In a poignant tribute to the late comedian Cal Wilson, the 2024 AACTA Awards have posthumously nominated the much-loved funny woman in the Best Comedy Performer category for her stellar work on The Great Australian Bake Off.
The nomination comes after Wilson’s untimely passing in October, following a short but courageous battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Among the tough competition for the prestigious award are renowned comedians Tom Gleeson of Hard Quiz, Jim Jefferies from The 1% Club, Luke McGregor and Nina Oyama for their collaboration on Taskmaster Australia season 1, Rhys Nicholson from RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, and Charlie Pickering from The Weekly.
Natalie Tran, co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off and a fellow nominee in the same category, paid a heartfelt tribute to her late friend, highlighting Wilson’s exceptional talent and warm personality.
“Cal had that talent and what’s amazing is that it was the second most impressive thing about her. The first was what an excellent person she was,” Tran told NewsCorp.
Wilson’s wit, intelligence, and kindness were echoed by Tom Gleeson, a two-time AACTA Award winner himself. Gleeson shared fond memories of their time together on the set of Skithouse, recalling Wilson’s prowess in the daily newspaper quiz.
“Everyone knows how funny, witty and kind Cal was but she was also very smart,” he said.
“Very funny. Very clever. When we were on set for Skithouse back in the day, we’d all do the quiz in the newspaper.
“She beat the entire cast every bloody day. It was infuriating. She’ll probably win this award too.”
The posthumous nomination stands as a testament to Wilson’s enduring impact on the world of comedy, leaving a lasting mark on her peers and fans alike.
As the anticipation builds for the 2024 AACTA Awards, the laughter-loving community awaits the chance to celebrate and honour the legacy of Wilson, a comedic force gone too soon.
Wilson tragically passed away on Wednesday, October 11 following a “short illness”. Token Artists management confirmed she died with her family by her side.
“We are devastated to share the news that Cal Wilson, the much-loved stand up comedian, writer and actor died today, surrounded by family and friends after a short illness at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. She was 53 years old,” the statement read.
“Cal’s generosity, talent and friendship have been constants in the Australian comedy scene for the last twenty years. Cal was loved by her family, friends, fans and peers and a huge hole has been torn in the heart of our community.”
It was recently revealed that the beloved comedian died of a “rare and aggressive form of cancer”, as reported by news outlets such as the ABC and The Sydney Morning Herald. Wilson was reportedly in hospital for four weeks leading up to her death.
News of her passing left fans and colleagues alike reeling, as they mourned the loss of a talented and charismatic entertainer whose humour touched the hearts of many.
Wilson is survived by her husband Chris and son Digby.