Eddie Jayamanne

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Eddie Jayamanne
එඩී ජයමාන්න
Born
Wanniaarachchige Don David Victor Jayamanne

(1915-02-15)15 February 1915
Negombo, Sri Lanka
Died25 July 1981(1981-07-25) (aged 66)
Palliyawaththa, Handala
Resting placeManyokhena Cemetery, Negombo
NationalitySri Lankan
EducationSt. Peter's College, Negombo
Maris Stella College
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1947-1983
Known forcinema acting
Spouse(s)Rukmani Devi (1943-1948)
Parent(s)
  • W. Don Thomas (father)
RelativesB. A. W. Jayamanne (brother)
Grace Jayamanne (brother in law)

Wanniaarachchige Don David Victor Jayamanne KBE[1] (15 February 1915 – 25 July 1981), popularly known as Eddie Jayamanne was a popular Sri Lankan comedian and actor of early Sri Lankan cinema.

Early life[edit]

He was born on 15 February 1915 in Periyamulla, Negambo to a Christian family as the youngest of the family with seven siblings. His father, W. Don Thomas was a teacher at Maris Stella College. He was educated at the Cross College of Negombo, St. Peter's College, Negombo, St. Mary's College, Negombo and Maris Stella College. His elder brother B. A. W. Jayamanne was a renowned filmmaker and producer.[2]

Eddie married fellow Minerva troup player Rukmani Devi after falling in love through their involvement in the same plays.[3] Devi's parents challenged their engagement in court but they were allowed to go through with their marriage.

Cinema career[edit]

Eddie with his brother B. A. W. Jayamanne formed the Minerva theater troupe in the 1930s. They successfully ran plays in which naive Ceylonese characters would ape Western ways to comical results merging South Indian theatre with Western drama. Eddie, a frequent star of these comedies, became a popular theater actor in the years leading up to the development of Sri Lankan cinema.[2]

In 1947, South Indian producer S. M. Nayagam became interested in producing a Sri Lankan film. He contacted B. A. W. Jayamanne and secured the rights to one of his plays called Kadawunu Poronduwa.[3] Eddie would be one of the stars in this film adaption in the village simpleton role of "Manappuwa" alongside Jemini Kantha as Josi Baba. As the first film to feature Sinhalese dialogue, the film found approval with audiences and was a huge success.[2]

The Jayamanne brothers followed the success of the film with several other play adaptions i.e. Hadisi Vinishchaya (1949), Sengawunu Pilithura (1951) and Umathu Wishwasaya (1952). Mabel Blythe joined the cast with Hadisi Vinishchaya. In 1953 the brothers adapted a book into film for the first time in Sri Lankan cinema (Kele Handa). Their subsequent films include Iranganie (1954), Matha Bedhaya (1955), Perakadoru Bena (1955), Daiwa Wipaakaya (1956), Vanaliya (1958), Kawata Andare (1960) and Mangalika (1963).[3][2]

Eddie's work not related to his brother's productions include playing a musician in Sandesaya (1960) and the brother of a village simpleton who discovers a jewel and becomes rich in Kolomba Sanniya (1976). He reprised his role as Manappuwa in a remake of Kadawunu Poronduwa released in 1982.[2]

Death[edit]

On 25 July 1981, Eddie died from a Heart Attack.[2] During his last days he was residing in 172, Palliyawaththa, Handala. His death was reported by a neighbor, P.K. Piyadasa. He was buried in "Manyokhena" Cemetery in Negombo.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Ref.
1947 Kadawunu Poronduwa Manappuwa
1948 Kapati Arakshakaya Jacob
1948 Weradunu Kurumanama Babaiyya
1949 Peralena Iranama Paucha
1950 Hadisi Vinischaya Kokila
1951 Sengawunu Pilithura Manappuwa
1952 Upathu Viswashaya Saping
1953 Kele Handa Aanda
1954 Iranganie Somapala
1955 Mathabhedaya William
1955 Perakadoru Bena Gunathilaka Ralahamy
1956 Dosthara Doctor
1957 Siriyalatha Kurunis
1957 Soorasena 441
1959 Daivayogaya Dantha
1960 Sandesaya Mamma
1960 Nalangana
1960 Kawata Andare Andare
1961 Gan Thera
1963 Mangalika
1963 Mangalika
1964 Semiya Birindage Deviyaya [4]
1965 Sathutai Kandului
1966 Sampatha
1966 Senasili Suwaya Kavinda
1967 Sarana
1967 Magul Poruwa
1967 Rena Giraw Club goer
1968 Abudasse Kale
1968 Radhapura Lal
1968 Dehadaka Duka Alankari
1969 Paara Walalu
1971 Kalana Mithuro
1971 Samanala Kumariyo
1972 Hathara Wate Gunadasa
1973 Hondama Welawa
1973 Hondai Narakai
1973 Hondata Hondai Uncle
1974 Duleeka
1974 Susee Bastian
1974 Duppathage Hithawatha Jimmy [5]
1975 Hitha Honda Minihek Eddie Jayamanne
1975 Lassana Kella
1975 Lassana Dawasak Eddie, Nilanthi's father
1976 Nayana
1976 Haratha Hathara
1976 Unnath Dahai Malath Dahai
1976 Onna Mame Kella Penapi
1976 Adarei Man Adarei
1976 Ran Thilaka
1976 Kolamba Sanniya Jacolis
1977 Hithuwoth Hithuwamai Sergeant Banda
1977 Deviyani Oba Kohida Juwan 'Aiyya'
1977 Eya Dan Loku Lamayek Mama
1977 Honda Hitha
1977 Yali Ipade
1978 Saara Charlie
1978 Apsara
1978 Sithaka Suwanda Mr. Samson
1978 Sally
1979 Samanmalee Father
1979 Jeewana Kandulu
1979 Subhani
1980 Uthumaneni
1980 Anuhasa
1980 Sankhapali Sanka's father
1981 Kolankarayo Kathru Mahaththaya
1981 Thavalama
1982 Sithara
1982 Kadawunu Poronduwa remake Manappuwa
1983 Sandamali Sandamali's father
1983 Yali Pipunu Malak

Songs[edit]

  • Thakkita Tharikita Udapana Natanna Hithuna (With Jemini Kanth)
  • Kolompure Shriya

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Page 3304 Supplement 40191, 1 June 1954 London Gazette %7c The Gazette". The Gazette. 9 June 1955.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "A caricature king". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Savarimutthu, Ranee (1977). On the Development of Sinhala Cinema, 1947-1967. Colombo, Sri Lanka: OCIC Sri Lanka.
  4. ^ "All about Samiya Birindage Deviyaya". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  5. ^ "All about Duppathage Hithawatha". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 5 March 2020.

External links[edit]