Elize Cawood

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Elize Cawood (1953-2020) Actress.


Born in 1953 in Bloemfontein, where she went to school at the Hoërskool Sentraal and studied BA Drama at the University of the Orange Free State. Her brother is film and TV director Bromley Cawood.

She was married to actor Wilson Dunster in 1982 and is the mother of Luke Dunster and actress Jenna Dunster.

Elize died of cancer on 18 July, 2020.

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

She started her professional career in 1974 as a member of the Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State (PACOFS) and spent four years playing a wide variety of roles, from school and library programmes to the classics and contemporary plays. Another year was spent with PACT's Youth Group, touring the Transvaal.

Her many stage roles include Twelfth Night (as “Viola” with PACOFS), Three Sisters (as “Natasha” with PACOFS), The Cherry Orchard (as “Anya” with PACOFS), Die Van Aardes van Grootoor (in 1979 at the Market Theatre), Ons Hou Konsert (in 1979 at the Market Theatre), Die Van Aardes van Grootoor (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1978), A Doll's House, an Afrikaans translation of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Bobby Heaney; Stephen Gray’s Schreiner: A One Woman Play (directed by Lucille Gillwald at the Laager in August 1983); "Elsa" in the South African premiere of Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca at the (Market Theatre in November 1984); Mitzi Booysen’s The Time of the Hyena (Windybrow Theatre circa 1986); Art of Charf (2006); Dinner for One (2012).

As film and TV actress her career kicked off with a string of one-off dramas for SABC TV when she settled in Johannesburg as a freelance actor in 1979 and with it came Pieter-Dirk Uys's Die Van Aardes van Grootoor at the Market Theatre, which led to TV work on Oh George!, a sitcom for the SABC directed by Gray Hofmeyr and the role of "Pop" in Verspeelde Lente (1984), directed by Manie van Rensburg.

Other TV series included Les visiteurs (1980), [[Proesstraat (2010), Die Uwe Pottie Potgieter (2010), Villa Rosa (20**); Isidingo (2009) (TV mini-series), Binnelanders, and Erfsondes.

Her film highlights include Arme Moordenaar (1986), The Fourth Reich (1990 as "Romy Taillard"), Taxi to Soweto (1991, as "Jessica du Toit"), Daisy de Melker, (1993, as "Ethel Balderow"), The Long Run, (2001, as "Mrs. Suiker"), Lyklollery (2001, as the TV licence woman), Red Dust (2004, as "Anna Hoffman"), Liefling (2010, as "Ouma Elsa Ferreira") and Die Wonderwerker (2012, as "Maria van Rooyen").

Awards, etc

She has won several awards over the years, including Vita Awards, Dalro Awards, Scenaria Awards, and Artes Awards.



Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Interview with Therese Owen published in Sunday Independent, 1 August 2010.

Nikita Coetzee. 2020. "Veteran actor Elize Cawood dies", Channel24[1]



SACD 1979/80; 1980/81

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