I met Paul when at sweet seventeen and we were married for twenty-six of the thirty-three years we shared together. My heart broke the day he died and since then I’ve been trying to learn to live with that broken heart and there have been many a day when I have wondered if it would ever begin to heal; sometimes this life just seems too much for me without him. I can say, hand on heart; this has been the most difficult year of my life.
In dark moments, I look up to Pauly and hear him say ‘C’mon baby, the show must go on, put on a happy face.’ He wasn’t one for sitting in self-pity and ordinarily, neither am I.
But I am not the only one who grieves Paul. There are many for whom this year has seen them trying to cope with the enormous space his passing created.
Paul is with me constantly. Through his beautiful daughters Emma and Jessica and the constant out-pouring of love from so many people, I am slowly learning to have a different type of relationship with him. Whether it’s an awards show; at my make-up studio at ATI; even at the dry cleaners, there is ALWAYS someone; often several people ready with a Pauly memory, anecdote, impression or joke and I am certainly not the only one who often asks: ‘What would Pauly do, what would Pauly say; knowing that whatever it was it would be the right thing at the right time. So much so, that it is a running theme at Associated Television International, the production company Paul worked with and at which his daughter Emma is a producer; with his colleagues often stating this is a ‘WWPS moment,’ meaning this is a ‘What Would Paul Say’ moment.’
With numerous tributes to Paul on the web
has everything from the Australian and USA memorial services to the Orton’s Music Hall shows, later changed to Paul Sharratt’s Music Hall Follies posted by ‘knuckelscapon’ and the 2010 Logies In Memoriam as well as a Paul Sharratt Dedication group on Face Book I don’t have to look far for him to make me laugh, smile and sometimes cry.
There is, of course his web site www.paulsharratt.com to which I’ll be adding a ‘Life After Pauly’ page. And most importantly, I have the cherished memories of my own.
I always knew my husband was an incredible human being… I just didn’t really grasp how truly special he was to so many and just the sheer scope of lives he touched. I am truly grateful to experience his love through so many people and it is this that has held my hand through this annus horriblis and it is this that gives me strength as I go forward in this new chapter of my life.
Rest in Peace my darling….. Paul Sharratt OAM, August 2, 1933 – May 27, 2009
Suzie Sharratt is currently writing a book entitled: ‘At Enormous Expense….’
The first time I "Saw" Paul Sharratt I was working on the local Council, and I was actually in a drain laying pipes next to a petrol station. Paul had pulled into the petrol station to fill up. The guys I was working with made mention that Paul Sharratt had just stopped. I was in awe. It was “The” Paul Sharratt. Never in my entire life did I ever stop to think that years later, I was able to say to people that Paul Sharratt was my friend.
How I managed to get a job in the Music Hall is very long but the relationship and friendship I was able to have with Paul Sharratt is immeasurable. Strictly professional of course.
Paul made me very welcome on all levels. When I wanted to video the shows I expected to be told NO, but Paul was very accommodating with the idea. Because of the long association I had with the Music Hall and Paul Sharratt he welcomed the chance that I was able to record the final show. I asked Paul if he was able to do a few second opening words on the video before the show started and much to my surprise he had no problem with doing that. I expected to be knocked back even after all those years, and due to him being so busy and stressed out. Because of Paul’s professionalism, on the video, you would have no idea how he truly felt..
I felt honoured many years ago when Paul asked me to work the drinks table for VIP’s at his annual Tropicarnival.
Paul also asked me to video his Pantomime and other shows that he produced. He was very accommodating and went to all lengths to ensure that I always had a direct audio feed into the video camera. I have Paul Sharratt to thank for the many doors that opened for me whilst I was video recording many of the shows on the Gold Coast.
Paul Sharratt was a good man but he was no saint, and loved to take the piss out of the audience when ever her could. He had me doubled over with laughter whenever this happened. He also sent himself up so all in all it was "all's fair in love and war"
I first "saw" Suzie when I attended a night at Orton’s Music Hall. She was the new girl on the block and I was curious to know who this beautiful Vixen was. She had never met me and like Paul, in time, I was able to call her my friend. I loved and adored her sense of humour. It was infectious and she has the "dirtiest" laugh that any gay man would melt to. Suzie and I got along famously. I mean this nicely, but maybe it was the "Faghag" persona that Suzie portrayed, but gay guys who worked in the Music Hall loved Suzie Sharratt AKA Sue Defara. The consummate "Queen"
Suzie accepted anyone no matter what their sexual preferences were and for this reason she was loved by many. And still is.
