Tessa Laubscher

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Tessa Laubscher (b. 18/05/1934) was an actress and model who became a jewellery designer and silversmith.


Tessa Marie-Louise Laubscher attended the University of the Witwatersrand and in 1951 she was the institution’s Rag Queen. While still a student she played the title role in Taubie Kushlick’s production of Peter Pan (1952) and the following year she was Rosalind in Kushlick’s open-air production of As You Like It, staged for the Children’s Theatre in Johannesburg’s Rhodes Park. Later that year the Johannesburg Reps celebrated its 25th anniversary by staging Anita Loos’s Gigi, with Laubscher in the title role. It was produced by Shirley Wakefield. In 1955 she played Sally Bowles in John Van Druten’s I Am a Camera for Ruth Oppenheim at the Windmill Theatre and this was followed by The Whole Truth (Anthony Farmer/1957), Everything in the Garden (Colin Fish/1962) and Antigone (Anne Curteis/1966). She only acted in one film, namely Satanskoraal (1959), directed by Elmo de Witt, in which she was the girl who is sent to distract the hero.

She was initially married to John Rudd, who had played Orlando opposite her in As You Like It, and then to Oliver Robin Tetley, with whom she had two children, including the ceramic artist Rebecca Tetley. Her third marriage was to sculptor Michael Fleischer (1915-1991) and under his guidance she started working first with copper and later also with silver. Under her married name of Tessa Fleischer she became a jeweller of note. When, in 1985, Desmond Tutu was inaugurated as Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg, a newly commissioned crosier or pastoral staff presented to him by his congregation was designed by her. (FO)


Rand Daily Mail (various issues)

Sunday Times (various issues)

The Star - 1 February, 1985

Tucker, Percy - Just the ticket! my 50 years in show business (1997)


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