Samuel Johnson Quits Acting To Focus On Charity Work

26/02/2016 9:20 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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'Molly' actor Samuel Johnson has announced his retirement from acting in order to focus on his charity 'Love Your Sister.'

It's not the first time Johnson -- best known for his work in television series 'The Secret Life of Us' and most recently, miniseries 'Molly' -- has taken time off acting in order to pursue charity work. In 2013, the actor travelled 15,955 kilometres over 364 days on a unicycle in order to raise funds for cancer research. The 37-year-old raised $1.4 million on that trip alone, and last month was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on Australia Day.

He has since made a new goal to raise $10 million.

'Love Your Sister' was formed after Johnson's sister Connie was diagnosed with cancer in childhood, and with terminal breast cancer in 2011.

Johnson announced his retirement from acting on the 'Love Your Sister' Facebook page, which has over 300,000 followers, on Friday morning.

"I think this is the best place for me to announce my retirement from acting, after nearly 25 years! And what better time to hang up my hat, so to speak! I can't act anymore. Not if I'm to serve you properly," Johnson wrote.

"This village means everything to me and I'm tired of other things dragging me away from you. It all started with a promise to my crook sister. I unicycled for her. But not for long. As I squiggled my way slowly through this brilliant f*cking country of ours, I met many of you in person, in the same boat as me, and soon enough I was riding for all of us, for every family in this country being terrorised by cancer. I cannot play pretend on telly while our families are falling. Cancer is the last true riddle of our time (not of our doing) and I wanna be part of the push to solve it once and for all - part of the new 'moonshot'."

samuel johnson as molly meldrum

Johnson as Molly Meldrum in Channel 7's miniseries 'Molly'.

Johnson also criticised the efforts of the Federal government in terms of funding cancer research and stated the fact he himself had not been 100 percent dedicated to his own charity has had an impact on fundraising in recent years.

"I won't play pretend on television while science is being murdered. Not while federal funding for research remains static for ten years. Not while the CSIRO is being bulldozed. Not while climate science is still being denied. Not until I fulfill my promise to you," Johnson wrote.

"After I finished that unicycling absurdity I made you a promise. I promised that I would help raise $10M for those brilliant bloody scientists and researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Like I showed with my one-wheeled promise to my poor terminal sister, I'm good for it. But I can't keep my promise as it stands. We raised $1.4M in our first year, $800K in our second year, and last year, down to $200K. We're not going to get there if I'm off gallivanting. So I won't."

The actor also recently admitted to media he was "dead broke, but happy" and hadn't been cast in a project since 'Molly' wrapped early last year.

Though Johnson's Facebook post noted he will "still have to do the odd voice-over so I can eat if that's ok," he also implored his followers to ditch the label 'actor' for now, despite his fondness for the profession.

"I love acting, it's the best job in the world. But the thing is, being a 'vollie' for healthy families kinda wins hands down. No contest. If it weren't for Molly, I'd have done it sooner," Johnson wrote.

"So call me Molly if you like. Call me Research Australia's Advocate of the Year. Call me that annoying voice over guy. Call me a fundraiser, an advocate, an activist. Call me a brother who tries hard. Just don't call me an actor. Not until we as a nation are as threatened by cancer as we are by terrorism. Not until the $10M is raised. Until then, I'm all yours, around the clock."

See Johnson's full Facebook post below.

To our amazing LYS Village,I think this is the best place for me to announce my retirement from acting, after nearly...

Posted by Love Your Sister on Thursday, February 25, 2016


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