Pat Evison

Dame Helen June Patricia Evison DBE (née Blamires; 2 June 1924 – 30 May 2010), known professionally as Pat Evison, was a New Zealand-born actress.

Dame Pat Evison

DBE
Born
Helen June Patricia Blamires

(1924-06-02)2 June 1924
Dunedin, New Zealand
Died30 May 2010(2010-05-30) (aged 85)
Wellington, New Zealand
OccupationActress
Years active1975–1991
Spouse(s)
Roger Evison (m. 1948)
RelativesErnest Blamires (father)
Edgar Blamires (uncle)
Henry Blamires (uncle)

Early life and education

Evison was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 2 June 1924, the daughter of Ernest Oswald Blamires and Annie Blamires (née Anderson).[1] She was educated at Solway College in Masterton.[2] She attended Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Auckland and the Auckland Teachers' Training College. In 1940, she became one of the first New Zealand students to be awarded a scholarship to the Old Vic Theatre Centre in London, where she studied directing.[3] She then worked as an assistant director at the Young Vic, before returning to New Zealand where she worked as a freelance director and actor at the Downstage Theatre in Wellington.

Acting career

Evison first began acting while studying an arts degree at Victoria University, performing in radio plays recorded onto acetate discs. Following her return to New Zealand from London, she began acting in television roles, with a small role in the television play All Earth to Love, and guest appearances and a regular role on the sketch comedy series In View of the Circumstances.

In 1971, Evison in the television drama serial Pukemanu as storekeeper Phyllis Telford, a role written specially for her by series creator Julian Dickon. In her 1998 autobiography Happy Days in Muckle Flugga, Evison stated that the role as Mrs Telford changed her life, and she was thereafter recognised throughout New Zealand as "Mrs Pukemanu".[4]

She is likely best known for her roles in Australian television, such as Jessie Windom in Prisoner and Violet Carnegie in The Flying Doctors.

Honours and awards

In 1979, Evison won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her role as Mel Gibson's character's mother in the film Tim. Her co-stars also won AFI Awards for their roles: Gibson winning Best Lead Actor for the title role, and Alwyn Kurts winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as Tim's father.[5]

In the 1980 Queen's Birthday Honours, Evison was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to the theatre.[6] She was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1993 New Year Honours for services to theatre, television and the community.[7]

Personal life

She married Roger Douglas Evison in 1948, and the couple went on to have three children.[1]

Pat Evison died in Wellington, New Zealand, on 30 May 2010, three days before her 86th birthday.

Bibliography

  • Autobiography: Evison, Pat (1998). Happy days in Muckle Flugga. HarperCollins. ISBN 1-86950-267-1.

References

  1. Taylor, Alister; Coddington, Deborah (1994). Honoured by the Queen – New Zealand. Auckland: New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa. p. 136. ISBN 0-908578-34-2.
  2. Crombie, Nathan (5 March 2013). "Former Solway dux New Zealander of Year". Wairarapa Times-Age. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  3. Wood, Stacey (31 May 2010). "Dame Pat Evison passes away". The Dominion Post.
  4. "Pat Evison – Biography". NZ On Screen. New Zealand On Air. May 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  5. Stratton, David (1980). The last new wave: the Australian film revival. Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14146-0.
  6. London Gazette (supplement), No. 48214, 13 June 1980. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  7. London Gazette (supplement), No. 53154, 30 December 1992. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
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