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Jean Smith

was born on 28 May 1953 in Clarendon, Jamaica, to Eckford Ellington, an educator, and Mary “Mae” Williams, a homemaker. She had three brothers from other unions. It was her mother’s interest in community associations and volunteerism that laid a foundation for Ellington’s future work in community service.

Fae attended St. Hugh’s High School in Kingston, Jamaica, where she discovered her interest in the performing arts. At St. Hugh’s she was a member of the drama society, the school choir, and orchestra (playing the recorder and the triangle). She also rose to the position of president of the debating society. Her talents earned her one of four places in a television commercial when she was in third form, earning her twenty-one shillings.

A strong interest in drama led her to the Jamaica School of Drama, where she was a foundation member, and a career in theater that began in 1971 ...