Henry Jayasena

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Henry Jayasena
Henry Jayasena1.jpg
Born (1931-07-06)6 July 1931
Gampaha, Sri Lanka
Died 11 November 2009(2009-11-11) (aged 78)
Colombo South (Kalubowila) General Hospital - Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lankan
Education Lorenz College Gampaha, Nalanda College Colombo
Occupation Film and stage Actor , Play writer and Director
Spouse(s) Manel
Children Sudaraka
Awards Doctor [1]

Kala Keerthi[2] Dr[3][4][5] Henry Jayasena (Sinhala: හෙන්රි ජයසේන) (6 July 1931 – 11 November 2009) born in Bendiyamulla, Gampaha was a Sri Lankan film actor and dramatist.[6]

Early life[edit]

Jayasena studied at the Gampaha branch of Lorenz College and at Nalanda College Colombo. Some of Henry's notable classmates at Nalanda College were Dr Dharmasena Attygalle, Karunaratne Abeysekera, Dr Harischandra Wijayatunga, Dr Hudson Silva, Hon. Rupa Karunathilake, Stanley Jayasinghe and Ravindra Rupasena.[7][8]

He began his career as an Assistant Teacher of English at the Dehipe Primary School in Padiyapellela in the Nuwara Eliya district in 1950 where he directed his first play, Janaki. Jaysena left this post a few months later after passing the General Clerical Service Examination and securing a job with the Public Works Department (PWD) of Sri Lanka.[9]

Henry Jayasena was presented with Nalanda Keerthi Sri award in 2003 by his alma mater Nalanda College, Colombo.[10]. It is also a coincidence that the actor Dr Jayasena received his award at Malalasekara Theatre named after first principal of Nalanda College late Professor Gunapala Malalasekera.[11]


While with PWD, Jaysena created many of his most famous plays, Pawkarayo [12] (1958) Janelaya (1962), Kuweni (1963), Thavath Udesenak (1964), Manaranjana Wedawarjana (1965), Ahas Malilga (1966), Hunuwataye Kathawa (1967), Apata Puthey Magak Nethey (1968), Diriya Mawa (1972), Makara (1973) and Sarana Siyoth Se Puthini Habha Yana (1975). Before retiring from government work, he also served as Deputy Director for the National Youth Services Council (Arts and Sports Division) and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (Programmes Division).

Also during this time Jaysena was a reputed film actor. An early role was in Sri 296 (1959). During the 1960s Jaysena played the starring roles of Piyal in Gamperaliya (1964), Azdak in Hunuwataye Kathawa (1967), Lalith in Dahasak Sithuvili (1968)and Avurududa (1986).

He was also a reputed tele drama actor. Television was introduced in Sri Lanka in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jayasena was involved with the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation from its early beginnings in the 1980s. One of the most famous characters he portrayed as a tele drama actor was the role of "Sudu Seeya" in the tele drama "Doo Daruwo" Directed by Nalan Mendis and written by Dr. Somaweera Senanayaka. It was the longest tele drama telecast during the 1990s, long before the "mega tele drama" craze which has overshadowed the quality of the present television programs.

He died on 11 November 2009 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.[13][14][15]


External links[edit]