Phillip Hinton was born in the UK and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, to where his family had emigrated in 1947. He began his acting career in radio drama at 14 for Broadcasting Corporation, and in 1963 he returned to the UK where he worked in repertory and in musical comedy before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966. His three years in the RSC included tours to the USSR and Finland with Paul Scofield’s ‘Macbeth’ and to France with ‘All’s Well that Ends Well’. There followed two seasons at the Chichester Festival Theatre under Sir John Clements and in London’s West End he was in the British cast of the Stephen Sondheim musical, ‘Company’. Phillip’s last appearance in London was in Michael Rudman’s acclaimed production of Jack Gelber’s, ‘The Connection’.
In the UK Phillip also worked extensively in TV drama – for the BBC in several popular series – ‘Softly, Softly’, ‘Z Cars’, ‘The Regiment’, ‘Colditz’, and ‘John Halifax, Gentleman’. He played the lead role opposite the late Rachel Roberts in ‘Party Piece’, and was featured in the popular series, ‘The Brontes of Haworth’, and in the action series, ‘The Protectors’, which starred Robert Vaughan.
In 1974 Phillip settled in Australia with his family. He has worked in theatre in Sydney at Marian Street and at the Old Tote Theatre and for the Melbourne Theatre Company as Iago in ‘Othello’ (1976). In 1981 and ’82 there was a successful national tour to Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania, and to the Perth Festival for the Elizabethan Theatre Trust in ‘A Lesson from Aloes’ by the award winning South African writer Athol Fugard. Phillip’s performance as Steve Daniels won critical acclaim in the nation’s press. In 2002 he again appeared in another Fugard play, ‘The Road to Mecca’ for the Queensland Theatre Company and in 2007 he took the lead role in Fugard’s ‘Valley Song’ for the Merrigong Theatre, Wollongong. In 2008 he returned to music theatre in a revival of the Broadway musical of ‘Little Women’.
In Australia he has made countless appearances in popular TV series and for US television Phillip featured in several ‘movies of the week’ – ‘The Flood’, ‘Irresistible Force’, ‘Heart of Fire, as Captain of the Achille Lauro in ‘The Hijacking of the Achille Lauro’, ‘The Three Stooges’, ‘Dynasty, the Making of a Guilty Pleasure’, ‘Desperate Journey, and in the TV series, ‘Time Trax’, ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘Flipper’ and ‘Thornbirds – the Missing Years’.
Phillip has been greatly in demand as one of Sydney’s busiest voice artists, featuring in countless radio dramas and TV documentaries and in radio and television commercials.
Phillip has been a member of the world-wide Bahá’í community since 1961. As a Bahá’í he has travelled throughout Britain, Ireland, Europe, Asia and Africa, giving talks and assisting with Bahá’í projects. At the Bahá’í World Congress in New York in 1992, Phillip played the role of Howard McNutt in ‘Heralds of the Covenant’ performed before audiences of 15,000 in the Jacob Javits Auditorium. His ‘play for one actor, ‘Portals to Freedom’, the story of Howard Colby Ives, has been well received by audiences in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, South Africa, Malaysia, China the UK and in Haifa, Israel. Phillip was a guest on Caroline Jones’ popular Australia-wide radio program, ‘The Search for Meaning’, in which he told the story of his own spiritual search through the medium of literature. Phillip and his wife of 47 years, Ann, have three sons – Sean, Simon, and Ben – and now six grandchildren. (Sydney, June, 2012)