Australian actor, writer and director Michael Pate has died in Sydney at the age of 88. Like so many of his era Pate cut his teeth in the early days of radio prior to heading to Hollywood.

Much will be witten about his screen triumphs however it all began with his radio career in 1938, with the ABC. In those early days he also wrote theatre reviews for newspapers and magazines. Pate appeared in many radio serials, across numerous Australian stations, including 'Escape Me Never' and 'Johnny October'.

Born in Sydney in 1920, his is experiences with an Entertainment Unit in the Pacific during WW2 formed the basis of his book An Entertaining War (1986). After the war, his performance in a Sydney production of the play Bonaventure led to a role in Hollywood 's film version, Thunder on the Hill (1951).

He went on to appear in around 50 films, including Julius Caesar (1953) with Marlon Brando, Hondo (1953) with John Wayne, PT 109 (1963), Major Dundee (1965), and The Singing Nun (1966).

He also received screenwriting credits for Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) and The Most Dangerous Man Alive (1961). After returning to Australia in 1968 Pate appeared in TV's Matlock Police , wrote and produced The Mango Tree (1977) and directed Mel Gibson in Tim.

Through the 1970's and 1980's Pates distinctive tones were in how demand for voice over work across all mediums

In 1997 he performed in two short plays at Sydney's Belvoir Street Theatre with Margaret Christensen. The one night only performance recreated the atmosphere of a radio recording studio of those bygone days, theatre of the mind no doubt. The plays were a fundraiser for Print Handicap Radio station 2RPH.

Later in life Pate often spoke of the expierence radio had given him in those early days and was the motivation to keep on writing, something he was still doing write up until his death.