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TRIBUTE TO CHRIS WELLS (article first published : 2005-10-11)

Well-known Durban actor Tim Wells pays tribute to his late brother:

Christopher Wells (44) passed away in London on October 7 after an amazingly courageous battle against cancer – a battle he and his entire family felt confident he could win. He leaves behind his wife Laura, brothers Simon, Tim and Matthew, step-dad John and families. Also devastated by this tragedy are cousins Jules and Rose and families as well as all his friends.

Chris graduated from the then University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal) in the mid 80’s with a BA Hons (Speech and Drama) Cum Laude. He was also an active sportsman, playing First Team rugby for Varsity whilst on contract to the Natal Performing Arts Council’s (NAPAC) Loft Theatre Company (he played on the wing and they called him “the flying actor”).

He was a qualified Cricket coach and coached cricket to the youth at the Oval in London whilst captaining his cricket club. After contracts at NAPAC and then Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT), Chris moved to London in the early nineties to pursue his career.

His successes there included contracts with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as television drama roles, appearing most recently in Doctors and The Monarch of the Glen and a televised version of Anthony Sher’s I.D.

He was also working on scripts of his own creation and hoped to complete these over the next few years. At the end of 2003, he married Laura Wilson (also an actress) whom he met whilst they both were on contract in a production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2000.

Because Christopher chose to concentrate on the drama aspect of his career, not many had the good fortune to hear his fine singing voice but he appeared alongside brother Tim at music concerts featuring Tim’s original works whilst on holiday in South Africa.

Chris and Laura planned to have a family and were in the process of selling their house in London to move to the country where Chris hoped to pursue his writing work and try his hand at sculpture, when his battle against malignant melanoma (stage 4) was suddenly lost.

Friends’ tributes have poured in for this wonderful man who is remembered as a fine actor as well as for his great generosity of spirit, his commitment, humour, integrity, charity and just plain goodness.

He will always be loved and sorely missed both professionally and as a brother, husband, cousin and friend.

Bless you, Chris

A memorial function for Chris Wells is to be held at Durban High School (DHS) at St Thomas Road, Durban in the Founders Room at 16h00 on October 14. Donations to Hospice in lieu of flowers.

More information from Tim Wells on 031 205 7956 or 083 652 1819 or e-mail: www.wells.co.za




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