Joe Stewardson

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Joe Stewardson (1927-1997) Actor on stage and film, radio personality.


He was born in Southport, Lancashire. He skipped the Royal Navy when his ship called at Simon’s Town. He married Diane Appleby in 1973.

Joe died in Johannesburg in January 1997 aged seventy. Of his five children Sheryl, Deon, Sean, Matthew and Joanne, two - Matthew and Deon - followed him into the acting profession.

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

He came to South Africa in 1947. He played in some N.T.O productions but his acting career really took off when he moved to Johannesburg in 1960.

Stage work

He appeared in his first play Rose Without a Thorn at the Labia Theatre in 1949. He appeared in A Taste of Honey in Johannesburg and in plays such as The Prisoner (1961) and The Judge (NTO 1961). He starred in The Amorous Prawn in September 1961. He alsostarred in Saul Levitt’s The Andersonville Trial, Amelia's African Adventure (1962).

Other productions include The King of Diamonds, Twelve Angry Men, The Father (CAPAB 1969), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Of Mice and Men, The Caucasian Chalk Circle ( as Azdak the judge 1965), The Runner Stumbles, Everything in the Garden, Write Me a Murder, The Red Silk Umbrella (1962), Taxi!, Faith Healer (Market Theatre).

A revue Be Intimate With Us (1964/5) with Gordon Mulholland and Diane Wilson.

PACT production Hamlet at the Civic Theatre in 1964. The Lion in Winter which was staged at the Alexander Theatre in 1967. King Lear, directed by Robert Mohr for PACT at the Alexander Theatre in 1969.

He starred in Rex Garner’s production of The Lionel Touch for The Academy Theatre of Laughter at the Alexander Theatre in 1971.

He starred in the PACT production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, directed by Ken Leach in 1975.

Together with Heather Lloyd-Jones he starred in Night of January 16th at His Majesty's Theatre in 1977.

He starred in Joan Brickhill’s production of Annie which ran at His Majesty’s Theatre from November 1978 to March 1979.

He starred in a revival of Long Day's Journey into Night at the Market Theatre in 1978.

He starred in PACT’s production of Peter Shaffer’s Shrivings together with John Hussey with direction by Roy Sargeant in 1982.

He starred in Louis Burke’s production of The King and I together with Judy Page for PACT at the Civic Theatre in December 1984. It was performed again at the Pretoria State Theatre in December 1986.

He starred in Barney Simon’s production of The Dybbuk for the Company in 1986. Death of a Salesman (dir: Ken Leach),

Film and TV work

He has appeared in many feature films and TV series, e.g. The Winners (. My Way (1973) Wild Season (1967), Katrina (1969), Target of an Assassin (1976),My Way II (1977), Flatfoot in Africa (1978), Circles in a Forest (1990) Act of Piracy (1990)

Awards, etc

Won best actor award for King Lear, directed by Robert Mohr for PACT at the Alexander Theatre in 1969.

He won the Stuart Leith Trophy for Best Actor three times.


The Alexander Theatre's programme of The Amorous Prawn in September, 1961, No. 154.

Obituary, Sunday Times, 26 January 1997.

Albert Maritz. 2017. "Deon Stewardson – ’n huldeblyk", In memoriam Litnet 2017-11-28[1]

Tucker, 1997.

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