Diane Wilson

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Diane Wilson (born 1941.) Stage, film, radio and TV actress and director.

Biography

She married Gordon Mulholland in 1963 and they had two children.

Training

Career

Diane's acting career started at nine in Durban. She remembers her first role as "Puck" in Joan Brickhill's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. First discovered by Adam Leslie as a child actress and started her professional career in 1957, playing the Cockney waitress in Brian Brooke's production of Separate Tables, directed by Leonard Schach.

She worked for PACT between 1974 and 1976. In 1978 she joined CAPAB, where she stayed on as a core member of the ensemble till her contract was cancelled in the down-scaling excercises of 1997. She then became a freelance actress, working primarily for the Baxter Theatre and touring her one-woman show Conversations with Virginia Woolf.

She has been to Britain, did television plays for the BBC and repertory work in York.

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

She has appeared on stage in The Amorous Prawn at the Alexander Theatre (September 1961) and played a lead in Clare Boothe’s The Women for Taubie Kushlick and Leon Gluckman. Played in Come Blow Your Horn directed by Ricky Arden in 1962 and acted for the Cockpit Players in The Corn is Green, The Birthday Party and The Night of the Iguana.

Other fine performances for the Performing Arts Councils include leads in Macbeth (1981 and 1996), Kindertransport (1997) and the hugely successful local comedy Glassroots (Fiona Coyne, 2000).

Performed in So What about Love?, Group Hairier, Twigs (1974 and 1982), the Robert Kirby Revue How Now, Sacred Cow?, Dear Lisa ( as “Mrs. Patrick Campbell”) and in Dear Liar at the Blue Fox in 1972.

She starred in According to the Evidence which Ricky Arden directed at the Alexander Theatre in 1966 together with Elaine Lee.

She starred in the PACT production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Our Town in 1976, Feydeau’s A Flea in her Ear in 1976 and the revival of the musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off together David Gilchrist for PACT in 1976.

She starred in William Luce’s Zelda directed by Michael Atkinson at the Adcock-Ingram in August 1987, Gulls which Keith Grenville directed in 1987/1988, Shirley Valentine in 1993 and Your's Anne in 1994.

In 2011 she acted in Careful, a play by Fiona Coyne at Artscape, Cape Town.

She also played the lead in a large number of television and film dramas, earning an Artes Award for TV in 1980 (for The Gioconda Smile).

Awards, etc

Won a Best Actress Award in 1974 for Twigs.

A consummate stage actress, she has won numerous awards over the years, including Twigs (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress,1982), The Spare Room (1983), Shirley Valentine (multiple awards, including Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress, 1992), Grace and Glorie (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress, 1998), Glass Roots (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress, 2000.

In 2009 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Molteno Trust.

Sources

SACD 1973; 1975/76; 1977/78; 1978/79.

Tucker, 1997.

The Alexander Theatre programme of the production The Amorous Prawn of September 1961.

Interview with Astrid Stark published in Cape Times, 19 May 2011.

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