Playwright Paul O. Beale died late Friday of what is suspected to be a heart attack.
Reports from close friends and family are that the popular playwright collapsed while at his home and was rushed to the University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“We left rehearsal a bit early because one of the characters didn’t come, and go home and his wife called me and said she nah get nothing from him, he fell down. I turned around and by the time mi reach, he was at University and they rushed him inside and check him and they pronounced him,” actor Junior ‘Half a Dog’ Williams told Loop News.
He was 57 years old.
Five years ago, he had a stroke and had been hospitalised for two months, but made a full recovery.
Williams had been attending rehearsals for two Beale plays, ‘Rasta Wedding Proposal’ and ‘Melcita and the Plummer’, a remake of the Plummer, which will open soon.
News of the death has left several Jamaicans in shock.
Dahlia Harris, television host and actress, in a post on social media described the tragic development as a major blow.
“Paul O. Beale, writer, director, producer, actor extraordinaire RIP sir. You beat death once before but this time…shocked. This one is a major blow,” said Harris on her Twitter page.
Over two decades ago, Paul Beale created the character Delcita for his production Mr Dweet Nice. The role was has been played with gusto by actress Andrea Wright in hit plays such as Granny Rule 1&2, Di Driver, Courthouse Drama, The Plummer and Ova Mi Dead Body. Bashment Granny 2 and 3. Di Politician, and the Unda Mi Nose series. He also wrote TV productions Joint Tenant, Let’s Make Peace, and Domino Effect
In 2009, work began on a film version of Bashment Granny, with O’Beale as director and producer.
The filming was done on location in Jamaica and in England. The movie was scheduled to open in June 2010 but was postponed indefinitely.
He also co-wrote the romantic film ‘Destiny’, which stars singers Christopher Martin and Karian Sang and Kadeem Wilson.