Car crash kills actress

Joy Watson
Joy Watson

Well known Titirangi actress Joy Watson is dead after a tragic car crash in the UK.

The 74-year-old was in Hampshire after attending a reunion of World War Two evacuees in London when the accident happened on September 4.

The reunion was for those who were sent to the countryside as children to escape the German bombs falling on major cities.

Ms Watson, born in Portsmouth in southern England in 1935, was among the first to be evacuated in 1939.

She returned to her family in 1944 and studied drama at Bath and Bristol, before migrating to Australia in 1959.

She met her future husband and moved to New Zealand in 1965 with two young children.

The seasoned stage actor was a regular face at the Titirangi Theatre and appeared in TV shows like Legend of the Seeker, Shortland Street, Xena and Hercules.

The grandmother of five enjoyed painting and writing and was also a member of a west Auckland based medieval enthusiast group.

She ran a drama school in Wellington during the 1980s and once led guided tours around the Waikumete Cemetery.

Family members quoted in British newspapers say she will be sorely missed.

"Joy was a complete original, an absolute one-off, a larger-than-life character," they say.

"From childhood talent shows to adulthood, she pursued her obsession with acting. She was warm, opinionated and funny."

Western Leader