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Patricia Leventon obituary: 'Outspoken' actor whose work spanned summer schools in Ireland, the Forsyte Saga and role play at the Royal Free

PUBLISHED: 15:33 03 October 2019

Patricia Leventon as Speranza in a one-woman play about Oscar Wilde's mother - at the age of 87. Picture: Supplied

Patricia Leventon as Speranza in a one-woman play about Oscar Wilde's mother - at the age of 87. Picture: Supplied

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She was a "passionate and generous" actor and a campaigner who continued her career until the age of 90 - when she still visited the Royal Free Hospital to act in role-play training scenarios.

Patricia Leventon. Picture: SuppliedPatricia Leventon. Picture: Supplied

Patricia Leventon, who died aged 91 in September after several years of ill health, was also a prolific voice actor, a creator of acclaimed one-woman shows, and a prominent voice on acting union Equity's radio board.

Close friend and one-time employee Linda Slade told this newspaper what made the South Hampstead-dwelling "warrior" such an engaging personality.

She said: "Everyone knew she was feisty. She stood up for what she believed and she was very outspoken. "Particularly on issues of the rights of Ireland and the rights of actors."

Patricia set up a company London International Theatrical Enterprises (LITEs) which ran a summer school in Ireland for young actors and also won awards

Patricia Leventon as Shylock in a retelling of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. Picture: SuppliedPatricia Leventon as Shylock in a retelling of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. Picture: Supplied

As an actor, she spent years in the BBC's radio drama department and also starred in programmes such as the Forsyte Saga before touring one women plays about Molly Bloom from James Joyce's Ulysses and Oscar Wilde's mother to acclaim in Camden and beyond.

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She also leant her vocal talents to audiobooks of Enid Blyton stories, and did voiceover work on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.

As a friend, though, she was invaluable, Linda said, as she recalled "great times" spent in Ireland, their favourite Chinese restaurant in Finchley Road, and the Hampstead Heath bathing ponds.

"She was very good to me, and lovely to her friends. Up until her last year, she was still working. She was up at the Royal Free doing role-play!"

Linda, who gave a eulogy at Patricia's funeral, added: "She knew how to fight. In Ireland she and I would fight the cold Irish sea as we egged each other on to swim when no one else dared.

"In the Hampstead ponds only she, I and the local Russians were still swimming in the icy water in December. She fought for her rights as an actress, and as a woman. And she gave Gerard a good run for his money."

Patricia who had lived in Broadhurst Gardens, South Hampstead for decades,

She employed me to run her stage school in western Ireland. I did that with them for five years.

Patricia Leventon, who was predeceased my her husband Gerard left no family - she has bequeathed her estate to the Gaiety Drama School in Dublin.

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