My heart goes out to her and I’m sorry for my own selfish reasons that Paul died before I ever got to see him again over here in Australia. As long as I have all this video footage, Paul Sharratt will never die.
One of the many cliches Paul was famous for was. MAY YOU ALL LIVE TO BE 120 YEARS OF AGE AND MAY THE LAST JOKE YOU HEAR BE ONE OF MINE.
Suzie Australia and all your family and many friends love and miss you,
Suzie Water Ski
Death Of The Week: Paul Sharratt
by Andrew Tijs on May 29th, 2009 at 4:36 pm
Count the Logies and weep, losers.
Dearly Departed: British-born Australian television personality Paul ‘Mr Entertainment’ Sharratt, OAM, 1933-2009.
Cause Of Death: Heart attack.
Greatest Achievement: Alongside his success as a producer, Sharratt won 12 Logies during 12 years on Australian television.
Paul Sharratt was born in Blighty but little did he know that he would move to Queensland in 1961, nor that he would soon become known as ‘Mr Entertainment’ (and ‘Mr Tropicarnival’ after launching the Eisteddfod in 1982) and scoop up 12 Logie Awards.
After travelling through 32 countries before his 21st birthday, he appeared on the stage in the UK alongside legends like Benny Hill, Johnny Mathis, Bob Hope and Mr Rhinestone himself, Liberace. He shifted to TV in 1957, appearing on the BBC series It’s Magic.
Within four years of meeting his Australian wife and moving to the colonies he started Starcast Productions, which went on to produce over 500 television specials, roping in acts like Phyllis Diller, Danny La Rue and The Village People.
He later aligned his production duties with Los Angeles at Associated Television International. There he produced lovably cheesy event shows including The Nice Film And Television Awards (hosted by Henry Winkler and David Hasselhoff and shot in Nice, France, of course), The Secret KGB Files (hosted by Roger Moore and shot in Russia), The World Magic Awards (hosted by Roger Moore, David Carradine and Paul Williams and shot here and in Egypt) and narrated programs A Tribute To Pope Paul II and The Life And Passion Of Christ (which was initially hosted by Pat Boone!).
The most beloved television personality in Queensland for over a decade, he played straight man to Ugly Dave Gray for The Dave Gray Comedy Hour (where Mr Gray was presumably more beautiful) and hosted his own tonight show from 1977 to 1980. He was awarded an Order Of Australia for his contributions to the entertainment industry.
Amazingly, Sharratt has not yet been entered into the Logie Hall Of Fame, despite winning more of the bulbous little statuettes than Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton combined. He repeatedly won Most Popular Male category in Queensland during his tenure at Channel Nine as an on-screen personality and producer of light entertainment in the ’70s and ’80s. His Logies were presented to him by such legendary (and likely bewildered) visiting stars as John Wayne, David Cassidy, Gina Lollabrigida and Sammy Davis Jr.
Sharratt had battled cancer and was working on the Emmys before falling victim to a heart attack in his Los Angeles home.
He will be missed.
There have been many newspaper articles and media reports on the death of My husband Paul but this one truly warmed my heart.-Suzie
Touched by Greatness
by Chris Manzoni
I know a lot of people, and even love some of them. The ones I love are pretty much restricted to my family or closest of friends.
There is one exception to this.
One extraordinary soul that only departed this earth last Wednesday loomed large in my life - not just as an employer, but as a unique force in my life entire.
Paul Sharratt was 75 when he succumbed to a heart attack in the arms of his wife at 630 in the morning on May 27th, 2009.
He was a successful performer in his native land of Australia, with plenty of fame and awards to compliment his formidable skill set in the arts of comedy, song, dance and hosting. He was knighted. He has a park named after him. He won 12 "Logey" awards (the Australian equivalent of our Emmy).
