Actor, musician died a spiritually rich man

Tom E Lewis
The late Tom E Lewis. Lewis' family has given NIT permission to publish this photo.

Actor and musician Tom E Lewis, who passed away this month, considered himself a rich man.

“In medicine and art we congregate a bit like Robin Hood and we get stronger and we don’t need to rob the rich,” he told NIT in a 2016 interview.

“We’re already rich in our own country. How can we ever feel poor?”

Mr Lewis, perhaps best known as the star of the 1978 film Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, passed away at his home in Katherine in the Northern Territory on the night of May 10.

He was 59.

His family said in a statement he would forever me remembered for his work on stage and screen over 40 years, as a renowned musician and as the driving force behind Djilpin Arts.

They asked for privacy following his death.

As well as his acting and musical careers, Mr Lewis was also the artistic director of the Walking with Spirits festival at Beswick Falls, 100km south-east of Katherine.

He told NIT in 2016 the festival was “like an exhibition of our cultural world”.

“I’m not there trying to make it all political. It’s more to do with the generosity and forgiveness of how we are as people,” he said.

That same year he played King Lear in ‘The Shadow King’ in London, the Indigenous remake of the Shakespeare classic about a king who descends into madness.

The performance was part of a program to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Mr Lewis’s family has given permission for NIT to publish the accompanying photo for this story.

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