Raedawn Stevens

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Raedawn Stevens (b. Springs, 11/03/1944 - d. Italy, **/12/1995) was an actress and circus performer.


Raedawn Stevens was given her first chance as an actress by Dirk de Villiers, who was looking for someone to take the role of Sandra du Toit in the film version of the popular Springbok Radio serial Geheim van Nantes (1969), written by Pieter Treurnicht. According to the director, she had a photographic memory and was able to memorise twelve pages of dialogue in ten minutes. He gave her two more parts, in Die 3 v.d. Merwes (1970) and Die Wit Sluier (1973), the latter based on another radio serial, this time by Naomi van Niekerk. In between she made Sperrgebiet Diamandgebied No. 1 (1972) for Elmo de Witt.

Interestingly, she came from a circus background and was an accomplished aerialist. After her short film career she returned to the circus and was a member of The Flying Germains. When the great trapeze artist Mary Atterbury and her husband, Lee Stath, visited South Africa, they invited Stevens to join The Flying Marilees. The troupe subsequently performed at the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo, where they won the coveted Silver Clown Award.

The Flying Germains (without Raedawn) were actually responsible for some of the trapeze work in The Flying Devils (De Flyvende Djaevle/1985), a Danish circus film directed by Anders Refn . Stevens appears as herself in a documentary called Once Upon a Circus (Ashley Lazarus/1976), which also includes film director-to-be Revel Fox as a trapeze artist. Upon her retirement from the circus she decided to stay in Europe and lived in Italy, where she had a flower shop in the city of Reggio Emilia. She had four children with Vivier John van der Westhuizen, but the couple were later divorced. One of her sons, Wayne van der Westhuizen, is also a circus artist and has been performing under the name of Wayne Vander on the Wheel of Death since 1985. (FO)


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm

Beeld, 15 December 1995

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