Actor, director, playwright and entertainment writer Guy Willoughby died on Tuesday of Aids-related complications, after being ill for some time.
“We’ve lost a great actor. He was brave and clear-sighted to the end,” ex-wife Finuala Dowling told News24. “He’s been sick for a while and it was a relief to speak to him about his illness and approaching death.”
Willoughby, a larger-than-life personality who, as noted above, was once married to Finuala Dowling, was the author of numerous works large and small. His debut novel, Archangels, was published in 2002; and his latest source of first-class Cape Town skinner – which he famous for distributing with panache at city soirées, where he was a favoured guest – was none other than Tony Leon, the Democratic Alliance politician whom Willoughby worked for as a speechwriter toward the end of Leon’s tenure as party leader. (He later had a falling out with the DA that attracted some notice earlier this year.)
Willoughby was an Oscar Wilde scholar and devotee – in 1990, he serialized Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray as a radio play; and in 1993, he published Art and Christhood, which treats Wilde’s “imaginative engagement with the figure of Jesus Christ” – and he never failed to sparkle, in true Wildean style, when out and about. He lived life to the fullest, seeming to epitomize one of Wilde’s more famous dicta: “One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down anything, except a good reputation.” Willoughby was the life of the party, wherever he went.
His Facebook page remains operative as of this writing, and supplies a recent photo:
BOOK SA extends condolences to his family and loved ones. Rest in Peace, Guy Willoughby, you will be sorely missed.
- Archangels by Guy Willoughby
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