Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Karl Binger, the actor and tourism executive, has died.
Playwright Basil Dawkins, Binger's friend for over 30 years, told The Gleaner that he passed away Sunday evening after a long illness.
Attempts by The Gleaner to get a comment from Binger's family were unsuccessful.
Binger worked at the Urban Development Corporation and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) for several years. He was executive director at the TPDCo, and served in a similar capacity at the Nature Preservation Foundation (NPF) for the last six years.
At the NPF, he was in charge of maintaining the Hope Botanical Gardens in St Andrew.
Binger was also a former chairman of the Lay Magistrates Association. In 2002, he was awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica's fifth-highest civic honour.
Many in the local arts community knew Binger best as an actor who appeared in several major productions including the 1962 pantomime Busha Bluebeard, and the classic plays Smile Orange and Old Story Time, which were both written and directed by Trevor Rhone.
Actress Leonie Forbes worked with Binger in Busha Bluebeard and Old Story Time. In the latter, he played her son Len, which is widely considered his finest performance.
"He was absolutely brilliant, he absorbed that role. Karl knew it backwards," Forbes told The Gleaner.
Binger came of age as an actor during the 1960s and 1970s, a period many regard as the Golden Age of Jamaican theatre. Forbes, actress Grace McGhie, and Rhone were some of his contemporaries.
Karl Binger is survived by his widow, broadcaster Dorraine Samuels.