Richard Haddon Haines (1948-1990). Actor on stage, film and TV.
He died unexpectedly and tragically in 1990 at a high point in his career.
Haines was born in Empangeni, Zululand on 19 November 1948, educated at Hilton College, where he played the leading role in several school plays. He acquired the rank of second lieutenant during his national service in the Navy, and was presented with the Orator of the Year Award at the Naval Gym in Saldanha Bay.
After leaving the Navy, he enrolled first at Natal University and later at the University of Cape Town to do a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, but soon discovered that thw world of business was not for him. He returned to Natal and studied at the University of Natal’s Department of Drama in Durban, from where he graduated with a BA in 1972. He studied under Professor Elizabeth Sneddon and Joan Little.
Thereafter he joined the PACT Young Company at the Doornfontein Arena. He resigned in 1976 since when he worked extensively in theatre, films and television.
His portrayal of Iago in Othello (Suzman, 1987) gained him an invitation to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, where he won critical acclaim for his work, particularly as King Lear (1989). He spent two and a half years in England.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
Hugely popular and versatile as performer (his performance in the TV series Westgate made him a household name), he was particularly admired for his award winning performances on stage.
He starred in Aubrey Berg’s Story Theatre for PACT in 1974, the PACT production of Death of a Salesman, 1975, Falstaff which was staged by PACT at the Alexander Theatre in 1976, in A Flea in her Ear (PACT 1976) and in a revival of Journey's End, (PACT 1977).
He starred in Roy Sargeant’s production of Sheridan’s The School for Scandal (PACT 1980), he gave a memorable portrayal of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus at the Alhambra Theatre in 1981, Quartermaine's Terms in 1982, The Real Thing in 1983, Sweeney Todd in August 1983, Clarence Darrow in January 1984. It returned twice and played at the Grahamstown Festival.
He starred in Robert Kirby’s The Wrong Time of Year, 1984, Benefactors, 1985, Miscarriage of Murder, 1986. In 1986 he also played the role of Serge Pavlovitch Diaghilev in Snake Beneath the Rose directed by Janice Honeyman. He starred in Janet Suzman’s production of Othello at the Market Theatre in September 1987.
He directed Chekhov in Yalta starring Frantz Dobrowsky, Michael McCabe, James Borthwick and Jacqui Singer in 1986. He also directed Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya starring Frantz Dobrowsky, Michael McCabe, James Borthwick, Jacqui Singer, Shelagh Holliday and Charlotte Butler which ran at the same time in 1986.
He filmed for 7 months on Westgate III for SATV. On this series he worked as writer, director and actor. The first play which he had written for television, Total Strangers (went?) into production in 1985 (?).
In his first year of professional acting he won The Sammy for Best Actor on the Johannesburg Stage.
In 1984 he enjoyed great success with the one-man show Clarence Darrow, for which he received both DALRO's Stuart Leith Trophy (for the third time) and the new AA Mutual Life Vita Award, for the Best Actor of the Year.
SACD 1973; 1974; 1975/76.
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