Babs Laker (1926-1999). Actress, director and teacher.
In 1950 she married Wesley Vos, a lawyer, and was widowed in 1998. She died in May 1999 in Cape Town.
Born in Zastron, OFS, grew up in Senekal, Bloemfontein, Bellville and Piketberg, since her father was a builder. Finishing school in Piketberg, obtained a teaching diploma (Mowbray Training College).
Licentiate in drama (Akademie vir Dramakuns - ADK) in Cape Town.
Became a part-time teacher at the ADK, Mowbray College, Cape Technical College, and the Departments of Drama and Education at the University of Cape Town. In 1948 became the full-time head of the Cape branch of ADK, staying till her retirement and having an immense influence on the industry over the years. Began acting for the Kaapstadse Amateur Toneelvereniging (KAT) in the early 1950s. Also became an accomplished radio performer and director.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
Her first professional stage role was Hélène in Geraldy's Tussen Twee Liefdes ("Between Two Loves" - 1958) directed by Leonard Schach. In July 1959 she played the lead in Bartho Smit's classic play Moeder Hanna ("Mother Hanna") for NTO, directed by the author. She was also in Die Pluimsaad Waai Ver van N.P. van Wyk-Louw, Huppelind van W.o. Kühne, En 'n Wingerdstok Sal Rank van M.M. Walters, Peer Gynt.
Among the many other plays she did are Romeo en Jeannette (Jean Anouilh) 1960, Laurie van der Merwe, Antony and Cleopatra (1960), Hedda Gabler (Ibsen - 1964), Die Reënmaker (The Rainmaker by Richard Nash - 1965), Hamlet, Mother Courage (Brecht - 1973), The Visit, Bart Nel (Jan van Melle), Anna de Kock in Die Ryk Weduwee, CAPAB, 1976, Kom Terug, Klein Sheba ("Come Back Little Sheba" -1980) and Christine (Bartho Smit).
She starred in TRUK’s production of Kom Terug, Klein Sheba (Come Back, Little Sheba) in 1980, winning the Computicket award for her portrayal. She performed in Fiela se Kind in 1986 as Barthaat the Nico Malan Theatre. She starred in Euripides’s The Women of Troy which was directed by Dieter Reible for the opening production of the Adcock-Ingram Auditorium in 1987.
She had roles in a number of films, including Man in die Donker ("Man in the Dark") and 'n Sonneblom uit Parys ("A sunflower from Paris"), as well as TV series such as Ballade vir 'n Enkeling ("Ballad for a Loner").
She won the Computicket award for her role in Kom Terug, Klein Sheba (Come Back, Little Sheba) in 1980.
Teater SA, 1(3), 1969.
Die Burger, 17 Augusturs 1971.
Die Burger, 18 August 1986.
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