Ken Marshall

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Ken Marshall (1922-1997). Actor, playwright, broadcaster.


Ken was born in Salisbury, grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), moved to London after World War Two. He wrote The Golden Grain (1951), the thriller The Painted Devil (1952), Spell My Name Right. He returned to Rhodesia in 1954 as head of the Federal Broadcasting Corporation, moved to South Africa in 1974 to join the SABC as announcer on the English Service. In 1960 he married Clare Moore who, as Clare Marshall is a well known star of stage, television and radio.

He died of a stroke in September 1997 at the age of 75.



He appeared in about 250 plays in London, became interested in the construction of plays and began writing plays. Two plays he wrote were produced and performed in London's West End: The Golden Grain with Dinah Sheridan at tbe Embassy and The Painted Devil, with Reginald Hugh Burden, Ruth Dunning and Shelagh Manahan, at Q Theatre and National Four.

He played in various movie and television productions.

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

Ken played the lead in The Mousetrap for Brian Brooke in 1954. Played “Percy” in Rattle of a Simple Man and “Lutz” in The Student Prince, also performed in Alfie, Guys and Dolls, Swansong, and London Assurance. He wrote Till Debts Do Us Part.

His last appearance on stage was in Johannesburg in Lara Foot Newton's acclaimed revival of The Crucible (1996).

Awards, etc

1962 Best Actor Award for his portrayal of "Frank Elgin" in Clifford Odet's Winter Journey. 1969 Best Actor Award for "Baldeck" in With Courage This Day. 1970 Best Director Award for John Pank's Silhouettes of Autumn. In South Africa it was retitled Windmills of the Mind and won Amstel Play of the Year Award.


Till Debts Do Us Part theatre programme notes, 1985.

Tribute written by Raeford Daniel, The Citizen, 11 September 1997.

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