Annabel Linder

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Annabel Linder (19**-). Actress, comedienne and singer.


Annabel was born in Durban and educated at Durban Girl's College and Natal University obtaining her Teacher's diploma in Speech and Drama and then teaching for a year before entering professional theatre. She started her radio career, however, while still at school and has since become one of South Africa's best known voices in radio plays and commercials.

Annabel's stage career has progressed from Shakespeare through musical comedy to the most difficult field of all - cabaret, receiving rave review right along the line. She left legitimate stage for five years to rear her family whilst establishing herself as one of the most sought after female cabaret artistes in the country. She returned to the stage in 1977.

She was married to actor Clive Parnell and subsequently to the composer Sam Sklair [1].

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

She starred in Leon Gluckman’s revue Minim Bili, which opened in April 1963, and was the sequel to Wait a Minim! staged in 1962. Together with Judy Page she starred in the musical Chicago which was staged by PACT in January 1977 at the Alexander Theatre, the Pieter Toerien production of Neil Simon’s California Suite, directed by Stockton Briggle, together with Naomi Buch, Anthony Fridjhon and Michael Mayer in 1978, William Egan’s production of Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana together with Sandra Duncan, Eric Flynn and Anthony James for PACT at the Alexander Theatre in 1983, Edith Piaf – No Regrets for PACT at the Arena in 1977, Donald Howarth’s Ibchek, directed by its author, together with Jacqui Singer, Frantz Dobrowsky, Danny Keogh and Elaine Proctor at Upstairs at the Market in 1979, Des and Dawn Lindberg’s production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas together with Judy Page and Victor Melleney under direction by Dawn at His Majesty's Theatre in 1979, Driving Miss Daisy in 1989, Isn't It Romantic (she played the role of Tasha Blumberg) in 1985.

A second successful season of cabaret at the Top of the Carlton was the followed by her first series for SATV - playing Marsha Bloom in the South African comedy series Oh George. In 1982 Annabel appeared in It Had To Be You, a comedy for Pieter Toerien; a 13-part TV science programme for children and a successful cabaret season at Annabels. In 1983 she played a leading role in PACT's The Night of the Iguana and the following year did a TV series called The Entertainment Quiz with Cyril Green. She performed as the Mother in Torch Song Trilogy at the Market Theatre, From Door to Door, a 12-week run in the play Twilight of the Golds at the Civic Theatre, a three month run in the hit musical When Annie met Sam, and a three month run in the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles, What About Luv? (1993).

In 1999, she did the 2nd show with husband Sam Sklair, called Play it Again featuring singer/actor James Ngcobo at the Liberty Theatre on the Square.

During 2000, she appeared in 6 episodes of Isidingo. In 2001 she appeared in the most demanding role of her career. She played the part of Rose, an 80-year old survivor of the holocaust. It was a 2-hour tour-de-force performance, and a box-office and critical triumph. A tribute was paid to her by Dali Tambo who featured her in his 1 hour programme on national television called People of the South. She subsequently won the VITA Award for best dramatic actress for her performance in Rose.

In 2002 she appeared in the successful American comedy The Tale of the Allergist's Wife and in 2009 in Glorious!.

She released a CD with her husband Sam Sklair called Annie and Sam - Showtime, featuring some of the songs from their stage shows.'

Other productions include Ladies in Retirement, Platonic Nymph, Friends and Neighbours, The Table and The Eleventh Commandment.

One-woman shows Funny Ladies and That's The Way It Is.

TV includes: Oh George; Barney Barnato; Heroes (Tonight Award for best performance of an actress in a drama.

Awards, etc.

Awarded DALRO Award for best performance in a musical for Chicago.

She also won a DALRO award (her second) in October 1984 for her performance as the Mother in Torch Song Trilogy.

Vita Award (Gauteng region), 2001, Best lead actress, Death of a Salesman.

On Feb 1st 2004 at the first Naledi Award ceremony she won the award for best comedy performance by a female for The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.

Vita Award for Rose.


SACD 1974; 1977/78; 1978/79; 1979/80; 1980/81.

From Door to Door programme notes in 2005 (?).

Programme of a run of Pieter Toerien's Isn't It Romantic directed by Janice Honeyman in 1985.

What About Luv? programme notes, 1993.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Tucker, 1997.

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