Maureen Adair

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Maureen Adair (1931 – 1997) was an actress on stage and radio, with single outings on film and television.


Maureen Thereas Frances Smith (Maureen Adair) was born in Dublin on 29 September 1931. She was in the theatre world from an early age and was reportedly in the stage version of The Wizard of Oz at the Strand Theatre in London in 1947/1948. She is also said to have appeared in the film Brighton Rock (Roy Boulting/1948), but was not credited. For some time she was with the Carl Rosa Opera Company and is known to have appeared in Lilac Time (1951) at the Globe Theatre at Stockton-on-Tees. This is also the period during which she featured in The Desert Song, during which she met her future husband Harold Lake. A later newspaper report claimed that she had been offered a role in the Goon Show and, in fact, she appeared in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk (1951/1952) with Harry Secombe, who was one of the Goons.

Instead she followed Harold Lake to South Africa and they were married in Durban on 17 May 1952. There she became a member of the Intimate Theatre Group, founded by Michael McNeile. As the mother of two children she had a limited stage career, but managed to fit in a lot of radio work, from Nurse Henrietta (Humphrey Gilbert/1962), produced at the Durban studios of the SABC, to Long Distance (1984) for which she won an Artes Award. However. In South Africa she was best known and for her role as Mildred Murfin in the local version of the long-running The Men from the Ministry, with Tom Meehan, John Simpson, Roger Service and others. The show ran from 1969 to 1985 on Springbok Radio and was revived in 1993 for Radio South Africa. Inevitably she also acted in the film version directed by Tom Meehan in 1971. For television she appeared in the series Winchester (Chris du Toit/1984). She also did readings for Tape Aids for the Blind.

Harold Lake died unexpectedly at the age of 43 on 29 August 1964. According to IMDb, she remarried twice before ultimately marrying Haydn Talmage Bradfield, who had been mayor of Durban between 1978 and 1980. He died not long afterwards in 1996 and she passed away in 1997.

Theatre Credits

1956 – High Temperature (Producer: Michael McNeile), 1956 – Listen to the Wind (Producer: Taubie Kushlick), 1957 – It’s a Girl (Director: Bill Brewer), 1957 – The Boy Friend (Producer: Brian Brooke), 1958 – Ever Since Eve (Producer: Anthony Farmer), 1959 – Murder Without Crime (Producer: John Boulter), 1959 – Under Milk Wood (Producer: Hugh Goldie), 1959 – Journey into Spice (Producer: unknown)


Tucker, 1997.

Rand Daily Mail (many issues)

The Sunday Times (many issues)

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