Alan Hopgood

Alan Hopgood bigraphy, stories - Australian writer and actor

Alan Hopgood : biography

29 September 1934 –

Alan Hopgood AM (29 September 1934-) is an Australian actor and writer.


Hopgood’s first very successful play was And the Big Men Fly in 1963 produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company. The play was adapted for TV by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1973. In 1964, he followed with The Golden Legion Of Cleaning Women. In 1966 he produced Private Yuk Objects, which he claims was the first play anywhere in the world on the subject of the Vietnam War.

Hopgood has also written a number of film and television screenplays, including the comedy film Alvin Purple (1973), which was the most commercially successful Australian film of the early 1970s.

Hopgood was an actor with the Melbourne Theatre Company for ten years and was an early "soap" star in Bellbird, in which for six years he played the town doctor. He has also performed in the later soaps, Prisoner (for which he also scripted many episodes) and Neighbours.

As an actor, his cinema credits include My Brilliant Career (1979), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Roadgames (1981), Evil Angels (1988, released as A Cry in the Dark outside of Australia and New Zealand) and The Man from Snowy River II (1988). He has worked with a large number of actors including Frank Thring, Meryl Streep, Brooke Shields, Sam Neill, Judy Davis.

He contracted prostate cancer and his book on the experience Surviving Prostate Cancer – One Man’s Journey (1996) was widely praised. He often tours giving humorous talks on men’s health.


Hopgood won AWGIE awards for The Cheerful Cuckold and The Bush Bunch and writing several feature films including Alvin Purple and the documentaries The Prophecies Of Nostradamus and The Fountain Of Youth.

Hopgood was awarded the A.M. (Member of the Order of Australia) in 2005 for his services to the performing arts as an actor, playwright and producer, and to the community through raising awareness of men’s health issues.

Early life

Hopgood was born in Launceston, Tasmania and grew up in Tasmania. He acted in several dramatic roles while still a child. He attended school in Melbourne, and attended the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Diploma of Education. Hopgood had his first play, Marcus, produced at Melbourne University while he was working as a school teacher. He left teaching to write full-time and act in the theatre.