Ron Smerczak

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Ron Smerczak (1949-) [1] is a British-born South African stage, film and television actor.

Biography

Born and raised in Blackpool, UK, Ron's first taste of acting was with Michael Croft's National Youth Theatre. At the age of 15, Ron was treading the boards - albeit carrying a spear - of The Old Vic in Antony and Cleopatra. In 1969, after studying at Cardiff University, where Ron read Geology, he auditioned for a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He was accepted and granted a scholarship. On graduation from RADA in 1971, Ron obtained the school's silver medal and an award as best character actor of his year. Ron then enjoyed three years work in England, first with Billingham Rep., and then with The Prospect Theatre Company. As a member of the latter he toured Britian, Europe and Australia. During his time in England he also appeared in the British SOAP series Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars. In 1973, he appeared as co-lead in David Rudkin's award winning TV play Pendas Fen. At about this time Ron also entered the world of horror movies. Playing a small part in The House of Whipcord, now on video circuit in SA.

He settled in South Africa in 1974. Ron lives with his wife Lyn and children in Johannesburg and enjoys horseriding, squash, cooking, gardening and science fiction.

Training

After having read Geology at Cardiff University, Ron graduated from RADA in 1971.

Career

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

John Proctor in The Crucible, Caliban in The Tempest, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, “Hotspur” in Henry IV Part I; “Queenie” in Fortune and Men's Eyes, Macbeth (PACT, In Praise of Love (1974), Fortune and Men's Eyes (1975), Pleasure and Repentance (1976), Dirty Linen at the Civic Theatre (1977), revival of Long Day's Journey into Night (1978), Les in Steven Berkoff's East, Macbeth with Sandra Prinsloo, PACT, 1980, Jumpers (1980), The Crucible (1981), Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1982), The Rise and Fall of the First Empress Bonaparte (1983), Beecham (1984), Falstaff (1984), Diary of a Madman, Cincinatti: Scenes from City Life, Catastrophe (1985), Gulls (1987/1988), Shakespeare's Macbeth (1989), A Doll's House (1990), Shadowlands (1991), Tom in Skylight (1997).

84 Charing Cross Road, The Dresser,

In Blue/Orange by British playwright Joe Penhall, directed by Maralin Vanrenen, Johannesburg 2004.

Che Guevara in Hans Pienaar's Ching Chong Che, Downstairs at Wits Theatre, August 2004.

Archibald Drupe in Tree Boy, Grahamstown Festival, 2010.

Decadence (1984) was Ron's first venture into the realm of direction.

In South African television Ron is known for his portrayals of Constable Murray in The Diggers, Henry Stone in The Settlers and the playboy photographer, Greg Tremaine in Westgate.

TV: Leading villian Archer in Torn Allegiance directed by Alan Nathanson; Captain Denton in My Friend Angelo; Mr Ogle in SABC's production of Shaka Zulu.

Feature movies too have been Ron's vehicle. He had roles in Jock of the Bushveld (1995), Cry the Beloved Country (1995), Finding Lenny (2009). Among others he has played small parts in One Way, starring Elke Sommer and Prisoner of the Lost Universe with Richard Hatch. In the SABC co-production Sanna directed by Alan Nathanson, Ron playing the lead villian, Archer. He is also active in radio, both as actor and scriptwriter.

Awards

Nominee 1991 Smerczak, Ron in Shadowlands (Sunday Atar/Johannesburg Critics circle Award for best actor in a supporting role in English);

Gulls (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actor 1987), Diary of a Madman (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actor 1988),


Sources

Tucker, 1997.

Programme notes of Decadence in 1984.

Pack of Lies programme notes in 19** of the run at the Market Theatre.

SACD 1975/76; 1977/78.



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