Dame Pat Evison died today.
Arts and Culture Minister Chris Finlayson paid tribute to her:
“Dame Pat Evison was one of our most well-known and well-loved actresses for her television roles in groundbreaking series, but she was also a pioneer in New Zealand theatre,” Mr Finlayson said. “She was one of the first New Zealand theatre students to receive a scholarship to study overseas, at the Old Vic Theatre School in London.”
“She was also an important part of television history in this country, acting in Pukemanu, the first continuing drama series ever produced in New Zealand.
Dame Pat acted in a number of early Downstage Theatre productionsn in Wellington. Her performance in the Samuel Beckett play Happy Days was described by director Bruce Mason as the “finest event in New Zealand Theatre”.
I never saw Dame Pat acting in live theatre but Pukemanu was the first local drama I remember and it was a must-see for me.
An interview with Dame Pat was featured on the Arts on Sunday.
The only youTube clip I could find of her was this: