Minister Praises Bermudian Actor Earl Cameron

April 15, 2012

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday, Minister Patrice Minors praised Bermudian actor Earl Cameron, after his presentation in Bermuda titled “An Evening with Earl Cameron”.

“It is a source of great pride among Bermudians when one of our own creates a legacy of contribution; perhaps even more so on the occasion when these contributions take place on the international stage,” said Minister Minors.

“It is with this spirit of appreciation that legendary actor Mr. Earl Cameron CBE was welcomed by the enthusiastic, standing-room-only crowd that gathered at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute for an evening designed to celebrate the life and career of Bermuda’s most celebrated actor.:

Minister Minors continued: “It is no overstatement that Mr. Cameron has been a legendary figure in the film industry, from his breakout role in “Pool of London” to his well-known role in James Bond’s “Thunderball” to his more contemporary roles in “The Interpreter”, “The Queen” and “Inception” as well as a host of theatrical and television credits too numerous to mention.

“However, what is particularly noteworthy about these accomplishments – remarkable by any standard – is that Mr. Cameron began his career at a time when actors of colour were virtually an anomaly, or relegated to stereotypical and oftentimes offensive portrayals.”

“Mr. Cameron has reached the impressive age of 94, and his humour and charm have not at all diminished with his advanced years – there were many times over the course of the evening where the audience laughed uproariously at one of his anecdotes or fell to a hushed silence at the poignancy of his experiences.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Thank you Mr. Speaker

I am pleased share with my honourable colleagues that the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs began their 2012-2013 Historical Heartbeats Lecture Series with a very special and remarkable event on Wednesday entitled “An Evening with Earl Cameron”.

Mr. Speaker, it is a source of great pride among Bermudians when one of our own creates a legacy of contribution; perhaps even more so on the occasion when these contributions take place on the international stage.

It is with this spirit of appreciation that legendary actor Mr. Earl Cameron CBE was welcomed by the enthusiastic, standing-room-only crowd that gathered at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute for an evening designed to celebrate the life and career of Bermuda’s most celebrated actor.

Mr. Speaker, it is no overstatement that Mr. Cameron has been a legendary figure in the film industry, from his breakout role in “Pool of London” to his well-known role in James Bond’s “Thunderball” to his more contemporary roles in “The Interpreter”, “The Queen” and “Inception” as well as a host of theatrical and television credits too numerous to mention.

However, what is particularly noteworthy about these accomplishments – remarkable by any standard – is that Mr. Cameron began his career at a time when actors of colour were virtually an anomaly, or relegated to stereotypical and oftentimes offensive portrayals.

As we heard in a tribute from one of Mr. Cameron’s contemporaries the marvelous Mr. Sidney Poitier, Mr. Cameron retained throughout his long and varied career all of the generosity, strength of character, and sensitivity that allow us to be proud of this Bermudian gentleman, a true son of the soil.

Mr. Speaker, the evening featured film clips from some of Mr. Cameron’s most memorable roles as well as an interview-style conversation with our Folklife Officer Dr. Kim Dismont Robinson followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Mr. Cameron has reached the impressive age of 94, and his humour and charm have not at all diminished with his advanced years – there were many times over the course of the evening where the audience laughed uproariously at one of his anecdotes or fell to a hushed silence at the poignancy of his experiences.

One of the most remarkable moments of the evening came toward the conclusion of the programme when Mr. Cameron offered a soliloquy from Shakespeare’s “Othello”, giving the audience an experience of the talent that catapulted him to stardom.

Mr. Speaker, in a clear indication that talent often runs in families, the audience had the opportunity to enjoy a musical tribute by one of Mr. Cameron’s granddaughters, Ms. Siria Rutstein. Ms. Rutstein, who is a third-year student in musical theatre at the Boston Conservatory, was accompanied by pianist John Woolridge and wowed the audience with her renditions of “Hero” and “My Funny Valentine”.

Mr. Speaker, this event celebrating Earl Cameron was a programme that the audience thoroughly enjoyed, evident from the three standing ovations they gave Mr. Cameron over the course of the evening.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Historical Heartbeats Lecture Series committee as well as our partners for this event, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, for helping to organise this special evening that no one in attendance will soon forget.

THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER!

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  1. Rockfish#1 says:

    Mr Cameron has made Bermudians proud and has deserved the many awards received.

    As the photo clearly shows, he is proud of his CBE.
    (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)

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