Joy Olver (19242006)
We were all very saddened recently to learn of the death of Joy Olver. Joy had suffered a prolonged illness lasting many years and growing more severe as time went on. The end, when it came, must have brought, for her, peace and an end to her suffering. Those of us who knew Joy and worked with her remember a fine actress and a very happy lady who, as her name implies, was a joy to be with.
She left school at 16 to look after her seriously ill mother, and because of this was unable to follow a professional career in the theatre. It was at this time that she joined the Loft Theatre Company at the age of 17. Married at 20 to Brian, she then auditioned for Peter Dews at the BBC and afterwards became an actress with them in a number of radio plays.
Following the death of her mother, Joy became a teacher of speech and drama, at first privately with Pauline Wattis before joining the Kingsley School in Leamington where she was much loved by the children. This and her teaching skills were reflected in the very successful exam results her pupils achieved. In 1984 she was asked to direct Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies for the school’s centenary celebrations. The play was chosen because of Kingsley’s association with the school and was a great success.
She appeared in many plays over the years at the Loft and also with Spa Opera and at the Talisman Theatre. A very fine actress who was blessed with a lovely, natural, unaffected speaking voice, she became, in my opinion, one of the leading actresses in the Midlands.
We shall miss her. We send our most sincere sympathies to her daughter Rosemary and her family, and assure them we will always remember Joy, not only a lovely actress, but a warm, gracious and happy lady whom we all felt better for knowing.