Person - Olga Yarad

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OLGA MARGARET YARAD (ca 1920 - 2014)

In 1948 Olga Yarad shared the part of the Lady Mayoress with Mignon Michell in The Star Turns Red and played Florence Nightingale in The Dangerous Sex.

In 1949 Olga received a British Drama League best actress award; in 1951 she was sewing costumes for the Il Seraglio chorus of the National Opera; and in 1952 she acted in Major Barbara at the Shavian Playhouse. From 1952 – 64 she acted at the Independent (including children’s shows) in productions including The Innocents (with Pat Hill), Gigi and The Living Room.

After turning professional Olga worked in commercials (memorable as an ocker woman in tyre ads) and for television in Alvin Purple 1976, The Young Doctors 1980, A Country Practice 1989-90, and The Young Lions 2002. In 2005 she starred in a short film Annie, Forget Your Gun with Joy Hruby and Vola Vandere. Olga said that as a child she wanted to act but thought herself too ugly; her first roles were “Italian maid” parts.

Olga was of Lebanese Antiochian Orthodox background. Her parents were Yamna and Callile, who established Yarads menswear shop in Taree in 1933. The family patriarch's son Michael continued in the business, followed by John and Bruce Yarad who took over in 1956. They added Iguana Surfwear which in 1973 bought the first Billabong merchandise when its founder sold his stock from the back of his car. The Yarad business expanded to the town of Forster in the 1990s. In 2007 John and Bruce Yarad handed over to fourth generation Michael and Jo-Anne.

By the 1970s Olga was living with a sister in a Double Bay unit where she collected porcelain figurines and Australian paintings. Aged 93 she died at Double Bay on 12 February 2014, by which time all her siblings (medical doctor Fred Callile, Michael “Mick” Callile, Esther, Joe, Eileen and Kelly) were deceased.

Olga Yarad's press cuttings file is held by the National Library of Australia.

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