Person - Loretta Boutmy

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Loretta first worked on the NT stage in 1950, playing a 12-year-old Aboriginal girl in Had We But World Enough by Oriel Gray, an Aboriginal woman in a Workshop Andeganora and a chorus girl in the revue Press the Point. In 1951 she was the maid in a Workshop of Act 3 of Pygmalion. In 1953 she played Maggie a part-Aboriginal woman in Captain Thunderbolt, a film directed by Cecil Holmes, its cast including Grant Taylor, Jack Fegan, Jean Blue, Pat Hill and Jerry Wells who had all acted at NT.

Born in Sydney on 26 March 1929 into a political family, Loretta attended the same dancing school as Marie Armstrong from the age of seven, and at age eight appeared in a Cinesound short. In 1950 she married Arnold Butcher whom she’d met at the Eureka Youth League. She worked as a salesgirl, waitress, clothing machinist, was in shows in the suburbs and at the Conservatorium, sang with dance bands, was a blues vocalist with Les Welch’s jazz band, and was heard on radio in 2KY’s “Our Hearts are Young and Gay”. She studied dance drama 1953-4 with Margaret Barr and became a speech and drama teacher. The Butchers lived in England 1961-7, returning to settle at Bondi. Loretta Boutmy died in July 2015.

A 2006 interview with Loretta and Arnold Butcher, recorded by Alex and Annette Hood, is held by the National Library of Australia.

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