Brian Walsh Cause of death- Brian Walsh, a veteran media executive who helped revive a struggling soap opera called Neighbours in the 1980s, died in Sydney at the age of 67.
Walsh held senior positions at the Ten Network, Sky Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Sky TV in Asia, and Foxtel in Australia during his nearly five-decade career.
He was also a driving force behind a number of Australian television shows such as Neighbours, A Place to Call Home, Wentworth, and Colin from Accounts.
Walsh began his career at the ABC before moving on to work in feature film production and distribution at Palm Beach Pictures, as well as promotions and publicity at Sydney radio station 2SM.
When he later joined the Ten Network, he was instrumental in the network’s decision to acquire Neighbours after rival channel Seven dropped it in 1985.
The series was reshaped and became a global success under Walsh’s direction.
He is also credited with launching the careers of celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Kylie Minogue, and Jason Donovan.
Guy Pearce, who starred in Neighbours, paid tribute to Walsh on Twitter this morning.
“I’m in shock & utterly devastated at the news of losing my long time friend & mentor Brian Walsh. Your compassion & support will never be forgotten mate, nor will ur [sic] guidance as we journeyed down Ramsay st & beyond.”
Walsh joined Foxtel in 1995, where he helped establish subscription television in Australia.
In the 1990s, he was also in charge of the Australian Rugby League’s iconic ‘Simply The Best’ marketing campaign, which featured singer Tina Turner.
He most recently worked as an executive at the company, where he oversaw the creation of original dramas.
“Australia’s creative community has lost a much-loved figure in Brian,” Foxtel Group CEO Patrick Delany said in a statement.
“For us, the loss is heavily felt. At the Foxtel Group, Brian was a long-time mentor, a confidant, a colleague and an unwavering friend to so many.”
Federal Art Minister Tony Burke wrote that he was “devastated” to hear of Walsh’s death.
“Countless Australian stories were told and careers forged because of Brian’s vision, commitment and innate understanding of great storytelling.”