• Goodbye Turps

Monday, March 12, 2012

Australian larrikin and game-show legend Ian “Turps” Turpie has died at the age of 68 following a short battle with oesophageal cancer. 

Watch part of his most remembered hosting gig - The New Price Is Right in the 80s. Check out the hairstyles!

Listen to Jonesy & Amanda's tribute to Ian below:

Born in Melbourne Turps began his entertainment career at the age of 10, when he was accepted at the Hector Crawford Drama School and gained recognition as a juvenile actor working in radio and theatre.

He starred in a number of radio programmes alongside Sir Robert Helpmann and June Bronhill, and featured in the top-rated radio series D24.

During his teens, Turps discovered a passion for music and focused on playing guitar, song writing and singing. By the age of 16, Turpie was a seasoned radio and stage performer, touring Australia in such hits as Peter Pan, Auntie Mame and Bye Bye Birdie, and appearing in several National Theatre Productions including Shakespeare's Macbeth.

He was an early boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John, with whom he had starred in the 1965 Australian musical telefilm Funny Things Happen Down Under, Newton-John's debut performance.

But it was in the 1980s that Turps gained his legendary status as host of the highly successful, frenzied game show The New Price Is Right. This was followed by other game shows including Press Your Luck and Supermarket Sweep.

No Whammy, No Whammy, Stop!

In the 1990s, Ian developed cult status following a regular four-year stint as Club President on Roy & HG's Club Buggery. Known as the "Giant of the G Chord", he performed renditions of such classics as Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, and, complete with suspenders, The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Time Warp. Less serious Club Buggery appearances in Turps about the House, Captain Ajax and Sam Stain showcased his comedic talents.

On 18 February 2011 it was announced that Turps had been diagnosed with cancer. Turpie died on 11 March 2012, aged 68. Australia will miss him. 


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