Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips was a South African revered actor, director, producer, writer, and music composer who featured in well-known productions including Phamokate, Backstage, Soul City, The Wild, and Isibaya.


He attended Langa High School in Cape Town.[1]


His acting career began in the theatre space back when he attended Langa High School in Cape Town.

In his twenties, he joined the non-racial People’s Space Theatre in 1974 and starred in the first multi-racial production Lysistrata at the Space.

He moved to Johannesburg in the ’80s when he decided to make the switch and join the television industry.[1]

Sam Phillips was one of the first faces to appear on SABC TV 2 in 1980. He played an important role in educating South Africans about HIV/Aids as one of the leads in Soul City and other shows like Phamokate. He also featured in numerous programmes including religious ones such as Monna wa Cyrene and Ibali lika Yona.[2]

He has also featured in international plays like Athol Fugard's Master Herold and The Boys in New Orleans.[3]

Kings of Joburg

One of his latest works was being part of the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Kings Of Joburg. In the hit drama series created by Ferguson Films, Sam played the character of Shona Ferguson's father, who plays the lead role of Simon Masire.[2]

The Wild

Phillips has collaborated with Connie and Shona Ferguson before.

Between 2011 and 2012, he starred as Kgosi Rratladi Tladi, the wise chief of the Tladi clan, in the M-Net soap opera The Wild. [1]

The Queen

He went on to play the role of Tiro, Harriet’s (Connie Ferguson) father on the Mzansi Magic drama, The Queen.[1]


Among many others, his greatest achievements include being nominated for an Oscar, playing the lead in Senzeni Na? which was nominated for Best Short Story by the American Film Institution (AFI) in 1990.[2]


He died at the age of 72. The news was confirmed by his agency Gaenor Artiste Management.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kaunda Selisho, Tributes pour in for actor, writer, composer Sam Phillips, The Citizen, Published: January 16, 2021, Retrieved: January 16, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Chrizelda Kekana, Veteran 'Phamokate' actor Dr Sam Phillips dies, aged 72, Times Live, Published: January 16, 2021, Retrieved: January 16, 2021
  3. ACTOR SAM PHILLIPS DIES, EWN, Published: January 16, 2021, Retrieved: January 16, 2021