Avengers roles included Prince Ali in The Fantasy Game

Bruce Millar is an actor, singer and producer, born on 17th December 1945 in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He studied in England between 1964 and 1967 at the University of Bristol (B.A. Joint Hons, Drama and English), and went on train as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School from 1967 to 1969.

He worked briefly as an actor in England before travelling to South Africa to perform in a 1969 production of the musical The Boy Friend at the Academy Theatre, Johannesburg. However, he broke a bone in his foot during rehearsals and has lived in South Africa ever since - fortunately, the foot healed!

Bruce went on to carve out a highly respectable career in acting and singing, even recording a version of I Won't Give Up, which topped the Springbok Radio Hit Parade for six weeks in 1976. Its sales were such that Bruce was awarded a Gold Record. The follow-up single When I'm Dead and Gone was also successful, peaking at number 5 in the South African charts. An LP album was also released in 1976, initially self-titled, but later reissued as Children of the Rain. His pop music endeavours were recognised with two SARI Awards ("Top 20 Artist of the Year" and "Best Male Vocalist").

In the theatre, during a career stretching back to 1969, he has played everything from Shakespeare (Prince Hal in Henry IV) to Jacques Brel, and notably portrayed Jesus in Godspell (1973), winning the Gallo Award for the best performance in a musical. A year later he played the lead role in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a performance for which he was also nominated for a Gallo Award.

His talents in acting saw him much in demand in radio drama in the 1970s, and among the hundreds of productions to feature him was The Avengers - in which he played Prince Ali in The Fantasy Game, among other parts.

On television, he featured in the very first variety show broadcast on the fledgling SABC-TV in 1976, and has appeared most recently in the situation comedy Suburban Bliss and the soap opera Generations.

Bruce joined SAfm in 1991 as a radio drama producer and has since won two ARTES Awards for Best Radio Drama Production and another in 1996 for Best Broadcaster in English. Today, he is a freelance radio drama producer, based in Johannesburg.

by Alan Hayes

 

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