Written by 12:37 pm Art

‘Maas Ran’ hailed on a hundred and tenth birthday

Olivia “Babsy” Grange lays a wreath on the tomb of cultural icon Randolph “Maas Ran” Williams to mark his a hundred and tenth birthday at National Heroes’ Park in Kingston on Wednesday. (Photo: Annmarie Danvers)

A small gathering was readily available at National Heroes’ Park in Kingston on Wednesday to mark the a hundred and tenth birthday of actor and comedian Randolph “Maas Ran” Williams.

Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange hailed Maas Ran for his contribution to Jamaica’s arts and culture.

“Ranny Williams is undoubtedly certainly one of Jamaica’s most eminent individuals in arts and culture. Ranny Williams, together with Louise Bennett, became a household name. Those of the older generation can recall Miss Lou and Maas Ran and the laughter and joy they dropped at many Jamaicans who watched their performances and listened to them on the radio, here at home and abroad. It’s most fitting for us to pay tribute to him on this, the a hundred and tenth anniversary of his birth in order that this generation will know of this talented gentleman, a pioneer of Jamaican comedy and show respect and honour to his memory,” said Grange, who also has the portfolios of gender and sports.

“I used to be truly comfortable and impressed with the massive number of scholars from several schools within the Corporate Area and the theatre fraternity who got here out today to share on this tribute. Ranny Williams’ contribution to Jamaica’s art and culture is of iconic proportion,” she continued.

Grade three students of the Seaward Primary and Infant School in Kingston, together with teachers Sara Prendergast (left) and Carol Gordon-Marshall, lay tribute on the resting place of cultural icon Ranny “Maas Ran” Williams in National Heroes’ Park in Kingston on Wednesday. (Photo: Annemarie Danvers)

Born in Panama to Jamaican parents, Williams’ talents as an actor, comedian and dancer were undeniable. He’s most famous for his partnership with fellow famed folklorist and cultural icon Louise Bennett Coverley, higher often known as Miss Lou. Together the duo created and were the central figures in a radio serial, The Lou and Ranny Show, which was recorded live on the Carib cinemas. They were also pivotal to the ‘Jamaicanisation’ of the National Pantomime. Williams’ work would span radio, television, stage and screen. He appeared in 29 pantomimes and appeared in seven movies including A High Wind in Jamaica and The Marijuana Affair.

Williams died on August 11, 1980, while Miss Lou passed away in July 26, 2006.

Williams was conferred with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for outstanding services in the sector of entertainment in 1976.

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