Ernie Carroll, the Australian television personality famous for creating Hey Hey It’s Saturday’s Ossie Ostrich has passed away, age 92.
He reportedly died of natural causes at his retirement home in Victoria on Wednesday, March 30.
Carroll’s close friend and host of Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Daryl Somers, confirmed the entertainer’s passing while paying tribute to his “beloved friend and mentor”.
“God bless Ernie (Ossie Ostrich),” Somers wrote in a statement on Hey Hey It’s Saturday’s Facebook page.
“Ernie passed away peacefully early this morning in the presence of his family. He was 92 and died of natural causes in his unit at a Mornington retirement village. Ernie was a pioneer of television starting back in the 50s, coming from a radio background to GTV9 when television was in its infancy.
“Of course he was best known for his creation of Oswald Q Ostrich (Ossie), my lovable and nonsensically funny ‘sidekick’ on Hey Hey It’s Saturday for 25 of its 30 year run. A tribute was paid to Ernie on our recent 50th anniversary special.
“I loved him very much and along with my wife Julie send our deepest sympathies to his daughter Lynne, son Bruce, his grandchildren and his partner of almost 50 years, Miffy Marsh. The family have requested privacy at this time.
“Rest in peace Ern. Forever in my heart, Daryl.”
Tributes honouring the late entertainer quickly poured in from the entertainment industry.
Australian comedian Adam Hills said Carroll was “an incredible part of my childhood”.
RIP Ernie Carroll. An indelible part of my childhood. pic.twitter.com/oHDjPKyJjU
— Adam Hills (@adamhillscomedy) March 30, 2022
The Hey Hey It’s Saturday podcast thanked Carroll for his “amazing work” throughout his career.
Rest in peace Ernie Carroll.
You were such an important part of our lives as we were lucky enough to grow up in here Australia.
Thank you so much for Ossie Ostrich and all your amazing work on our beloved Hey Hey It’s Saturday ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jrJ6Hx3zC1
— Hey Hey It’s The Podcast (@heyheypodcast) March 30, 2022
Carroll was born in Geelong on May 26, 1929. He made his debut in the entertainment industry on the radio station, 3TR. He made the move to television with station GTV-9 in 1956, as a producer for children’s television. He also wrote for Australian television icon Graham Kennedy.
He is survived by his partner Miffy Marsh, daughter Lynne and son Bruce.