Elize Cawood

Died: 18 July 2020
Gender: Female



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Elize Cawood was a South African actress known her roles in the sitcoms The Coconuts, Andries Plak and Die Uwe Pottie Potgieter and for her roles on the soapies Isidingo and Binnelanders.

Cawood studied BA Drama at the University of the Free State and started her professional career in 1974 as a member of the Performing Arts Council of the Free State.

She spent four years playing a wide variety of parts, from school and library programmes to the classics and contemporary plays. Another year was spent with PACT's Youth Group, touring the Transvaal.

Elize arrived in Johannesburg as a freelance actor in 1979 and kicked off with a string of one-off dramas for TV. Then came Pieter-Dirk Uys' Die Van Aardes van Grootoor at the Market Theatre, which led to Oh George!, a sitcom for the SABC directed by Gray Hofmeyr.

That led to Verspeelde Lente with Manie van Rensburg.

She is still remembered for her portrayal on stage of Olive Schreiner in Schreiner - a One Woman Play by Stephen Gray, directed by Lucille Gillwald. She also played Elsa in the debut production of Road to Mecca with Yvonne Bryceland at the Market Theatre, directed by Athol Fugard.

Other highlights on stage include the Chekov plays The Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters, Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and an Afrikaans translation of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar named Desire, directed by Bobby Heaney.

Elize appeared in the SABC3 soapie Isidingo, playing the mother of her own, real-life daughter, Jenna.

She won several awards including Best Actress in a Drama Series in 1984 and 1985, Best Supporting actress in the Vita, Dalro Scenaria, Artes Awards and a Best Actress award for her role in the soapie Villa Rosa in 2007.

In 2010 she played the role of Baby in the SABC2 sitcom Die Uwe Pottie Potgieter. She was one of the five main credited cast members.

In 2014 she had a starring role in the kykNET anthology drama series Pandjieswinkelstories (Pawnshop Stories).

In 2013 she joined the kykNET soapie Binnelanders in the role of Susanna Meyer, a role she portrayed until Season 15, which premiered on kykNET on 10 June 2019.

On Saturday, 18 July 2021 Elize died from lung cancer. Her daughter Jenna Jo Dunster announced the news in a Facebook post, saying that Elize had been diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2019. 

Elize was married to actor Wilson Dunster for over 40 years.


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