Minister Olivia Grange on Tuesday night expressed “great sadness” at the news of the passing of Leonie Forbes and described her as “one of the really great actresses and media personalities that Jamaica has produced”.
Forbes died in hospital at age 85.
“Leonie was an actress extraordinaire and a broadcaster of the highest calibre. She was one of the most revered actresses on the Jamaican stage for over five decades, earning the respect and admiration of not just audiences, but her fellow practitioners. Her willingness to share her vast knowledge and experience with young thespians was one of the last memories of her which will last for a very long time,” Grange said in a news release.
She described Forbes as “the consummate professional, with a preparation process which was most worthy of emulation”, stating that while many actors would arrive at the theatre at the designated one hour before curtain call, Forbes was always there at least two hours before, in preparation mode.
“She was the ‘leading lady’ for a generation of broadcasters and thespians who excelled at their craft. She was as great in a radio studio as she was on stage and in television and films and as a producer,” Grange said.
“Leonie has certainly made her mark and will be a hard act to follow,” added Grange who saluted Forbes “for the iconic part she played in the development theatre, radio broadcasting, television and films in Jamaica”.
The minister extended her “deepest sympathy” to Forbes’ family, colleagues, friends and “her many fans and admirers the world over”.