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Respected theatre legend and screen actor Jamie Bartlett has died

Jamie Bartlett. Picture: Floyd Matlala

Jamie Bartlett. Picture: Floyd Matlala

Published May 23, 2022


The respected theatre legend and TV actor, Jamie Bartlett has died. His death was announced on Monday evening. He was 55. His death was confirmed by a family member to the South African media.

The award-winning Thespian shared the screen, both small and big; and tread the boards with some of the finest actors in South Africa and abroad.

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Jamie Bartlett, popularly known as David Genaro in Rhythm City, will be in Mbombela. Picture: Supplied

Well-respected by the entertainment industry, Bartlett was mostly famous for his roles as Mike O' Reilly on SABC 3’s “Isidingo” and David Genaro on’s “Rhythm City”.

He won the Best Actor in a Soap award at the South African Film and Television Awards on three occasions and was nominated five times in total. He left “Rhythm City” towards the end of 2019, and made his final appearance on in February 2020 when Genaro was shot.

Reflecting on his journey with "Rhythm City" ending he told IOL Entertainment that his journey had many commas, many opportunities.

“It has meandered to its absolute end. I’ve been afforded the luxury of breathing this guy, I’ve been given an exit story by and Quizzical Pictures, the likes of which, I’ve never been given. They’ve thrown the kitchen sink at this story. And they used what I was really trained at in the old days,” he reflected.

His final role on screen was as a corrupt Russian ambassador on Mzansi Magic’s “The Republic”, earlier this year.

He was, however, also a theatre legend, putting on Fleur Du Cap Theatre Award and Naledi Theatre Award winning performances on stage.

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He took a break in 2020, choosing to go into teaching at The Finishing College, which he was a partner in.

He aimed to impart his nearly four decades of knowledge to whoever wanted to learn. He held masterclasses at the private college, for aspirant actors and those seeking to boost their skills as orators.

“With the use of their voice, their posture, the ability to focus, to imagine, to push through, to not drop the ball when they have an idea or a sentence, to better present themselves, and to leave an impression,” he told IOL Entertainment.

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The cause of his death has not yet been revealed. He leaves behind his partner, Rosa Onious and his son, Hector, with fellow actor, Camilla Waldman.