Peter Hardy, ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ Star, Dies at 66 From Drowning

The TV actor died in a snorkeling accident off the Australian coast on Thursday

Peter Hardy dead
Peter Hardy at the launch of "Mamma Mia!" at Doltone House on July 21, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.

Peter Hardy, who graced screens as an actor on Australian drama series “McLeod’s Daughters” and in the movie “Chopper,” has died at 66 after drowning in a snorkeling accident off the Australian coast.

Hardy’s brother, Michael Hardy, shared the news in a Facebook post Thursday, saying “I am devastated to say that my brother, Peter Hardy, passed away suddenly this morning… Rest in peace my beloved little brother.”

According to local reports, Hardy passed away after snorkeling at a beach in Fremantle after traveling to see his mother in the city nearby Perth in Western Australia. The West Australian reported that, prior to the incident, Hardy had posted on social media and tagged himself at Cottesloe Beach and South Beach in Fremantle just an hour before he was taken out of the water, unresponsive. 

In addition to his roles in “McLeod’s Daughters” and “Chopper,” Hardy also appeared in several episodes of the series “Neighbors,” in which he played Jimmy Drane. Off the small screen, Hardy dazzled audiences in the stage version of “Mamma Mia! The Musical.” 

Starring as Phil Rakich in “McLeod’s Daughters,” Hardy appeared in 44 episodes of the Australian drama series, which ran for eight seasons. 

Following his death, Andy Burns, a close friend of Hardy’s who said the pair lived together in Neutral Bay Sydney in the mid 1980s, expressed his heartbreak at the news, noting he is “inconsolable” from Hardy’s death, saying “words cannot express how deeply I feel this loss.”

“He was 66 years old and looked like a Greek god, so fit, and so happy to be back in his native WA visiting from London where he had made his home,” Burns wrote in a tribute post on Facebook, adding that the “Chopper” actor decided to buy a canal boat in London and sent him guitar tracks recorded from the boat. “He was a superb actor a wonderful singer and guitarist he also played drums and sax. He always loved performing in the theatre as well as film and TV.”