Australia’s first TV celebrity doctor, Dr John Wright, passed away over the weekend.
It’s believed the healthcare professional and media personality, affectionately dubbed the ‘Merry Medic Dr James Wright’ by Aussies, died peacefully in his sleep two weeks shy of his 95th birthday.
Dr Wright is survived by his four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. While his family have yet to release a statement at the time of press, tributes have started rolling in from fans and colleagues on social media.
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“Sad news: Dr John F/James Wright (famous for quite a lot of work in the Australian media over the years) died yesterday at the age of 94,” SydneyCityTv tweeted, while entertainment journalist Peter Ford wrote, “Vale John Wright.”
“Thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and many former media colleagues from over the years,” tweeted one fan, with another writing: “You cannot describe Dr James Wright’s career and life in just 280 characters… or even in a maxed out thread. The impact he has made on the Australian psyche is incalculable. The “Merry Medic” will indeed be missed.”
Yet another paid tribute with these heartfelt words: “Dr John Knight – the Merry Medic, Dr James Wright – probably the most enthusiastic physician ever. The surgery is now closed.”
Dr Wright was well-loved for taking his viewers on a journey through his youth in the Depression era to his early years as a doctor, before embarking on a media career.
In 1972, he appeared on Channel Nine’s The Mike Walsh Show, then on Midday with Ray Martin and Midday with Kerri-Anne. He then pivoted to radio where he made a name for himself on 2GB and the 2UE, where he presented two-hour weekly programs.
On top of his TV cameos and radio hosting gigs, Wright also wrote countless columns for publications such as The Sunday Telegraph, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and teen title Dolly, coughing up medical advice.
Adding to his impressive repertoire, Wright also wrote 30 books in his lifetime, his last book was his autobiography Dr James Wright: Adventures of a Merry Medic, which was released in 2016 when he was 89.
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