AN ENTERTAINER who captured the hearts of the town’s theatre audiences has died at the age of 46.
Richard De Vere had been performing at St Helens Theatre Royal for 15 years, his last pantomime role being as a perfect Captain Hook in the January production of Peter Pan.
He died while on holiday in Thailand.
Richard, whose Mystique show ran for many years at the Pleasure Beach, in Blackpool, had been due to begin a new engagement this year at the resort’s Viva showbar.
Richard took up magic when at school in Bolton and he became a Pontins’ Blue Coat and his career took off. He met comedian Bernie Winters at Pontins’ and they became friends which led to Bernie bequeathing him his trademark St Bernard dog, Schnorbitz.
Theatre Royal manager Chantelle Nolan paid tribute to the entertainer: “I met Richard during the Mr T pantomime Aladdin 24 years ago and for 15 years he graced the stage in our pantomimes. He was a great Master of Illusion and an amazing entertainer bringing laughter and energy to every performance, also the best panto baddie in the business.
“Richard will be sadly missed and forever in our hearts.”