The Biography of Australian Cartoonist Norman Frederick Hetherington

Norman Frederick Hetherington was an Australian Cartoonist turned artist mainly noted for Australia’s longest running Children’s TV Show Mr. Squiggle. He was awarded Medal of the Order of Australia for his contributions. He died on 6th December 2010 at Greenwich Hospital, aged 89.

He was born on 29 May 1921 at Lilyfield, New South Wales, Australia to Frederick Hetherington and Ellen Mary Hetherington. After completing his schooling he enrolled at East Sydney Technical College for Arts. Later, he was enlisted in Army where he served till May 1946. He served the First Australian Army Entertainment Unit, where he was elevated to Corporal. After getting discharged, he continued his education at National Arts School.

He started working for The Bulletin magazine in 1946 and continued till 1961. In 1956, he ventured into television shows career in 1956. His first TV Series was Nicky and Noodle for the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

He married Margaret in 1958. The couple’s children are Stephen (born 1959), and Rebecca (born 1962).

In 1959, he created Mr. Squiggle, a moon-dwelling marionette with a pencil for a nose, who completed “squiggles” sent in by young viewers into full-realised drawings and cartoons. Initially intended as a temporary fill-in, the show ran on ABC for 40 years, ending its run in 1999. His Wife Margaret used to write the scripts for Mr Squiggle.

Norman and Margaret received several honours and awards, including the Penguin Award in 1984, and again in 1989, from the Television Society of Australia ‘for their outstanding contribution to children’s television in Australia’.

He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1990 ‘for service to children’s television programmes and puppetry’.

At the age of 89, he passed away on 6 December 2010 at his house in Greenwich, Sydney, after prolonged illness.