Funeral for Ancile Gloudon on May 29
Ancile Gloudon with his daughter Anya Gloudon Nelson

ANCILE Gloudon, the renowned local authority on orchids, scientist and actor will be laid to rest on Sunday, May 29 following a service of thanksgiving at Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist church in the Corporate Area.

Gloudon, who was the husband of popular journalist, radio talk show host and playwright Barbara Gloudon, predeceased her by a matter of days, passing on April 30 while she died on May 11.

Gloudon is perhaps best known for his work with orchids but had an impressive run as an actor on stage and screen as well. He appeared in the films Piranha II: The Spawning (1981), Passion & Paradise: Part 2 (1989) and the big-screen adaptation of the Jean Rhys classic Wide Sargasso Sea (1993). On stage his acting credits included the two-hander called Pantomime by Derek Walcott; he also shared the stage with Brian Heap. There was also Carol for Moneybags written by his wife and directed by Pierre LeMaire.

Gloudon’s casting agent Cecile Burrowes recalled him as being striking and dignified, which made him ideals for roles that required those qualities.

“He was beautiful, with such a presence. You couldn’t miss him when he walked into a room — so tall, with a striking face. We worked so well together. He [had] a nickname for me whenever we saw each other. I remember casting him in Passion & Paradise which was shot in Ocho Rios. We also cast him in Wide Sargasso Sea. I also worked with him on a number of commercials for the Jamaica Tourist Board. So professional...He will be missed,” said Burrowes.

Heap, who played opposite Gloudon in Derek Walcott’s Pantomime in 1980, recalled two moments working on that production.

“At the time there was a theatre at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel. One night a couple came expecting to see the National Pantomime but instead it was our production on stage.... needless to say they weren’t pleased. So for the whole production they were just chatting and just being rowdy. At one point in the middle of the scene Ancile was so fed up of the interruption that he broke character, cuss off the couple, and then just returned to the role.

“The play was so well received that at one point the then Prime Minister Michael Manley and his wife Bev were scheduled to attend. There were some scheduling conflicts and they were not able to attend. However, Edna Manley was able to attend. She was so impressed that she asked us to do a special performance when the prime minister and his wife were available. By the time it was to be arranged we had ended the run at the theatre but Edna arranged for it to be staged on her verandah at Drumblair. The play is set on a verandah so staging it there was perfect. So, you can call it our command performance for the prime minister and a few of their friends,” said Heap.

Gloudon was born in Trinidad and Tobago and came to Jamaica in 1952 on a scholarship to study medicine at the then University College of the West Indies (now The University of the West Indies, Mona). He married Barbara Goodison in 1958. He is survived by family members including three children, two grandchildren, a great-grandson and other relatives and friends. Ancile Gloudon was 89.

Richard Johnson

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