VETERAN actor Richard Dymond, who was president of Newport Playgoers for many years, has died aged 69 following a short illness.

Mr Dymond was a long-serving stalwart of Newport's amateur dramatics societies, acting in and directing many plays.

In February this year, he appeared at the Dolman Theatre in a production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

His friend, Nigel Corten, said: "Many people, on and off the stage, thought that Richard could have easily gone on to greater things in the acting business, but he chose to stay local, and what a bonus it was for the theatrical companies that he joined over the years."

Mr Dymond was educated at Duffryn High School and the Froebel Institute in London. He worked at Howells Garage and as a driving instructor, before moving to the Intellectual Property Office, where he worked until his retirement.

One of the longest-serving members of Newport Playgoers, he was part of the group that took plays to the famous open-air Minack Theatre in Cornwall.

He considered one of his favourite roles to be Mister Tom in the play Goodnight Mister Tom, about a young evacuee during the Second World War who is lodged with a reclusive old man.

Mr Dymond leaves a sister, Judith; two brothers, Robert and Alan; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Mr Dymond will be held at a later date.