Diane Appleby

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(1942?*- 2006) British actress.


Born in Sussex, England. She was married to actor Joe Stewardson. Their sons Matthew Stewardson and Deon Stewardson followed them into the acting profession.



Commenced her acting career on stage in London's West End and in repertory theatre. She also appeared in a BBC1 TVseries, The First Lady (1968/9). In 1969 she came to South Africa to star in Rex Garner’s production of Chase Me Comrade with Leslie Philips and stayed on to do many further productions at the Academy and other theatres, often working with Garner. Diane went on to enjoy a successful career as a Dubbing Director in the South African film and television industry.

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

She starred in Rex Garner’s production of Chase Me Comrade with Leslie Philips, 1969. Other stage productions include Uproar in the House, The Mating Game, Bedroom Farce, The Lionel Touch (1971), Boeing-Boeing (1972), John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men (1975), Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular(co-directed by John Hussey and Mannie Manim, Market Theatre 1977), , There Goes the Bride (at the Academy Theatre),The Bed (1980), Two Into One (her first production for Pieter Toerien, 1986), Cahoots (1988), Jeffrey Archer’s Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1989).

In 1971, Diane made the break into South African radio and ended up playing in many series. Her first roles were in the play series, such as Lux Radio Theatre and Playhouse 71, before landing the regular role of secretary Sally Walker in Jessica Marlowe. She also played Demelza in The Poldark Series for radio. In late 1971, she was offered the role of Emma Peel in the SABC’s world-renowned radio version of The Avengers. Her other famous role was the female lead in the children’s series, Jet Jungle.

Awards, etc


Limelight 1978/79

Two Into One programme notes, 1986.

Tucker, 1997.

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