Speech

As the local theatre world and all Jamaicans mourn the loss of one of the nation’s most revered actors, Charles Hyatt, I pay a special tribute to this Thespian, comedian and broadcaster, whose life is exemplified in a line from William Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players, they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”
Charlie’s life was spent on-stage and his “exits” and “entrances” were numerous. He brought many memorable characters to “life” from his early years in the annual Pantomime, mounted by the Little Theatre Movement (LTM); to major roles in feature movies such as “The Mighty Quinn” and “Cool Runnings.” And, theatre productions such as “Ole Story Time” and his memoirs “When Me Was a Bwoy” brought back pleasant reminders of how we used to live as a people, and the positive values and attitudes that characterized our society.
I personally recall the significant contribution that Mr. Hyatt made to enhance the relationship between Jamaica and the United States of America, following the tragedy of 911, when he voiced “a national message of solidarity” which demonstrated our country’s commitment to good international relations.
He will long be remembered for his “theatre discipline.” His talent and professionalism in all spheres served as an inspiration to others, many of whom continue to make their mark in various areas of national life.
A fitting tribute to the life and work of this theatrical giant in this New Year would be for us to recapture that–positive spirit and caring nature–which lies deep within us as a people.
On behalf of all Jamaicans, here and in the diaspora, I extend condolences to his wife, children, family and colleagues in this time of their bereavement.