October 29, 2018 12:18:43
Actor, entertainer, writer and disability advocate Quentin Kenihan was remembered as resilient, caring and ambitious at a memorial service yesterday.
- Quentin Kenihan farewelled at memorial service at Adelaide Town Hall
- The actor, disability advocate and aspiring councillor died aged 43 earlier this month
- He became famous as the “little Aussie battler” on TV with Mike Willesee
Hundreds of people gathered at the Adelaide Town Hall to farewell Kenihan, who died on October 6 aged 43.
He was born with the rare and serious bone disease osteogenesis imperfecta and was not expected to live longer than three months.
Over his life, he suffered 600 broken bones as a result of his condition, but he was a man who wanted to talk about his ability, not his disability.
Kenihan’s mother Kerry Kenihan, journalist Ray Martin and ABC Radio Adelaide presenter David Bevan spoke at the service, along with filmmaker George Miller, who directed Mad Max: Fury Road, in which Kenihan featured.
‘He lived an incredible live’: Russell Crowe
A special video message was also delivered from Kenihan’s friend Russell Crowe.
“I thought his achievements were outstanding,” Crowe said.
“I thought he was the bravest kid I’d ever met and he was fabulous.
“He definitely had an opinion on pretty much anything.”
He said he had been too busy to return a few phone calls from Kenihan in the days before he died.
“I’m going to miss him very much — I’m going to miss his phone calls, I’m going to miss his spirit, but he lived an incredible life and we should all be proud and happy that we knew him,” Crowe said.
“I’m happy to say I loved him and he was my little mate.”
Miller said Kenihan was “a classic hero”.
“Someone struggling against adversity, learning things on the way, putting aside his own self-interest for the greater good, and basically his story guides us,” he said.
The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg said he and Kenihan would regularly talk on the phone.
“I consider myself incredibly grateful and very fortunate to have had a front-row seat to this man’s extraordinary life and to have indeed been influenced and inspired by his willingness to live every single day the way he lived,” Gunsberg said.
American singer Jewel Kilcher met Kenihan backstage while performing in Australia.
She described him as a “giant”.
“Quentin was so bold and he acted in line with his heart and his dreams,” she said.
“His direction was forward — always moving forward — always looking for a way to be the best version of himself, to live his best life and push through boundaries.”
Inspiring character to the end
Kenihan had recently put his hand up to become an area councillor for Adelaide City Council at the upcoming November council elections.
Lord Mayor Martin Haese described him as an “icon of Adelaide”.
The council plans to build and name an accessible playground after him.
Kenihan became well known for his childhood interviews with Mike Willesee.
Willesee later made a documentary about Kenihan simply called Quentin.
It was after appearing on television when he was only a young boy that Kenihan became known as the “little Aussie battler”.
Kenihan was a very active social media user on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and affectionately dubbed his legion of followers “Qpeeps”.
Kenihan’s heartfelt and humorous memoir Not All Superheroes Wear Capes was published in 2016, with a foreword by Ray Martin.
In it, Kenihan reflected on his passion for films, including Star Wars, and his youthful love of the Superman comics.
Kenihan often sought out actors and celebrities to interview and was willing to travel overseas in pursuit of another encounter.