Mary Twala Biography: Movies, Age, Husband, Children, Net Worth, Cause Of Death, Family

Posted By Princess Tshegofatso


Mary Twala-Mhlongo (born September 14, 1939), affectionately known as Mary Twala, was a celebrated South African actress whose legacy endures even after passing in 2020 at 80. 

Renowned for her outstanding performances across film, television, and theatre, she left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. 

Throughout her illustrious career spanning over five decades, Mary Twala captivated audiences with her talent and dedication, earning her a place among South Africa’s most beloved and respected actresses.

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Mary Twala: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Mary Twala-Mhlongo
Stage Name: Mary Twala
Born: 14 September 1939 (age 80 years old)
Place of Birth: Soweto, South Africa
Died: 4 July 2020 (age 80 years), Netcare Park Lane Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Education: N/A
Height: 1.57 m
Parents: Mr. & Mrs. Mhlongo
Siblings: N/A
Spouse: Ndaba Mhlongo (m. ?–1989)
Boyfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: Somizi Mhlongo
Occupation: Actress • TV Personality
Net Worth: $1 million (USD)

Early Life & Education

Mary Twala, a renowned actress, was born on September 14, 1939, in the vibrant township of Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa. Although her parents’ true identities remain undisclosed, they are commonly called Mr. and Mrs. Mhlongo

Unfortunately, there is little information available regarding Mary Twala‘s possible siblings. Beginning her academic journey at nearby primary schools, Mary later embarked on a new chapter of education in Swaziland for her high school studies.


Emerging onto the scene in the early 1960s, Mary Twala swiftly carved out a niche for herself in stage performances and television productions. Her versatility and ability to inhabit diverse roles garnered widespread acclaim from peers and audiences alike.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Twala‘s presence graced the screens of South African cinema, notably in groundbreaking films such as Mapantsula (1985) and Sarafina! (1992). These cinematic masterpieces provided poignant reflections of life under apartheid, with Twala‘s performances hailed for their raw emotion and authenticity.

Twala continued to leave her mark on the entertainment landscape as the decades unfolded. From the 1990s to the 2000s, Mary Twala remained a fixture in local and international film and television projects. Her talent transcended borders, with notable appearances in acclaimed productions like The Dark Tower (2017) and Black Is King (2020).

Mary Twala‘s remarkable contributions to the arts did not go unnoticed, earning her accolades, such as the prestigious Silver Order of Ikhamanga, bestowed upon her by the South African government in recognition of her invaluable impact on the industry.

Awards & Nominations


  • 2020 Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Posthumously)
  • 2015 SAFTA Golden Horn Award for Best Actress – TV Comedy


  • 2020 Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Posthumously)
  • 2011 Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • 2015 SAFTA Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actress – Feature Film
  • 2015 SAFTA Golden Horn Award for Best Actress – TV Comedy

Personal Life

Mary Twala and Ndaba Mhlongo shared a marital bond, with Ndaba being a celebrated South African actor and comedian. Their union brought forth a son named Somizi Mhlongo, who has since risen to prominence in the South African media landscape.

Somizi has made waves across various platforms as a television presenter, actor, choreographer, and socialite, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Tragically, Mary Twala‘s life was cut short in 1989, leaving behind a legacy that continues to resonate in the hearts of many.


  • 1988 Mapantsula 
  • 1992 Sarafina! 
  • 2010 Life, Above All 
  • 2013 Beat the Drum 
  • 2014 Leading Lady 
  • 2015 Ghost Son 
  • 2015 Vaya 
  • 2016 Comatose 
  • 2017 Beyond the River 
  • 2017 The Dark Tower 
  • 2019 This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection 
  • 2020 Black Is King 

Net Worth

Mary Twala, a renowned South African actress and singer, had accumulated a fortune of $1 million before her passing in 2021. With a career lasting more than six decades, she was highly esteemed and admired within the South African entertainment industry.

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