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Our farewell to Ray Henwood

One of New Zealand's most beloved actors, Ray Henwood, has passed away today aged 82.

A pillar of Circa Theatre since co-founding it in 1976, the Welsh-born actor appeared in many plays, films and television programmes, notably the sitcom Gliding On, where he starred alongside POW Head of Story Jane Waddell.

Cast and creator sharing a farewell toast to TV comedy  Gliding On . From left, Michael Haigh (Jim), Jane Waddell (Irene),  Gliding On  creator Roger Hall, Ray Henwood (Hugh), Katy Platt (Raewyn) and Susan Wilson (Beryl).  Image supplied by TVNZ.

Cast and creator sharing a farewell toast to TV comedy Gliding On. From left, Michael Haigh (Jim), Jane Waddell (Irene), Gliding On creator Roger Hall, Ray Henwood (Hugh), Katy Platt (Raewyn) and Susan Wilson (Beryl).

Image supplied by TVNZ.

From Jane:

“My first professional production after I graduated from Drama School, was as Ray's wife Isobel, in Roger Hall's Middle Age Spread in 1977.

A couple of years later when the film was made, I wasn't cast - I was too young to be credible in the role.

In 1988, both Ray and I were in a new New Zealand play by Stuart Hoar, called Squatter and in 1994, we were both in I Hate Hamlet.

Spreading Out (2004) was Roger's sequel to Middle Age Spread, in which I also played Ray's disillusioned wife, Isobel.

In 2008, I was with Ray in another Roger Hall play - Who Wants to Be 100? (though not as his wife.)

Last Legs - another Roger Hall - was the last play I was in with Ray in 2016. It premiered at Circa and travelled to Dunedin for a season at the Fortune Theatre in 2017.

Ray was devoted to his work in the theatre and made a significant and generous contribution to the industry. He will be greatly missed. Vale Ray.”

POW sends their condolences to the Henwood whānau.

georgina