Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has described the late Leonie Forbes as “an actress extraordinaire and a broadcaster of the highest calibre”.
In a release Tuesday, Grange said she was left with a feeling of great sadness on receiving the news of the passing of Forbes, “one of the really great actresses and media personalities that Jamaica has produced”.
Forbes died in the hospital on Tuesday. She was 85.
“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.
“Leonie was the consummate professional, with a preparation process which was most worthy of emulation. Whilst many others would arrive at the theatre at the designated one hour, Leonie 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.
“Leonie has certainly made her mark and will be a hard act to follow,” Grange said.
She saluted Forbes for the iconic part she played in the development of theatre, radio broadcasting, television, and films in Jamaica.
“I extend my deepest sympathy to her family members, her colleagues, her friends and her many fans and admirers the world over,” said Grange.
The People’s National Party (PNP) has also expressed condolences on the passing of the theatre icon.In a release Tuesday evening, PNP said Forbes will be remembered for her charming personality, talent, and wit.
“Her numerous theatrical achievements have earned her a well-deserved place in the Jamaican Hall Of Fame,” it said.