John Blackman’s wife reflects on the ‘precious’ final moments of the late entertainer’s life

Jun 10, 2024
Following Blackman's passing, his wife Cecile has broken her silence in a recent interview, confirming the cause of his death and reflecting on their final moments together. Source: Joe Castro/AAP PHOTOS.

As the nation processes the passing of legendary entertainer John Blackman, his wife Cecile has opened up about the final moments she shared with her beloved husband before his passing.

Blackman’s passing at the age of 76 was announced on Wednesday, June 5, much to the shock of fans and those close to him.

Following his passing, Cecile has broken her silence in a recent interview with the Herald Sun in which she confirmed the cause of his death.

“I think his body just went ‘Nuh, I am sick of this’, he died of a heart attack, there was no sign of cancer,” she told the publication.

“I took him to the couch and laid him down and he died just then, the ambulance arrived in minutes and they did everything they could, at one stage there were eight people here, but his heart just stopped beating.”

Cecile went on to express her gratitude that she and her daughter, Tiffany, were able to spend some “precious” time in their home with Blackman after he passed away.

“They wrapped him up warmly and the funeral parlour people asked if we would like to spend time privately with him at home,” she said.

“We asked for two hours and those two hours will be embedded in my brain forever, they were so precious and special and important.”

Channel 7 entertainment reporter Peter Ford was among the first to share the unfortunate news of Blackman’s death with the Australian public on The Morning Show, stating that “Australia is a sadder place” following his passing.

“John was an incredible man. In the past years, he has put up a huge cancer fight,” Ford said.

“He was a beautiful performer on radio and television, in recent years, of course, he’s put up this incredible cancer fight.”

In a testament to Blackman’s talent and enduring legacy in the entertainment industry, a sea of tributes poured in from across the country with many sharing their favourite memories of the star.

The overwhelming response from fans and colleagues was hardly surprising given Blackman’s impressive career in the entertainment industry.

Blackman began his stellar career in 1969 at 2GN Goulburn, serving as an announcer, newsreader, copywriter, salesman, and record librarian. In 1970, he moved to 2CA Canberra, working various on-air shifts until mid-1971, when he joined 3AW in Melbourne. There, he became known for his work on Nightline.

In 1974, Blackman hosted the morning show on 3AK before moving to Sydney in 1975 to join 2UE as a “floating” announcer. Concurrently, he worked as a staff continuity announcer and daytime newsreader at TCN-9 Sydney while contributing to Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

It was his work with Hey Hey It’s Saturday that cemented his legacy, with his voice work and comedic timing making Dickie Knee a beloved character and a staple of Australian television.

Returning to Melbourne in 1979, Blackman hosted the breakfast show on 3AK until 1981, then moved to 3AW to co-host the breakfast show with Paul Barber, and later, Bruce Mansfield. This partnership dominated the ratings for five years.

After leaving 3AW in 1986, Blackman joined the CBC Network experiment, followed by a stint at 3UZ from 1987 to 1990. He returned to radio in 1997 as a co-host of the 3AK breakfast show until 2000, and later joined Triple M Adelaide, co-hosting the breakfast show until 2007.

Blackman’s television appearances included Blankety Blanks, Personality Squares, The Paul Hogan Show, The Daryl Somers Tonight Show, Holiday Island, and Family Feud. He was also featured on ABC’s Talking Heads in 2006.




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