RONNIE WILSON - former RADA teacher and Television Director
Born April 2nd 1930 - Died July 17th 2014
Edward Hicks (Current Head of Film, TV and Radio - RADA) reflects on Ronnie Wilson
I first met Ronnie years before either of us worked at RADA, when as a child he cast me in the classic television series To Serve Them All My Days, which he directed for the BBC. I was about ten years old at that time and did not have a clue what I was doing. But Ronnie was incredibly patient with me, a trait that made him such a popular teacher at RADA a few years later. At the time I had no idea that I would end up following so closely in Ronnie’s footsteps going from being an actor to a director and then like him eventually to Rada to teach a few years after he had left. Therefore, you can imagine the enormous pride I felt when some thirty years after being directed by Ronnie, he turned to me after watching the RADA films (that we now produce as part of the actor training) to congratulate me and the students on all our work. It seemed fitting that a man who was instrumental in the screen training of actors at RADA for 20 years, should be sitting in RADA’s own cinema to witness the culmination of what he had begun all those years earlier.
Ronnie begun teaching at RADA at a time when screen training was not seen as being a priority and screen acting for camera was hardly practised in any UK drama school. But Ronnie was a pioneer pushing for more screen work in the curriculum and he spent twenty years training generations of actors who remember him with great affection. His influence is still felt today as thanks to his early pioneering work the RADA Film department has been able to build on what he started and continue growing and flourishing.
Outside of Rada he was a successful director (a Bafta and Emmy finalist and winner of the Broadcasting Press Award). He will be remembered for his work directing a number of classic television series, such as The Pallisers, To Serve Them All My Days, The Mill on the Floss and How Green Was My Valley.
Ronnie Wilson, born April 2 1930, died July 17th 2014