Veteran South African Actor, David Butler, Dies At 61

Veteran South African film, stage and television actor David Butler has died. He was 61.

David, who leaves a massive on-screen legacy, died on Thursday just a few months after being diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2020.

David was known for many roles, including that of Bob in the CTM Bob and Nige TV commercials.

His TV commercial co-star Peter Terry who played Nige, on Thursday said: “Such desperately sad news of David Butler’s death. He was a brilliant actor. Outstanding. We had great fun together as Bob & Nige for over a period of 10 years – 1996 to 2006 doing the CTM tile commercials. This makes my heart very sore”.

David, who studied drama at the University of Cape Town (UCT) made his theatre debut in 1983, and made his South African television debut the same year in the SABC drama, The Canterville Ghost. This was the start of over 100 roles in TV series, commercials, film and stage.

David’s final on-screen appearance will be in the upcoming M-Net (DStv 101) crime drama series Reyka with his youngest daughter Ruby-Rose.

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In a statement, the family said: “Our beloved father, son, brother, grandfather and friend, David passed away peacefully this morning at around 10:30.”

“He was surrounded by family in a room filled with love. Although he had been ill, it is still, as is always the case, a huge shock. Nothing prepares one. We take comfort that David is reunited with his beautiful son.”


In January 2021, David wrote to YOU and Huisgenoot, saying that the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 caused work to dry up as South Africa’s film and TV industry stalled, and his income disappeared.

He moved in with his daughter Liane (28) and joined her medical aid fund since he could not afford his own medical aid payments. Then he was suddenly diagnosed with lung cancer that spread to his brain.

David Butler leaves behind his ex-wife Kate, three daughters Annie, Laine, Ruby-Rose, and son John Peter.




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