Statement from the family of Gillian Helfgott
It is with the deepest sadness that the family of Gillian Helfgott announces her peaceful passing on Tuesday August 16, at the age of 90, after a short illness
Wife of Shine pianist David Helfgott, mother of filmmakers Sue and Scott Murray (from her first marriage to producer-director John B. Murray), friend and supporter of many, Gillian was an incandescent force in diverse areas of life.
A renowned astrologer, she met David in Perth in 1983 and dedicated the rest of her life to seeing his triumphant return to the concert stage after years in obscurity and incarceration in a mental institution.
An indomitable and resourceful manager, Gillian relaunched David’s career in Perth, before setting off for Europe, quickly garnering popular support and critical success in Germany, Denmark and Austria, a joyous adulation that soon flowered across Europe, Turkey, the United States and Asia.
The Oscar-winning film Shine and Gillian’s New York Times best-selling autobiography, Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David Helfgott, brought their story to the world.
Gillian lived with David in idyllic countryside outside Bellingen, NSW, where she was an irrepressible force, helping the annual Camp Creative festival find local and international success, while also proudly supporting and promoting the 80-strong Bellingen Youth Orchestra.
A vivacious, social and passionate woman, Gillian will be long remembered and treasured.
David, Sue and Scott
The family has announced there will be a private funeral, followed later by a public celebration of Gillian’s life.