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Jamaican theatre icon Douglas Bennett has died

STELLAR: Douglas Bennett was highly respected across the Caribbean

THE CHAIRMAN of the Jamaica Musical Theatre Douglas Bennett died in the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew on Monday morning, aged 88.

Playwright David Tulloch confirmed the news, paying tribute to his friend and colleague.

“He was instrumental in me starting my career. When I joined the JMTC at 14, he was the chairman. He's a legend, caring, and believes in your talent. He was selfless.”

Bennett, who was born in Scotland, lived in Jamaica for over 50 years and worked as the musical director for JMTC and the Jamaica Junior Theatre.

In a 2014 interview with the Jamaica Observer, Bennett said he was proud of theatre's progress and the budding, young Jamaican talent who are ready to rise to the fore.

“Jamaicans can be proud of our local theatre. It is exciting, vibrant and varied. It showcases all aspects of Jamaican life and affords us the opportunity to be exposed. I am proud to have been associated with theatre over the years,” said Bennett.

The government recognised Bennett's monumental contribution to the island's arts industry in 2014, by awarding him with an Order of Distinction — Commander class.

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