Isidingo actress Ashley Callie dies

Award-winning South African actress Ashley Callie (32) died on Friday.

“It is with sincere regret that the Callie Family confirms that earlier today Ashley passed away as a result of the head injuries she sustained in a car accident,” her family said in a statement.

“Ashley continues to live on in our hearts and minds.”

The family thanked the doctors and staff for their professionalism in caring for their loved one.

The actress, best known for her role as Lee Haines in the TV soap opera Isidingo, was in an accident on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Tana Road in Johannesburg last week.

Her performance on the soap opera recently won her the Best Actress Award at the South African Film and Television Awards.

Isidingo executive producer Pumla Hopa said she was deeply shocked by Callie’s death. She, along with the crew and cast of the popular soap opera, was being assisted by trauma counsellors at the studio on Friday afternoon.

“I’m shocked, I can’t think of the words to express my condolences to Ashley’s family and friends at this difficult time ... I’m sorry, I can’t be very eloquent at this time, words fail me,” she said.

Callie was driving alone in a Smart Car when a head-on collision with a Renault occurred.

The driver of the Renault, a man, and two woman passengers were also seriously injured and transported to Milpark Hospital.

Messages of condolences began streaming in on a website created by Callie’s fans to support her after the accident.

“So sorry to hear; words escape me as I try to speak,” read one.

“The Callie family, may these words of sympathy help comfort you somehow and let you know that others share the loss you are feeling now,” said another.

Callie was born in Johannesburg and received a BA Honours degree in dramatic arts at the University of the Witwatersrand.

She has spent time in Cape Town doing various commercials, both for the local market and overseas.

In an interview for Top Billing magazine, Callie said her character as Lee Haines was nothing like she was.

“Lee is totally unlike me in every way. She is quite alone in the world, severe, sharp, business-minded with this ice-maiden label ... she’s far more able to deal with conflict and confrontation and is quite unafraid, I’m less rigid,” Callie said.—Sapa

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