Tributes pour in for veteran actor David Butler

South Africa is mourning the passing of television and theatre legend David Butler. The veteran actor lost his battle with lung cancer on Thursday, May 27. He was only 61. The family and friends of Butler, who since his diagnosis in December, had been raising funds to assist with his medical costs, confirmed his death.

“Our beloved father, son, brother, grandfather and friend, David passed away peacefully this morning at around 10.30am. He was surrounded by family in a room filled with love. Although he had been ill, it is still, as is always the case, a huge shock. Nothing prepares one. We take comfort that David is reunited with his beautiful son,” read the Facebook statement.

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The Facebook book page ‘Savingdavidbutler’ in partnership with a non-profit organisation Back-A-Buddy, announced in January Butler’s diagnosis, and urged his fans to assist in raising funds for his treatment.

In a video that was shared on social media, the star is heard explaining that the treatment is available, however it comes with a hefty price tag.

He further explained that he is reaching out to Mzansi in order to raise over 1,8 million for his treatment, which was going to give him a second chance to live and continue to do what he loves, acting.

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Butler made his international debut in his role as Art in the television drama series “Life is Wild”, in 2007. He played the same role in the pilot episode of the original British version of the show, called “Wild at Heart”. In 2009 he starred in the British-American television mini-series “The Prisoner”, a remake of the classic 1960s series by the same name.

Back home, he starred in various television shows including “Generations”, “Shado’s“, “Snitch“, “Binnelanders“, “Egoli“, “Zero Tolerance“, “Jozi H“, “The Game“, and most recently “Gomora“. The highlights of his career as a theatre practitioner include plays such as “Skyf“, “Midsummer Night’s Dream“, “The Great Gatsby“, “Mannetjies Mentz“, “Cock and Bull Story“, Anatomie Titus, and his one-man show “A Touch of Madness“, about the life of Herman Charles Bosman, which has played across South Africa to great acclaim.

On television he was seen in “Egoli“, “The Game“, “Rhodes“ (BBC mini-series), To the “Ends of the Earth“, “The Triangle“ (Sci Fi Channel mini-series) and “Timber. He also acted in numerous feature films, including “Cop Land“ (1997), “Operation Delta Force 3: Clear Target“ (1999), “Circles in a Forest“, “Gums and Noses“, and “Zulu Love Letter“.

Tributes from fans and industry friends continue to pour in for Butler on social media.

“Theatre on the Square mourns the untimely passing of actor, David Butler.

“A huge loss to the industry. Sincere condolences to his dear family and friends.

“We recall one of his brilliant performance at the theatre, ’Streetwoman’ in 2004. The production starred Jennifer Steyn, Martin le Maitre and David Butler (front), directed by Nicky Rebelo who adapted the story by Herman Charles Bosman. RIP David,” shared Theatre on the Square owner and producer Daphne Kuhn.

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Veteran actor Peter Terry tweeted: “Such desperately sad news of David Butler’s death. He was a brilliant actor. Outstanding.

“We had great fun together as Bob & Nige over a period of 10 years (1996 to 2006) doing the CTM tile commercials. This makes my heart very sore.”

 

“RIP David Butler. Condolences. Utmost respect for a friend, mentor, consumate actor, gentleman and a person that didn’t take fools lightly, made his mark and stood up against the industry ‘norms’. A man I deeply respected and had many a good banter and bitch with. #RIP,” added actor Garth Breytenbach.

 

The family has requested privacy during this time. Funeral details are yet to be announced.

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