The Australian entertainment industry is mourning the loss of a true entertainment legend following the passing of beloved actor Leslie Dayman at the age of 85.
Renowned for his decades-long contribution to theatre, television, and film, his passing has left a void in the hearts of both his fellow artists and his devoted fans who cherished his exceptional talents.
Dayman’s passing was confirmed by his former co-star Mez Howard.
“Rest in Peace beautiful Les Dayman. Couldn’t have wished for a better on-screen dad in my E- Street days,” she wrote.
“Your gorgeous eyes always reminded me of my dad’s eyes so it was so lovely to play your daughter.
“PS. Interesting fun fact — we shared the same birthday!”
No cause of death was revealed.
Born January 19, 1938, Dayman began his journey into the entertainment world in the theatre in 1955, which subsequently saw him excel as an actor, director, and narrator.
His foray into television commenced in 1964, establishing him as a mainstay on the small screen when he graced the crime series Homicide as Senior Detective Bill Hudson, a role he portrayed across 104 episodes from 1966 to 1968.
During the 1980s, he became a prominent fixture in three iconic Australian soap operas, all of which achieved international acclaim. In Grundy Television’s Sons and Daughters, he brought the cunning and unscrupulous Roger Carlyle to life in episodes aired in 1984 and 1985. Simultaneously, he took on the role of Geoff MacRae in another Grundy production, Prisoner, where he was one of three male prisoners entwined in a captivating six-month narrative in 1985. Furthermore, in the series E Street, he portrayed Senior Sergeant George Sullivan throughout its entire run from 1989 to 1993.
His presence on television extended to various other shows, including Division 4, Bellamy, Cop Shop, Holiday Island, A Country Practice, Water Rats, Stingers, All Saints, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Sara Dane.
On the silver screen, he graced movies such as Weekend of Shadows, Gallipoli, Oscar and Lucinda, Footy Legends, Stepfather of the Bride, The Silence, and Holy Smoke!.
Fans quickly rallied to pay heartfelt tributes on social media, showcasing the enduring impact of Dayman’s talent on their lives.
Vale Les Dayman, a fine actor and beloved friend. His career across stage & screen spanned 50+ years, beginning in Adelaide in the 1950s. #Homicide #Prisoner #EStreet
I’ll miss him. Condolences to his darling wife Rosie and family pic.twitter.com/8ZSt84nFXb
— Nigel Giles (@Number96Bk) October 22, 2023
I’ve been watching the first season of E-Street on DVD, for the first time since it aired back in 1989. I had wondered what became of Les. A great innings, will be greatly missed.
— Jay Daniel Thompson (@JaysProofs) October 22, 2023
Enjoyed his work.
— Michelle Gargar (@michgar7) October 22, 2023
So sad to hear of the passing of the wonderful Les Dayman who played George Sullivan for the entirety of E Streets run. I had the pleasure of interviewing Les a few years ago and he was so generous and full of love for his time on E Street. Les, you were one in a million. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/edxy3H0z0V
— E Street (@edenstreetnet) October 22, 2023
Dayman is survived by his wife Rose Dayman and sons Nicholas Andrew and Timothy Paul, who he shares with ex-wife, actress Diane Chamberlain.