St Cyprian Anglican Church, 74 Melbourne St, North Adelaide SA 5006, Australia
Peter Osborn (April 26, 1914 – July, 1999) was a boyish-looking actor. In 1938, Terence Rattigan embarked on an affair with Peter Osborn.
Peter Osborn, the son of Edith May and Theodore George Bentley Osborn, was born in 1914 in South Australia, where his father had taken up the foundation Chair in Botany at the University of Adelaide in 1912. He spent his early years in Adelaide, before moving to Sydney in 1932, where his father had been appointed Professor of Botany at the University of Sydney.
Osborn was much involved in the theatre, active in the Sydney University Dramatic Society, and also a contributor to the Honi Soit student newspaper. After graduating in 1935, he travelled to London, where he began a promising career in the theatre. On the outbreak of war, however, he was called up for service and in 1940 entered the navy, spending the war years as a seaman on the battleship H.M.S. Calpe. After demobilisation he remained with the Royal Navy until 1961 as an instructor at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
On retirement from the navy, Osborn trained for the ministry of the Anglican Church and was ordained as a deacon in 1963. He subsequently served as a curate and a chaplain at Geelong Grammar and at Abingdon School. In 1975, he returned to Adelaide and was offered the living of St. Cyprian's Church in North Adelaide and also assisted in the teaching of divinity at his old school, St. Peter's College. He soon became involved in the theatre again and performed in a number of charity plays and in film productions and was created the Bishop's 'chaplain for the arts'. A full account of Osborn's life can be found in his autobiography Exit Praying, 1993-1995, copies of which can be found in The University of Adelaide Library's Main Collection and in Rare Books and Special Collections.
Peter Osborn's papers were bequeathed to Rare Books and Special Collections and were received after Osborn's death in July 1999, together with selected books from his personal library, including copies of many of the plays of Terence Rattigan, with whom Osborn formed a close friendship during his first years in London. The papers extensively document Osborn's own life and also contain correspondence and documents on the life and career of his parents, E.M. and T.G.B. Osborn.
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