Cropped image of vinyl recording of 'Grease'

Vale Robert Stigwood

Vale Robert Stigwood
 Thorsten Kaeding
Image licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.Photo by Allan Warren

Robert Stigwood, one of the most successful and influential Australians involved in the entertainment industry, has died aged 81.

As a manager, record producer, record label owner, promoter, film producer and impresario, Stigwood was one of the dominant figures in entertainment in the 1960s and 70s.

Born in Port Pirie in 1934, he moved to the United Kingdom at 20 years of age. By 1960 Stigwood was starting out as a theatrical agent when he met up with legendary English record producer Joe Meek.

Their brief collaboration changed the English recording industry forever, ushering in a new era of independent record companies including Robert Stigwood’s own RSO label.

As manager and record label owner, Stigwood’s roster included The Who, Cream, Eric Clapton and the Bee Gees. As movie producer and stage impresario he was involved with such seminal 1970s productions as Hair, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Gallipoli.

Robert Stigwood was one of many Australians who had a profound impact on the entertainment industries during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Like many of his peers he achieved his success and made his name away from Australia, this has led to him being often forgotten when we think of the greats of Australian entertainment, a title his impressive list of achievements suggests he deserves.

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