South Australian TV and radio legend Roger Cardwell dead at 85
By Renato Castello
October 26, 2019
Much-loved presenter, actor, reporter and musician Roger Cardwell has died aged 85, surrounded by his family.
A giant of Adelaide’s music and media scene, the former television and radio presenter passed away at a nursing home on Saturday morning succumbing to cancer.
Cardwell became a household name in a five-decade media career which saw him front news bulletins for all major Adelaide commercial television networks.
The former journalist was also a newsreader for 5AD-FM and 5DN from 1985 to 1998.
His ex-wife and former Channel 9 weather presenter, Sue Cardwell, announced Cardwell’s death on Facebook saying that he “lives on in all of us”.
“We were all blessed to be here in time to say goodbye and to laugh and cry together as we shared our memories as a family,” the former Here’s Humphrey presenter wrote.
“We sang and hummed together in harmony in his final hours.”
Cardwell’s award-winning singer-songwriter son Jeb said the family “felt gifted to be by his bedside at the time...as we shared our memories as a family”.
“So sad and yet so beautiful,” he said.
Jeb and his sister, Triple J Unearthed winner Abbie, were children from Cardwell’s previous marriage to Wendy and have followed in their father’s musical footsteps.
Sue Cardwell, who was Roger’s fifth wife, has three daughters Vanessa, Chelsea and Rani from a previous marriage.
They, along with Cardwell’s son Simon - from his first marriage - were also by Cardwell’s side when he died.
In the 60s Cardwell was host and performer for Nine’s national TV show Country and Western Hour and Channel 7’s Country Style. He was inducted into the Australian Contry Music Hall of Fame in 1996 as a pioneer of country music television.
Roger Cardwell with television colleague Gail Spiro.
Colleague and friend Greg Clark, who runs a production company, said Cardwell had moved into the Resthaven Malvern nursing home about five years ago due to poor health.
“He really enjoyed his time there and was involved in reading and entertainment of guests,” he said.
After his newsreading career, Cardwell was a sought-after voiceover man for radio and TV commercials.
Clark said he would pick up Cardwell from the nursing home and drive him over to his studio after Cardwell’s poor health stopped him driving.
“The last commercial I did with him was in 2016 before his health really deteriorated — he was a bloody trooper,” he said.
Cardwell had survived two heart attacks. He was diagnosed with blood cancer two months ago and during scans doctors also discovered he had lung cancer.
Born: 7/19/1934, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Died: 10/26/2019, Norwood, South Australia, Australia
Roger Cardwell’s western – actor:
Robbery Under Arms (TV) – 1985 (travelling salesman)