friend to many. Today, we are mourning Brian’s passing.
“Our condolences to his family and loved ones. We have lost an icon of Australian television that will never be replaced. Rest in peace, Brian.’
Brian Walsh died in Sydney on Thursday.