Fiona Coyne

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(1965-2010) South African actress, publicist and playwright.

Born Fiona Anne Coyne in Springs, South Africa in 1965, died in Fishhoek on 18 August 2010.


Studied drama at the Pretoria Technikon. Also has an B.A. Honours degree in Clinical Psychology.


As an actress

Joined CAPAB Drama Company as an actress in 1986, performing in both English and Afrikaans till 1992, when she left for Kenya, returning to South Africa in 1996 to continue her stage career as a freelance actress.

Stage roles include Alarms and Excursions (1999), The Adventures of Pinocchio(a pantomime by Janice Honeyman)

As a advertising executive, human relations and communications coach, and TV personality

She spent four years working in conservation in Kenya, including a period with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. On her return to South Africa in 1996, she and her husband Willie Fritz worked in advertising and she became a skilled motivational speaker and coach in public relations. She also became nationally known as the host in the South African version of the television game show The Weakest Link. Wrote the book Who Moved My Ladder? The Working Woman's Guide to Success (Penguin Books, 2007).

As playwright

Began writing plays after her return from Kenya.

The first was As the Koekie Crumbles (1998), which was created as part of the Baxter Theatre’s New Writing Programme. It was directed for the Baxter by Ralph Lawson, later reworked for radio and broadcast on SAfm as Little White Lives.

In 2000 she wrote Glass Roots, another play in the New Writing Programme, directed for the Baxter Theatre by Roy Sergeant and a huge success with the public. Then followed: Dearly Beloved (2001), The Shadrack Affair (2004), and Careful (2009)


As an actress Coyne won the Pretorium Trust Award for Most Outstanding Student at the Technikon, and has been nominated for the Fleur du Cap award (1992) and the Vita Award (1999 for Alarms and Excursions). In 2000 won a Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script for Glass Roots.


Die Beeld 26 June 2001.

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