Stanley Raphael

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Stanley Raphael (b. 16/01/1919 – d. 15/06/1980) was an actor and radio announcer.


Stanley Harold Raphael was the son of Lewis Raphael, a wholesale merchant, and his wife, Bertha Rosendorff. Born in 1919, it would appear that he was named after two uncles, both of whom died in the battle for Delville Wood in 1916. It is said that he began his stage career at the age of eight – as a boy soprano – but it was only after he left school that he became seriously interested in the theatre. In 1936 he played one of the Rude Mechanicals in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, produced by Kurt Baum for the Johannesburg Art Theatre and later presented at the Empire Exhibition. He also had a small role in Late Night Final (1937), staged by a visiting British company headed by John Laurie and Raymond Lovell.

After that he was involved in numerous theatrical companies, including the Cathedral Players, the Pioneer Theatre, the Jewish Guild and the Playmakers. In 1939 he was in Natala Korel’s highly successful production of George and Margaret and later that year, together with Cecilia Colley and Leo Kerz, he formed the Group Theatre, whose first production, Clifford Odets’s Golden Boy (1940), featured Sidney James in the title role. Not long afterwards he joined the S.A.A.F. and during the war he produced a number of shows for the armed forces.

After his return to South Africa he resumed his stage career, with a role in the Gwen ffrangçon-Davies / Marda Vanne production of A Month in the Country, two plays with Wensley Pithey and four with Marjorie Gordon. After that he spent about a year-and-a-half in England. At one stage he was a part-time announcer with the SABC and later with LM Radio and Springbok Radio. He also had roles in two films, namely Die Kaskenades van Dokter Kwak (Pierre de Wet/1958) and Donker Afrika (David Millin/1957). In later years he entered the hospitality industry, was a hotelier in Sasolburg and worked in public relations on the East Rand. His sister, Joy Raphael, was a prominent show business PRO. (FO)

Theatre Credits

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1936), Late Night Final (1937), The Road of Poplars (1937), The Jazz President (1937), Bats in the Belfry (1938), The First Mrs. Fraser (1938), Counsellor-at-Law (1938), Family Affairs (1938), George and Margaret (1939), The End – and the Beginning (1939), What Next, Baby? (1939), You Never Can Tell (1939), Golden Boy (1940), Black Limelight (1940), The Best People (1940), A Month in the Country (1946), The Man with Red Hair (1946), Laburnum Grove (1946), Susan and God (1947), Room for Two (1947), This Was a Woman (1947), The Fur Coat (1947), Abie’s Irish Rose (1947), The Lark (1956), Any Other Business (1959), Four O’Clock Noon (1959).

(Trivia: The play This Was a Woman was written by Joan Morgan who, as a girl, had come out to South Africa to act in Leander De Cordova’s 1922 film Swallow.)


Sunday Times, 9 May 1948

Rand Daily Mail, 20 June 1980

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