Heather Lloyd-Jones

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Heather Lloyd-Jones (1936-2004). Actress, dancer and singer.

Biography

Heather was born in Grahamstown. She was married to ballet dancer and choreographer Frank Staff and the couple had one son. The marriage ended in divorce. She was married to Norman Westcott from 1966 to 1975.

She retired from the stage in 1974. She then opened an antiques shop in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.

She died in Johannesburg in January 2004, survived by her sons Nicholas and Warren.

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

Heather joined the Brian Brooke Company as an assistant stage manager and then rocketed to success in two Broadway hits, The Seven-Year Itch and Teahouse of the August Moon, both staged at the Brooke Theatre, and both directed by Michael Finlayson during 1955. Leon Gluckman directed Heather Lloyd-Jones in Romanoff and Juliet at the Reps in 1958. She starred in Leonard Schach’s Cockpit Players production of Basil Warner’s Try for White, in Cape Town circa 1959. It later opened at the Pretoria Opera House before moving to the Intimate Theatre for the remainder of their highly successful Johannesburg run. It also starred Nigel Hawthorne, Zoë Randall , Michael Turner, Marjorie Gordon and Minna Millsten. She starred in Thornton Wilder’s, The Matchmaker, which was staged by Leonard Schach’s Cockpit Players in 1959. This enduring show, also starring Marjorie Gordon as Dolly Levi, Nigel Hawthorne, Michael McGovern, Robert Haber and John McKelvey, became the musical Hello, Dolly!.

She enjoyed a trio of hits at the Brooke Theatre in 1959 – the comedies Champagne Complex and The Moon is Blue, and the comedy-drama Two for the Seesaw. She starred in the hit musical comedy Irma la Douce, staged by the Brian Brooke Company in 1960. Frank Staff did the choreography for this musical starring Siegfried Mynhardt, John Whiteley and Robert Haber. It toured all the major cities and the Rhodesias. She starred in Monte Doyle’s Time to Kill which was the first production at the Reps for 1961. It also starred British actor Brian Haines. She starred in Brian Brooke’s commercial hit The Sound of Music, which was staged at the Brooke Theatre in 1963. She starred in Brian Brooke’s Mary, Mary, which was staged at the Brooke in 1963. It also starred John Hayter and Shirley Firth.

She starred in Ronald Millar’s Abelard and Helöise for Pieter Toerien at the Civic in 1971 and in Jerome Chodorov’s A Community of Two, directed by Chodorov at the Intimate Theatre in 1974. Together with Joe Stewardson she starred in Night of January 16th at His Majesty's Theatre in 1977.

Sources

Tucker, 1997.

Obituary written by Mary Jordan, Business Day 2 February 2004.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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