A former big boy star has died aged 84 after battling prostate cancer for nearly two decades.
Peter O’Neil died on Tuesday, after battling the disease for nearly a decade.
He was a fixture on the Big Boy family television show for the past three decades.
Mr O’Neill was born in Coonawarra, in the state’s south-west, in 1927, and moved to Melbourne to pursue a career in radio and television.
He began playing the role of the Big Boys on the ABC’s Big Boy in 1963, and was named the “most popular” in the history of the show.
The show has been watched by more than 3 million people since its launch in 1974.
The Big Boys have been widely seen as a pioneer in the field of broadcasting, with their programmes attracting millions of viewers.
The ABC said in a statement on Tuesday that Mr O’Sullivan died “peacefully, surrounded by family and close friends”.
“Peter Oates had an illustrious career in broadcasting and television, both in Australia and overseas, and in particular his time as Big Boy,” the statement said.
“The legacy of Peter Oates and the Big B’s Big Boys remains to this day, and we would like to thank Peter Oate’s family, friends and colleagues for their unwavering support throughout his long life.”
Mr Oates’ widow, Janet Oates, told the ABC her husband was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
“He was very much a big boy.
He was very kind, generous and compassionate,” she said.
“I have no words for what he was like.
He had a passion for life, and it was just the best way to live.”