Tributes have flooded in for Tasmanian theatre icon Graeme Paine OAM who died on Saturday after losing his battle with progressive supranuclear palsy.
Paine's wife, Christina, shared on social media that she had said goodbye to her husband and kindred spirit.
"My Graeme who has been released from a brutal illness. May he Rest in Peace," she wrote.
Speaking with The Examiner, daughter Imogen Paine said her father was a hilarious and hardworking person who would always go out of his way to do anything for his family - including picking up his five children at any time of the night.
All of Paine's children took an interest in his passion for theatre and they each participated in at least one show.
"That's a highlight, being able to perform on stage with him was lovely," Ms Paine said.
"He got an Order of Australia medal for his contribution to the performing arts space in theatre."
Paine was an inspiration to many starting their careers in theatre and was a key person when talking about shows such as Uni Revue, Bawdy Panto, and Legends of Revue.
Tasmanian actor and friend John Xintavelonis - better known as John X - said Saturday was one of the most difficult days of his life.
"While pretending to ride the joyous tidal wave of the gala premiere of The Rocky Horror Show in Tasmania, I was struggling with the immense and devastating loss of my dear friend, mentor, collaborator, co-producer, and true buddy, Graeme Paine," he said.
Mr X said Graeme was hugely influential in the development of other people's theatre careers and just wanted people to succeed in the industry.
"He was a big personality. He was always happy, always having fun and a laugh. Always poking fun," he said.
Other theatre veterans, companies, and colleagues took to social media to also share their tributes and favourite memories of Graeme.
Actor and director Andrew Casey first met Graeme in 1993 and thought he was "an absolute titan".
"[He was] a big guy who was funny as hell and was constantly calling out for you to smile. He gave me a start in theatre and I will be forever grateful," he said.
"He is the subject of so many stories. So many wonderful and funny moments. You are still a titan to me Gra. I love you mate and I'm really, really going to miss you."
Over the years Graeme had worked with Launceston-based Encore Theatre Company and starred in their production of The Vicar of Dibley.
"VALE to the great man of Tassie theatre, who made his larger-than-life presence felt right around this island," they said.
"Mentoring many, creating opportunities for generations of performers and giving everyone a damn good laugh along the way.... what a champion."
The Theatre Council of Tasmania shared its condolences for the family, friends, and colleagues of Paine.
"Graeme was a much-loved and hugely influential member of Tasmania's theatre community, and will be particularly remembered for his extraordinary contribution over many decades to The Old Nick Company," they said.
Though there were so many tributes, perhaps one of the biggest came from The Old Nick Theatre Company itself.
"Graeme Paine, a long-time legendary figure of Old Nick who devoted a large chunk of his life to [the company] ... his legacy ... is nothing short of extraordinary," they wrote.
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