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Comedian Glen “Titus” Campbell to Receive Jamaica’s Order of Distinction

Comedian Glen "Titus" Campbell to Receive Jamaica's Order of Distinction
Glen Campbell in Straight Jacket

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Though he had been acting for nine years when he got the role that defined his career in 1990, Glen Campbell said his turn in the television comedy Titus in Town, remains his most challenging.

His character, Titus, was from rural Jamaica. Campbell was born in the United Kingdom and returned to Jamaica with his parents in 1972.

“Being English-born, during primary school and high school I was often accused of speaking ‘stush’ (Jamaican slang for sophisticated), and so in the early days of creating and working on the character of Titus who was a ‘rotten teeth country bwoy’, it was a bit of a challenge to get my patois to sound authentic,” he recalled. “I had to study patois as if it were a foreign language like Spanish, French or Mandarin! Anyway, all’s well that ends well, and now that is the character that most people recognize and associate me with.”

Glen Campbell as Ras Noah
Glen Campbell as Ras Noah

Campbell has played the bumbling, bug-eyed persona of Titus to the hilt. Whether in plays like Ras Noah And The Hawk or music videos by the Fabulous Five band and poet DYCR.

The government of Jamaica has acknowledged his 38-year career by awarding him the Order of Distinction, the country’s sixth highest award. He will receive it on October 21 during the annual National Honours and Awards ceremony in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital.

The 55 year-old Campbell’s comedic skills have earned comparisons with Oliver Samuels, the acclaimed king of Jamaican comedy. He admits his greatest attributes as an actor can be an obstacle.

“Typecasting may have been a problem or challenge in the earlier years, but as audiences got used to seeing me be a totally different character each time they come to the theater, generally persons are more accepting of the wide range of characters I have been asked to portray, sometimes as much as four in one play,” he explained.

Since 1988, Campbell has been a member of Jambiz International, a Kingston ensemble that has produced numerous hit plays. He stars in Straight Jacket, their latest production.

While the majority of his roles are considered slapstick, Campbell notes they are not one-dimensional.

“It would be nice if I could sink my teeth into more dramatic roles as I and a few other people in the industry know that I have so much more to give in terms of my acting range. But, first we have to gently nudge our audiences to a place where their perception of theater and Jamaican plays is not only about getting a laugh a minute,” he said. “If we are to tell our Jamaican stories and portray characters that are immediately recognizable and believable, then the truth is, it’s not always going to be fun and laughter.”

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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