He was an executive producer at my company, again with plenty of accolades and benchmarks of professional accomplishment. He has an American Emmy. He has traveled all over the world, not only for broadcast programming but for the outstanding charity work of Feed The Children. He has been instrumental in the success of my employer and by extension my employment.
But his legacy goes far, far, FAR beyond commercial achievement.
I have struggled for days and days on end to put into words just what made Paul Sharratt such an incredible force, not only in my life, but with everyone he encountered.
Honestly, I think he was touched by God.
He had a light in his spirit that was inescapable, and undeniable.
Don't get me wrong. He was not a saint, he was mortal. He had plenty of human faults and sins that were plainly visible at times. And yet, it didn't matter one bit. Everyone wanted to be around this man.
Case in point - an ex-employee (one of many) was at Paul's service. He drove all the way from Utah to be there. He had been personally fired 6 years ago BY PAUL. It didn't matter. He was there and he loved the man.
Everyone. And I mean everyone, loved Paul.
I've never met a man before quite like him, and I know I'll never meet one again.
I have been with my company for 13 years, and I've had the privilege of working with Paul on most days in that time period. Both in Los Angeles and all over the world, in locales as diverse as his homeland, Africa, China, southeast Asia and all across Europe.
By nature, especially at work and in my day to day interactions with the world, I am a private person. I save my inner thoughts and vulnerabilities for my wife, my brother, my mom and a small handful of my closest friends.
I rarely had any "deep" conversations with Paul, it was always pretty much work - good humored and good natured, but pretty much about business.
I loved the man, probably within a few months of meeting him, but I always respected his position as my employer and never sought to connect with him beyond my role as an employee who had a healthy respect for him.
There are two exceptions I can remember where my usual business-like manner was let down with him. I cling to these instances now fondly - as I wish with all my heart I could have had another conversation to tell him how much he meant to me.
The first instance was in Rome, after we had all enjoyed an audience with Pope JP II. I have written here before that I, not a religious person whatsoever, burst into quiet tears of joy upon seeing the holy father. I had a lovely talk with Paul that evening about the experience, and I could see that he was genuinely touched that I had been so moved (as had he) in seeing the pope.
The second instance was back in LA, when Paul had just returned from his cancer surgery. I looked into his eyes and told him how great it was to see him, he squeezed my shoulder gently and smiled with his usual magical warmth and a twinkle in his eyes, not saying a word, but clearly touched by my concern.
Reading back on what I've written, I think I've pretty much failed to convey what was so great about Paul.
I can say all sorts of wonderful things about him that are true and give you a sense about him as a person - but you really had to know him to understand that he was so much more than the sum of these parts.
He was warm. He was charming. He had a fun and wicked sense of humor. He had charisma, but still seemed down to earth.
He was a good listener, but generally had already formed an opinion - and yet, he didn't come off as close minded at all.
He could be irritable - and yet, somehow, people were still drawn to him, even when he was cross.
He didn't suck up to people. Ever. He didn't kiss ass - and yet, somehow, even people that he had to deal with professionally (yes, he did fire people on occasion) never held a grudge, never wished him ill. It sounds unbelievable, bizarre even, but it was true.
I honestly believe there was a light in him - that he could be fallible - and yet somehow never lose his connection with the divine.
I have been deeply affected over losing him - though as I say, I wasn't by any means a close friend of his. But I am overwhelmed and so deeply honored to have, as Ruta Lee so beautifully said at his memorial service, lived in close proximity to such an incredible thread in the tapestry of life.
I take great comfort from Paul's wife, who told me in private that Paul thought very highly of me.
My heart breaks for her, and Paul's daughters - one of which worked with her dad here in LA for many years. How hard it must be for her to come back to a place that is so much filled with Paul's presence.
All of Paul's girls (his wife and 2 daughters) are in my prayers - I know they will get through it, because Paul is with them and helping them along the way.
He is with me as well - and I know he doesn't want anyone to be overwhelmed with grief. He wants us to enjoy our lives.
I know those closest to him will eventually persevere. And the rest of us will get through as well.
Looking around at the people who knew him, it is very evident that Paul has left a little piece of his divine light behind - and it is shining in our hearts, as brilliant and as bright as the sun.
We are now, as he was in life, touched by greatness.
Lady Tabitha Chanel Sharratt & Lord Tennyson Paul Sharratt