New Zealander Kerry Jordan was a popular stage, television and radio actor in South Africa. While in New Zealand he studied law for four years, then became a fruit farmer and broadcaster for the New Zealand Broadcasting Service, before going to England on a double scholarship to the Royal Society for Dramatic Art (RADA).

Early roles in Britain included The Flying Scot, a 1957 train robbery film and in the television play series Theatre Night (BBC, 1957) as Bergerat in Jean-Paul Sartre's Nekrassov. Between 1960 to 1961, Kerry played a regular role as Mr Macintosh in Glencannon, a filmed comedy series concerning the exploits of a chief engineer working on a tramp steamer. This series was a British/American co-production transmitted in Britain on ITV.

Kerry Jordan moved to South Africa in 1964, his last British credit being the BBC Francis Durbridge thriller Melissa, a six-part serial broadcast in April and May of that year. That same year in South Africa, Kerry won a role in the high profile Michael Caine star vehicle Zulu, playing the Company Cook. The film also featured Avengers adaptor-director, Dennis Folbigge.

Further film roles followed in South Africa, with Kerry playing Colonel Anstruther in Majuba (1968) and participating in Mr Kingstreet's War (1971), The Winners (1974, with Tony Jay and Clive Scott) and Heroes Die Hard, a hard-hitting drama from 1978. His final film appearance was in Kwagga Strikes Back (1990).

In addition to his film work, Kerry Jordan also enjoyed success on television, radio and the stage in South Africa. In the 1980s, his television roles included the successful mini-series Shaka Zulu (1986), in which he portrayed the Reverend Bellow, and Just Nuisance RN, an SABC series from 1989, in which he appeared as a Royal Navy admiral. His final television credit before his death in South Africa in 1994 was in Where Angels Tread, a TV movie made in the same year about the early days of aviation, appearing alongside Diane Appleby, Gillian Garlick and, again, Clive Scott.

Kerry's radio work in South Africa was extensive. He was often heard on Lux Radio Theatre, Tuesday Theatre and even featured in the occasional episode of the popular thriller series No Place to Hide. His best remembered radio work is undoubtedly his part in The Stories of Sherlock Holmes (1979-1985, Springbok Radio), in which he took the role of Dr Watson, alongside Graham Armitage's Holmes. On the English Service, he was heard in many editions of Radio Theatre and his last performance on the English Service was in 1989 in the play, The Stinger.

by Alan Hayes with Frans Erasmus

 

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