Cal Wilson a Comic Powerhouse
Cal Wilson, the New Zealand stand-up comedian, writer and actor who became a mainstay on Australian television over a 20-year career, has died at the age of 53, Michael Sun reports for The Guardian.
Wilson was born in 1970 in Christchurch, where she began her comedy career in 1990 as a founding member of the improv group The Court Jesters. In 1994, she won the world theatresports title as part of the New Zealand team.
The accolades continued: in 1997, Wilson won the inaugural Billy T award, a New Zealand prize given to emerging comedians. In 2000 she was named best comedian by the Auckland-based magazine Metro.
Wilson moved to Melbourne in 2003. Soon after, Wilson began appearing regularly on Australian comedy shows including Rove Live, Spicks and Specks and Good News Week. A multiple guest on early seasons of Thank God You’re Here, Wilson was also part of the ensemble cast of sketch show The Wedge, a short-lived series that garnered a cult following with its second and final season.
Wilson also found international success, recording her own Netflix comedy special at Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs festival which was released as part of a 2019 series titled Comedians of the World.
Most recently, she co-hosted the latest season of The Great Australian Bake Off alongside Natalie Tran.
A portrait of her donning a particularly glitzy headdresses adorned with doll’s heads and baubles won the packing room prize at the 2023 Archibalds.
“This is so tragic and my heart goes out to Cal’s family,” wrote actor Rebel Wilson. “I was very, very lucky to work with Cal on multiple projects especially over the last few years where she wrote brilliant material for me. She was amazingly talented and amazingly kind.”
Original article by Michael Sun, The Guardian, October 11, 2023.