Obituary: Frank Singuineau

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The Independent Online
IT WAS only via the Independent's obituary (by Stephen Bourne, 15 September) that I learnt of the death of the actor Frank Singuineau, writes John Tydeman. In listing the bare bones of Frank's acting career in film, theatre and television (and failing to mention the literally hundreds of radio plays he appeared in), no sense was given of the nature of this gentle, charming, enthusiastic, tolerant, cultured, sometimes over-diffident, remarkable human being.

Frank was very much around the radio drama and features world of the mid-Fifties and Sixties, both working and learning. To be with such eminent figures as Louis MacNeice, Douglas Cleverdon, RD Smith, Terence Tiller, Christopher Holme, Rayner Heppenstall, was, for Frank, rather like being present at a very special feast and a very special university. He claimed to have received a second education from this BBC Radio milieu. As he received so did he give.

Before such issues as integrated casting and Equal Ethnic Opportunities actually became public issues, Frank, by witness and by proselytisation, was their quiet and stealthy champion. He was the perfect Afro-Caribbean ambassador in the world of the arts. In later life he was, physically, in dignity and in wisdom, ideal typecasting for such a role. His innate modesty, however, would never have allowed him to admit this.

(Photograph omitted)