Quentin Kenihan, the man known as the “little Aussie battler” because of his strong advocacy for people with disabilities, has died at the age of 43.
The Adelaide actor, entertainer and personality was born with a serious bone disease called osteogenesis imperfecta and became well known for his childhood interviews with Mike Willesee.
He had a television series on Network Ten, acted in the blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road and was most recently running for a spot on the Adelaide City Council.
It is understood Kenihan, who also made regular appearances on the ABC, passed away on Saturday evening, and that his death has come as a great shock to friends and family.
Initial and unconfirmed reports said the crusader for disability rights was felled by a sudden asthma attack.
Actor and friend Russell Crowe took to Twitter to pay tribute.
Devastating news. My little mate , the bravest bloke I ever met… gone . We will meet again … @qkenihan . Not confined any more …
Between your interviews, your book, your one man show, your zany little movies …what a creative and productive life.
Lots of love.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) October 7, 2018
“Devastating news. My little mate, the bravest bloke I ever met … gone. We will meet again,” Crowe tweeted.
“Not confined any more … Between your interviews, your book, your one man show, your zany little movies … what a creative and productive life.”
Former support worker and friend Ian Kissock first met Kenihan 12 years ago, and described him as a “phenomenal” and “unique character”.
“I saw him yesterday afternoon — he was fine. Then I get a phone call to say can I come and put his mask on. When I got here, there were two ambos here and they couldn’t revive him,” he said.
“Quentin was unique. He had a fantastic sense of humour. He had a brilliant mind. He was a unique character who was able to do things even with his disabilities.
“He’s done everything — he was on TV, he was on the stage, he’s been in major films. He’s done it all. For a guy that had a major disability, he’s been phenomenal in that he’s been able to do all these things.”
During his life, Kenihan suffered more than 600 fractures because of his brittle bone disease.
He was widely regarded as an inspirational figure because of his ability to triumph in the face of adversity.
Kenihan was also a very active social media user on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and affectionately dubbed his legion of followers “Qpeeps”.