Beloved actor and Elder Uncle Jack Charles has passed away at the age of 79.

The Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta man passed away peacefully surrounded by family and loved ones and was sent off on Country with a smoking ceremony, his family has said in a statement.

The family have given their permission to use his name and image.

Uncle Jack began his renowned acting career more than half a century ago and has appeared in a number of iconic roles beginning with the Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith in 1978.

He was the recipient of many awards including most recently NAIDOC’s Male Elder of the Year.

His family said they were proud of everything he had achieved in a “remarkable life” – including becoming an activist, mentor and household name.

“We are so proud of everything he has achieved in his remarkable life – Elder, actor, musician, potter, activist, mentor, a household name and voice loved by all – as is demonstrated by his numerous awards including  this year’s NAIDOC Male Elder of the Year. 

He will live on in our hearts and memories and through his numerous screen and stage roles.  May he be greeted by his Ancestors on his return home.”