Beloved Perth broadcaster Russell Goodrick has died after a private health battle.
The children of the Logie award-winning Channel Nine presenter confirmed his death in a statement on Facebook, sending shockwaves through the WA media community.
Goodrick had been hospitalised in January with a severe case of pancreatitis after suffering an attack while travelling to Esperance to work on the production of upcoming film Before Dawn.
“He didn’t make it to Esperance. His trip was cut short as he fell ill to necrotizing pancreatitis, a form of severe pancreatitis,” Goodrick’s sons Tom and Rodney wrote.
“He was flown back to Perth by the RFDS and was operated on. After a few weeks he was sent off home in the hopes that he was on his way with a slow recovery.”
However, Goodrick was later hospitalised again, with his sons describing his health as a “roller coaster of improvement and declination”.
He is understood to have spent a lengthy period in hospital in a coma.
Goodrick’s friend and former colleague Jenny Seaton told The West Live’s Ben O’Shea she received a message late last night to say his family had made the difficult decision to switch off his life support.
“It wasn’t something we knew about, this is the other part of it we are trying to understand, he was private he wanted it to be this way (but) to find out he was in a coma for so long and this was the result is just awful,” Seaton said.
“I’ve only found out today that he has a problem with his pancreas…we were told last week that he was in a coma and we weren’t told why or how bad it was.
“It was only really last night to say that they decided to let the machine go off him to keep him alive.”
Tom and Rodney told of their father’s request for privacy, writing that while they understood there were “many of you that would have wanted to know” it had proven to be “a mammoth task to let everyone know without being overwhelmed, as this has been a long and overwhelming process”.
Seaton — who worked with Goodrick at Nine — said while she was still in “shock,” she remembered the broadcaster as “unique in his way”.
“He was always happy and smiling, he was a little bit childlike in ways — not in a bad way, but sweet. A bit vulnerable, very professional in everything he did,” she said.
Goodrick hinted at his declining health in February in a post to his Facebook page, saying that while he couldn’t make it to the Western Australia Party media opportunity he was there “in spirit” thanks to a life-sized cutout of a silver Logie award.
Born in Manchester, England before moving to Australia, Goodrick began his media career with Radio 2GB in Sydney in 1964.
He joined Channel Nine in 1974 and during his 33 years with the network carved out a prolific media career, including becoming the number one newsreader from 1979 to 1985.
He produced and hosted more than 1,000 television programs and documentaries and work as the face of Nine in WA earned him a coveted Logie award in 1983.
Goodrick is credited for helping to create Crime Stoppers, was a founding director of Football West and the Mount Lawley candidate for the Western Australia Party.