August 26, 2022
Winston Stona, the actor who played Detective Ray Jones in The Harder They Come, died in St Andrew on August 23 at age 81. His death was confirmed by Justine Henzell, whose father, Perry Henzell, co-wrote and directed the 1972 movie which starred Jimmy Cliff.
Stona also appeared in the movies Cool Runnings (as Barrington Coolidge) and One Love (as Pastor Johnson).
He was a successful businessman who co-founded and operated Busha Browne, a leading manufacturer of spice products.
“Uncle Winnie had been in my life since my earliest memories. A close friend of my parents, he frequented 10a West King’s House Road where he was full of stories and fun. I believe my father recognised his great charisma and captured his talent on screen. Though he wasn’t a trained actor he gave an incredible performance as the police detective Ray Jones,” said Henzell.
Perry Henzell, who died in 2006, wrote most of The Harder They Come from his home at West King’s House Road.
A Jamaica College past student, Stona went into production with little acting experience.
Cliff and other members of the cast, including Ras Daniel Heartman, who played Pedro, also had done little professional acting.
Henzell is coordinating 50th-anniversary activities for The Harder They Come. She said due to ill health, Stona was unable to attend an exhibition about the movie at 10a West King’s House Road in June.
“He never ceased to support myself and my brother Jason in any endeavour we undertook and was always willing to give his advice. He was a world-class marketer and an incredible ambassador for all things Jamaican,” she declared.
Winston Stona is survived by a son, daughter and two grandchildren.
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