Farewell, Colleen McCullough

Novelist (international best-seller The Thorn Birds, etc.) and neuroscientist Colleen McCullough died on January 29th 2015 at age 77 from kidney failure, on a remote island Norfolk Island in the Pacific. She leaves behind her husband of 32 years, Ric Robinson. 

Colleen McCullough was born June 1, 1937 in New South Wales, Australia.

She spent 10 years in the United States (1967-1976), while researching and teaching at Yale Medical School's Department of Neurology in Connecticut. 

During this time McCullough wrote her first two novels: Tim (1974), about an intellectually disabled young man, which was turned into a 1979 movie starring a young Mel Gibson in the title role; and The Thorn Birds (1977), an Australian family saga which was turned into a hugely popular television mini-series in 1983 starring Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown, Richard Chamberlain and Christopher Plummer

The financial success of Tim and The Thorn Birds novels gave Colleen McCullough the financial freedom to give up her medical career and move to Norfolk Island in the late 1970's, where she met and eventually married her husband Ric Robinson in 1983.

Colleen McCullough continued to write best-selling novels throughout the rest of her life. In her senior septuagenarian years, and despite ill health (failing eyesight, confined to a wheelchair), she still managed to complete and have published two new books in 2013, at age 75.

Colleen McCullough's popular historical fiction Masters of Rome novel series (7 books written between 1990-2007) earned her a Doctor of Letters degree from Sydney, Australia's Macquarie University in 1993. And in a nod to her time spent in the U.S. at Yale, McCullough wrote a series of mystery novels featuring 1960's Connecticut police detective Carmine Delmonico (the 5th book and last in the series was published in 2013).

Below, Colleen McCullough was interviewed in 2011 about the adaptation of her novel Morgan's Run into a musical. colleen mccullough dead, australian novelist colleen mccullough, colleen mccullough 2011 interview, author, mystery writer, the thorn birds, tim, carmine delmonico, masters of rome, morgans run

Farewell, Colleen McCullough.

*Images are public domain or Creative Commons licensed & sourced via Wikimedia Commons or Flickr, unless otherwise noted*

Anita Hamilton

Baby boomer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family and 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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