Bess Finney

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FINNEY, Bess. (19*-1995) Actress, director


She died on 31 October 1995 (The Citizen 1 Nov 1995).



Also worked in England and in Hong Kong.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

She starred in Jimmy Edwards’s London hit Big Bad Mouse together with Cardew Robinson, Toerien-Rubin Company brought it to South Africa circa 1969. She continued touring with the show abroad. She starred in the Langford-Inglis Company and Hymie Udwin production of Old Ladies together with Zoë Randall and Margaret Inglis at the Alexander Theatre in 1971. Performed in Manners and Morals, Aanslag op Kariba, Catch me a Dream, Murder in Mind, Kennedy's Children, Pippin, Big Bad Mouse, The Seagull, A Murder is Announced, Sugar and Spice, The Gin Game (in Johannesburg and Durban in 1979), Joe Egg (at the Market Theatre in 1980), Harum Scarum Girl (in 1980), Cold Stone Jug (at the Market Theatre), Nellie and Cabman (??at the?? Alhambra Theatre), Pray Don't, Sir George!, 1983, Sugar and Spice, 1987, and as Sara Herman in Above the Wind in the same year. She starred in The Harum-Scarum Girl at the Rosebank Theatre

She directed The Sleeping Beauty (for PACOFS in 1979) and Die Wildeman (in Pretoria and Johannesburg in 1980). She directed Our Gracie at the Little Theatre in 1991.

[[NELM}: Programmes featuring Bess Finney: includes programmes for "Big Bad Mouse"; "Black Comedy"; "Blithe Spirit"; "By the Samovar"; "Canterbury Tales"; "A Christmas Carol"; "The Coral King"; "Cold Stone Jug"; "A Dead Secret"; "Dear Charles"; "Death takes a Holiday"; "Ellen Terry: the Harum-scarum girl"; "Encounters"; "Full Hookup"; "The Gin Game"; "The Happiest Days of Your Life"; "Her Infinite Variety"; "The House of Blue Leaves"; "An Inspector Calls"; "The Keep"; "Kennedy's Children"; "The Living Room"; "Lovers"; "Manners & Morals"; "Marat Sade"; "The Master-Builder"; "The Mating Game"; "The Miracle Worker"; "Murder in Mind"; "A Murder is Announced"; "Nellie and the Cabman, or The Life and Loves of Ellen Terry"; "Oh! Sir James!"; "The Old Ladies"; "The Physicists"; "Pink String and Sealing Wax"; "Pippin"; "Ring Round the Moon"; "Romeo and Jeannette"; "The Seagull"; "Senor Onyon"; "Social Security"; "Speaking of Murder"; "Square Dance"; "Sugar and Spice"; "The Taming of the Shrew"; "Three Men on a Horse"; "To Dorothy, a son"; "Trespass"; "The Unexpected Guest"; "Die Wildeman"; "Woman in a Dressing Gown" and "Women of Twilight". Posters: posters for "Children of a Lesser God"; "Full Hookup"; "Murder in Mind"; "Nellie and the Cabman, or, The Life and Loves of Ellen Terry"; "The Other Wise Man"; "Sugar and Spice"

Awards, etc

She was nominated Actress of the year: in 1963 for “Mrs. Solness” in The Master Builder; in 1970 for “May Beringer” in The Old Ladies and in 1972 for “Bananas” in House of Blue Leaves.


SACD 1973; 1974; 1975/76; 1977/78; 1978/79; 1980/81; 1981/82.

Tucker, 1997. Page 515.

The Citizen 1 Nov 1995

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