Melbourne Theatre Company today paid tribute to Zoe Caldwell, one of the Company's original ensemble members, who passed away on Monday 17 February 2020.
MTC Artistic Director & CEO Brett Sheehy AO said, ‘We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the great Zoe Caldwell, who was an original ensemble member of Union Theatre Repertory Company, which later became Melbourne Theatre Company. Her remarkable talent and dedication leave an indelible mark on the history of Australian theatre. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.'
After starring in the title role of Union Theatre Repertory Company’s first-ever production, Colombe, in 1953, Zoe appeared in nine further productions for the Company in that year alone.
Throughout her illustrious career, Zoe performed in 40 productions at Melbourne Theatre Company, taking her final bow in our 2003 production of The Visit under the direction of Simon Phillips.
Zoe rose to widespread acclaim following her performance in Patrick White's The Season at Sarsaparilla, a role she was offered after the playwright saw her star in Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan at Adelaide Festival in 1962.
Zoe went on to make her Broadway debut in 1965 and won her first Tony Award in 1966 for her portrayal of Polly in Tennessee Williams’s Slapstick Tragedy. She later went on to receive a total of four Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards for her performances on Broadway.
Zoe was also a celebrated director, attracting the esteemed acting talents of James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer in her production of Othello (1981), and Vannesa Redgrave and Eileen Atkins in Vita & Virginia (1994).
In 1970, Zoe received an OBE in for her Services to the Theatre and in 1984 she opened Arts Centre Melbourne with her Tony Award-winning performance in Medea.
Published on 20 February 2020