Wanniaarachchige Don David Victor Jayamanne
15 February 1915
Negombo, Sri Lanka
|Died||25 July 1981 (aged 66)|
|Resting place||Manyokhena Cemetery, Negombo|
|Education||St. Peter's College, Negombo |
Maris Stella College
|Known for||cinema acting|
|Spouse(s)||Rukmani Devi (1943-1948)|
|Relatives||B. A. W. Jayamanne (brother) |
Grace Jayamanne (brother in law)
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.
Eddie married fellow Minerva troup player Rukmani Devi after falling in love through their involvement in the same plays. Devi's parents challenged their engagement in court but they were allowed to go through with their marriage.
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.
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. 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.
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).
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.
On 25 July 1981, Eddie died from a Heart Attack. 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.
|1955||Perakadoru Bena||Gunathilaka Ralahamy|
|1964||Semiya Birindage Deviyaya|||
|1967||Rena Giraw||Club goer|
|1975||Hitha Honda Minihek||Eddie Jayamanne|
|1975||Lassana Dawasak||Eddie, Nilanthi's father|
|1976||Unnath Dahai Malath Dahai|
|1976||Onna Mame Kella Penapi|
|1976||Adarei Man Adarei|
|1977||Hithuwoth Hithuwamai||Sergeant Banda|
|1977||Deviyani Oba Kohida||Juwan 'Aiyya'|
|1977||Eya Dan Loku Lamayek||Mama|
|1978||Sithaka Suwanda||Mr. Samson|
|1982||Kadawunu Poronduwa remake||Manappuwa|
|1983||Yali Pipunu Malak|
- Thakkita Tharikita Udapana Natanna Hithuna (With Jemini Kanth)
- Kolompure Shriya
- "Page 3304 Supplement 40191, 1 June 1954 London Gazette %7c The Gazette". The Gazette. 9 June 1955.
- "A caricature king". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- Savarimutthu, Ranee (1977). On the Development of Sinhala Cinema, 1947-1967. Colombo, Sri Lanka: OCIC Sri Lanka.
- "All about Samiya Birindage Deviyaya". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "All about Duppathage Hithawatha". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 5 March 2020.