Oliver Samuels Honoured…


He took to the stage once again, but this time he wasn’t playing a character but being himself. Oliver Samuels, Jamaica’s “King of Comedy” was awarded the Theatre Achievement Honouree at the 2007 Actor Boy Awards. 

The presentation was made by the Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange to deafening applause from the audience at the Boardwalk, The Pantry Playhouse in New Kingston on March 25th 2008.

A number of persons involved in the ‘theatre business’, such as Audrey Reid and Volier Johnson revealed amusing stories about Oliver and how he had inspired them and their respective careers.

Before she handed him the award, Minister Grange recalled the favourable moments she had had with Oliver throughout his illustrious career as an entertainer. Said Grange, “Oliver is a cultural icon who has for three decades gifted the island with the treasure of laughter”.

At age 60, Samuels has been in theatre for over 40 years and has appeared in productions such as Oliver at Large, Breadfruit Kingdom, Class of 73, Assistant Thief, and close to a dozen LTM pantomimes.

His latest production is in Patrick Brown’s River Bottom currently playing at the Centrestage theatre. For his performance as Cappo in River Bottom, he also won the Actor Boy Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role.

In a recent interview with the Sunday Observer, Samuels provided answers to some burning questions about his long and successful entertainment experience. He said, “throughout my career I have always held on to the fact that I never wanted to be an actor to be famous or make a lot of money”.

“When I just started out, I was getting two dollars and it was frightening at the time. I really enjoy making people laugh and that’s how I want people to remember me. That was always my sole intention, to entertain an audience. All other things are blessings. At the same time, I do hope to have fond memories in the years to come of all the antics I’ve done on stage”.

When asked about some of the treasured lessons he has received throughout his career, he shared that “humility is one of the valuable lessons I have learnt. It’s actually the most important, to be humble “.


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