Mesothelioma Claims the Life of Australian Actor Harold Hopkins
Harold Hopkins was an Australian film and television star beloved by many in his home country. Hopkins was best known for his roles in several classic movies including “Galliopli”, “Don’s Party”, and “The Club”. He was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award for his supporting role in the latter. Throughout his lifetime, Hopkins appeared in 16 movies and over 160 television episodes.
Before Hopkins found his love for the craft of acting, his craft was carpentry. He began working in Queensland as an apprentice carpenter after high school and continued through most of the 1960s. It was here Hopkins was exposed to asbestos. The results of asbestos exposure were not known in the capacity that they are known today. The effects of asbestos would not be evident in his life until much later.
In the mid-60s, Hopkins followed his twin brother John to school at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney and graduated in 1967. He had a long and prosperous career in Australia, and was one of the country’s best-known supporting actors.
Hopkins was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, in early 2011, almost 50 years after being exposed. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is generally treated with palliative rather than curative treatments and therapies. As the cancer progresses focus tends to be on the patient’s comfort and quality of life. The Herald reported that “even when he was experiencing a great deal of pain, Hopkins was charming those around him.”
Hopkins died on December 11, 2011, mere months after being diagnosed. Despite the expected outcome of the cancer, Hopkins still went on auditions and continued to live life to the fullest until his death in a Sydney hospice.