GILLIAN WILSON 20 January 1926 - 09 August 2012
RADA graduate and long-time supporter of RADA, Gillian Wilson passed away on August 9th 2012.
Gillian attended RADA during WWII and the Blitz. After leaving the Academy, she went to the Middle East: Iraq, Iran and Kuwait entertaining the troops as part of the group ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association). In Cairo, she survived an attack with her group on the King David Hotel.
When she returned to the UK, she was hired by BBC television and was one of the first announcers when the studio re-opened after the close of WWII. The television studios had been bombed during the Blitz, so the broadcast tower needed to be repaired.
She met her future American husband on an isolated British airfield in Iraq. She then moved to the United States and left her television career in 1947 to get married in America.
Since then, she performed on many stages wherever her husband, Will, was stationed. Gillian moved to Melbourne, Florida in 1964 and graced the Indian River Players stage (now Melbourne Civic Theatre) in many memorable roles from 1965 to 1994.
At both the AACT Fest and the AACT Southeast Regional Competition in 1990, she was awarded Best Actress for her role in Tina Howe’s Painting Churches.
Gillian was not only seen on stage, but was also active behind the scenes as well, serving as president, costumer, wardrobe mistress and the playreading committee.
Not satisfied to restrict her talent to IRP, she served on the Brevard Arts Council and was a Narrator for the Library of Congress.
Gillian left a legacy to RADA, which will be honoured with a student bursary in her name.