After the death of well-known actor and former Rhythm City lead Jamie Bartlett, South Africans are at a loss for words. He was 55.
His death cause is cancer.
The South African actor was most recognized for his roles as villain David Genaro in the e.tv soap opera Rhythm City and dubious Mike O’Reilly in the SABC3 soap opera Isidingo.
The award-winning actor also served as a judge on South Africa’s Got Talent.
Formerly married to acting coach Camilla Walman, the two stars had one child, Hector, and are now separated.
After his character David Genaro was written off the program, he left Rhythm City at the end of 2019. When Genaro was shot on February 5, 2020, he made his final appearance.
Jamie said in a recent interview with Drum why he decided to quit the well-loved part of David Genaro and how he will go down in Mzansi soapies as one of the meanest men who persistently terrorised his opponents without giving a second thought to the destruction.
“I’ve been playing David for a long time – I’m not saying he’s easy, but my God, we have explored every part of him,” he said.
“I know what he smells like, I know how much wax he has in his ears. It had come to an end. I thoroughly enjoyed his first death, 10 years ago,” Jamie added.
Leaving the soapie after 13 years wasn’t easy.
“I needed to sit down and have a look in the mirror,” he said.
“Do I spend more time with Mom in Cape Town? Do I teach and travel more between here, London [where he’s originally from] and Cape Town? Do I open myself up to more acting and how many British movies do I want to do, or do I want to be in Cape Town?”
But he wasn’t done acting when he passed.
“I’m not done with acting – not by a long shot,” Jamie said. “I think I’m ready to inherit 25 years of something different.”
With years of experience, Jamie believed in sharing his knowledge and hosted a masterclass in acting at The Finishing College, an accredited private college in Bramley, Joburg.
“I teach other actors and corporates confidence – things like being comfortable in your own skin, how to leave an impression on somebody, how to speak with a smile in your voice.
“That’s where I want to be right now.”
Tributes pour in from colleagues, friends and those who enjoyed his acting: