Lois Kelly Miller, class act

Lois Kelly Miller, class act

Observer writer

Thursday, April 09, 2020

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THOUGH the curtains have come down on Lois Kelly Miller's life, veteran actress Fae Ellington says her rich legacy will live on.

“She was exceptionally talented; and she was not just an actress but a piano and drama teacher as well. Her timing was exquisite and when you saw her and Miss Lou playing off each other, it was just magnificent,” Ellington told the Jamaica Observer.

Kelly Miller, one of Jamaica's great actresses, died yesterday at her Gordon Town home in St Andrew. She was 102.

Ellington recalled meeting her for the first time in 1971 while performing in her debut pantomime at the Little Theatre in Kingston.

“We were performing Music Boy and I was very privileged to meet her. Miss Lou was there as well and I can tell you that Lois Kelly was a class act…she was a very classy lady. If she was given five minutes onstage, you would remember it for a lifetime. She was extraordinary,” Ellington said.

Kelly Miller was a household name in Jamaica. She was the daughter of Lewis Kelly, manufacturer of Kelly's soft drinks and syrups.

A new generation of fans remember her for her part in the 1998 Hollywood movie Meet Joe Black, alongside superstars Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins.

Lois Kelly Miller and Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley shared a great friendship and were neighbours for many years in serene Gordon Town, where they brought a spot of celebrity to the community. One of their most noted roles was in the pantomime Queenie's Daughter, which was first staged in 1963.

Miss Lou died in 2006.

Ellington added that she, fellow actresses Leonie Forbes, Grace McGhie and Ruth Ho Shing always looked forward to visiting Kelly Miller at her home.

“She was more than a mentor; she was a senior friend…not just my age group friend. You could always expect to learn something from her. She was so warm and receptive and willing to share. I looked up to her,” said Ellington.

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