Anita Reeves

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This article is about the Irish actress. For the Chilean actress, see Ana Reeves.
Anita Reeves
Born (1948-06-24)24 June 1948
Dublin, Ireland
Died 7 July 2016(2016-07-07) (aged 68)
Dublin, Ireland
Alma mater St Louis High School, Rathmines
Occupation Film and stage actress
Spouse(s) Julian Erskine (m. 2000–16)
Children 2

Anita Reeves (24 June 1948 – 7 July 2016) was an Irish stage and film actress.

Early years[edit]

Born in South Dublin, Ireland, the youngest daughter of Jack Reeves and his wife, Kay. Reeves grew up on Sundrive Road in Dublin 12, where her father Jack was a sergeant at the Garda station on the same road.[1] She was educated at St Louis high school, Rathmines, and trained at night as an actor for four years at the Brendan Smith Academy in Dublin. As a child, Reeves's parents would take her to see plays and pantomimes in Dún Laoghaire.[2] She played an extra in a play during a festival, then quit her steady job at the complaints department of a laundry to be an assistant stage manager.[1]

She performed twice with Eamon Morrissey at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. She considered Gaiety regular Maureen Potter an early influence in teaching her to connect with audiences.[3]

Career[edit]

Reeves had several Irish film roles, including Neil Jordan's first film, Angel (1982), and his adaptation of The Butcher Boy (1997), Mike Newell's Into the West (1992) and Lenny Abrahamson's Adam & Paul (2004). However, the bulk of her career was spent on stage.[4]

Major performances include Les Miserables at the Point Theatre as Madame Thénardier, and Mrs Lovett in the Gate Theatre's 2007 production of Sweeney Todd. She was in the original production of Brian Friel's classic Dancing at Lughnasa as Maggie in 1990, which earned her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role,[4][5] when Patrick Mason's celebrated production went to the London West End. When the production transferred to Broadway, however, she chose to stay at home.[6]

She toured for Elaine Murphy's play, Little Gem, as Kay, which debuted in Dublin in 2008. She twice played Juno in Juno and the Paycock, first in Dublin in 1988 and again in Minneapolis in 2015, both for director Joe Dowling.[3][4][5]

Her Minneapolis appearance was her final stage performance, directed by Dowling in his farewell production in charge of the Guthrie theatre in mid-2015. She had, said Dowling, grown even greater in the role, bringing an added elegance and finesse to the spirited mouthpiece of the Dublin tenements during the nationalist schisms of 1922.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Reeves was first married to Barry McGovern but separated after five months.[7] She subsequently married Julian Erskine, executive producer for Riverdance, whom she met when she was 24 and he 17, but didn't marry until the year 2000.[1] They had two children. Reeves died on 7 July 2016 in Dublin, following a short battle with cancer, at the age of 68.[3][4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Smith, Andrea (27 January 2008). "Reading each other's cues". independent.ie. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Coveney, Michael (10 July 2016). "Anita Reeves obituary". theguardian.com. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Sheridan, Colette (5 November 2014). "Anita Reeves is still under the spell of the stage". irishexaminer.com. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Crawley, Peter (7 July 2016). "Theatre actress Anita Reeves dies aged 67". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "Tributes to actress Anita Reeves who has died aged 67". rte.ie. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Anita Reeves: Gifted actor who understood fine line between comedy and tragedy". irishtimes.com. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Caden, Sarah (2 March 2003). "Marriage only recently took centre stage with Anita Reeves and Julian Erskine, says Sarah Caden". independent.ie. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 

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