Australian Cinema > couples
A considerable number of Australian films have been made by a man and a woman working together, usually with the man getting the principal credit as director - tho there is at least one instance of the reverse case.
Raymond Longford (1878-1959) could not marry Lottie Lyell (Charlotte Edith Cox, 1890-1925) because his wife would not consent to a divorce - until, ironically, after Lyell died in 1925 of tuberculosis. She was his partner in all their work until then, from the first film they made together, The Fatal Wedding (1911, the title is, perhaps, also ironical). Although he is always credited as director, it is generally accepted that Lottie Lyell was an equal partner.
Her exact contribution to Longford's work can never be properly assessed; certainly she worked with him variously as actress, writer, associate director, art director and co-producer when his most important films were made, and the loss of her support was possibly a key factor in his creative decline after her death. Pike & Cooper: 19.
Between 1925 and 1940 Hilda Moren assisted her husband Rudall Hayward [1900-1974] on the production of some twenty-eight films; however, she received screen credits for none of them, and is largely absent from New Zealand film history. (Diane Pivac, Screening the Past)
After writing a first draft script, Smith often sought comments from his wife Elsie who, according to relatives, shared his creative flair. Shirley & Adams: 50.
In all of his work he was supported by his wife Agnes, who occasionally acted in his films but more often wrote them. (She may have written more Oz films  than any other woman.) Making a team with more enthusiasm and stubborn persistence than talent, the Gavins occasionally hit upon the right formula for commercial success ... Pike & Cooper: 11. See my page for Agnes and John Gavin.
Louise Lovely (Nellie Louise Alberti, 1895-1980, aka Louise Carbasse) wrote and directed Jewelled Nights (1925) in association with her husband, a gay actor. She was also the star of many films, including that one. There was an attempt one year to name the nameless AFI awards the 'Lovelys' (like the Oscars). It did not catch on.
Charles Chauvel (1897-1959) met Elsie May Wilcox (1898-1983) on Greenhide (1926) the second film he directed and in which she starred in her only role (as Elsie Sylvaney) and they were married the following year. She assisted on all his subsequent films, being credited as writer on five (including Jedda).
Ken G. Hall (1901-1994) married Irene Addison in 1925. She is not credited on any film, but was constantly with her husband until her death in 1972. He dedicated his book Australian Film: The Inside Story (1980) to her and mentions more than once in that she was with him on 'most locations'.
Alma Brooks was Rupert Kathner's associate producer on two of his films. See Alec Morgan's film about the couple, Hunt Angels (2006).
Bill Bennett (born 1953) cast his wife Jennifer Cluff (born 1956) as the wife of the main character in his first feature film, A Street to Die (1985). She had already played Isabel Kidman in his telemovie Cattle King (1983, 58 min.) opposite Martin Vaughan, although that was far from her first screen work. She is credited as producer or co-producer of six films, including four directed by Bill Bennett, and has appeared in another five films directed by him. Credited as Jennifer Bennett, she co-wrote In a Savage Land (1999) with her husband.
Nadia Tass (Tassopoulos, born 1956) and David Parker (born 1947) often work as a wife-and-husband team, though it is usually she who has the directing credit. As well as writing and producing, he acts as director of photography and, in a couple of cases, makes important properties. He has also directed two features.
P. J. Hogan (born 1962) and Jocelyn Moorhouse (born 1960) are married. She was a producer on Muriel's Wedding and Mental.
Jon Hewitt is married to Belinda McClory. Of the five features he directed (or co-directed) she co-wrote two and appeared in four of them.
John V. Soto is married to Deidre Kitcher, who has produced all of his features.
Kim Mordaunt and his producer Sylvia Wilczynski are married.
Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler are married and often work together, most recently co-producing Now Add Honey (Wayne Hope, 2015).
Typhoon Treasure (Noel Monkman, 1938) As in all of his work, Monkman was assisted by his wife, credited under her maiden name of Kitty Gelhor.
Disgrace is a 2008 Australian film based on J. M. Coetzee's novel of the same name. It was adapted for the screen by Anna Maria Monticelli and directed by her husband Steve Jacobs. She also wrote La spagnola.
Garry Gillard | New: 21 November, 2012 | Now: 3 April, 2020