In a moving tribute at the AACTA Awards ceremony held on Sunday, February 11, the legacies of the late Cal Wilson and Jock Zonfrillo were not only acknowledged but celebrated with posthumous accolades that reflected their exceptional contributions to the entertainment industry.
Wilson was posthumously awarded Best Comedy Performer for her stellar hosting role on The Great Australian Bake Off.
In graciously receiving the award on her behalf, Chris Woods, Wilson’s husband, accompanied by their 14-year-old son Digby, expressed that Wilson would have been “bursting with pride” at her achievement, adding that the show was a “dream gig” for her.
“This award was a lovely way to recognise Cal’s talent and persistence in the industry,” he said.
“Tomorrow will be four months since I lost my wife, four months since Digby lost his mum and four months since the world lost an amazing and talented woman.
“We miss her every day. Thank you so much for honouring her today.”
Wilson tragically passed away on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 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 later revealed that the beloved comedian died of a “rare and aggressive form of cancer”.
Jock Zonfrillo, whose posthumous award came for Best Reality Series with MasterChef, was remembered fondly by his wife, Lauren Fried.
In a touching moment, Fried recognised the challenges of life without her husband, yet emphasised that his recent honour marked a moment worthy of celebration.
“Without Jock, the days seemed like they’d been drained of colour, but today is one of pride and celebration for the kids and I,” she said.
Zonfrillo passed away on Sunday, April 30 2023 at the age of 46 with his passing triggering an outpouring of grief from fans across the nation.
As one of the judges on the highly popular cooking show, Zonfrillo quickly rose to become a household name, capturing the hearts and imaginations of viewers across the nation, and earning him a well-deserved reputation as a fan favourite.
Wilson and Zonfrillo’s recent honours affirm that their remarkable contributions to entertainment will forever shine brightly in our memories.