Lydia Lindeque

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Lydia Lindeque (1912 – 1997) was a legendary Afrikaans actress.

Also found as Alida Lindeque in an early version it seems.


She was born Rachel Alida de Toit in the Orange Free State at the start of the 20th century, though the specific information on the dates and place of birth are somewhat contradictory. While the English Wikipedia entry[1] on her has the date as 15 January 1916 and the place of birth as Petrusburg, other written sources have the more logical date of 15 January 1912 in Bethlehem, given the fact that her first professional appearance was at the age of 17 in 1929.

A classically beautiful woman, she seemed to have smitten most men who worked with her, including Paul de Groot, André Huguenet and Siegfried Mynhardt.

Married poet and playwright Uys Krige in 1937 and had a daughter, Eulalia (1937) and son Taillefer (1944). By 1944 the marriage was in trouble. Later married John Mantel and After retiring in 1976, she died in Andorra in 1997.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Entry into the profession

Discovered by Paul de Groot when she was a 16 year old school girl, the love-struck actor-manager offered her the role of "Nora" in his version of A Doll House. However her mother objected, so it was only later, at the age of 17, that she would work for him, playing the leading lady in De Groot's production of The Rosary.

Having started out as a member of Paul de Groot Toneelgeselskap, she would later join André Huguenet’s company before becoming a member of the NTO company. She also appeared in productions by various other professional and amateur companies.

Her stage appearances

She started her professionl career with Die Rosekrans (Barclay/Bisson) and later Besigheid is Besigheid (1931). For André Huguenet she performed in Gevaarlike Huwelik, Genoveva, Die Swart Hand, Ampie and Ek het 'n man vermoor.

In 1938 she played in Uys Krige’s debut play Magdalena Retief, directed by Krige himself, and in 1941 appeared in Mara (Grosskopf), directed by Anna Neethling-Pohl.

In 1940-41 she also played in English for the first time – "Viola" in Gwen ffrangçon-Davies's production of Twelfth Night. Follows this with Quality Street (1941), Mademoiselle (Deval, 1942) and Servant of God by Madeleine Masson (1943).

In in 1942 she also performed for Siegfried Mynhardt’s company in an Afrikaans translation of Ladies in Retirement (Die Rooi Pruik) with Berdine Grunewald .

In 1945 she went to Cairo and Italy with the UDF Entertainment Unit to direct entertainment for the troops, including the plays Die Rooi Pruik, The Proposal, Mrs Warren's Profession and a number of concerts. Performed in Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession, directed by Leontine Sagan in 1947 by the REPS. Starred in The Witch (1951), the Greek comedy Lysistrata directed by Leon Gluckman in 1952, Hassan (1952), Yerma (in English, 1955).

She appeared on stage as Agrippina in the premiére of N.P. van Wyk Louw’s Germanicus (NTO, 1957).

Other productions include Mirandolina (1957), Medea (1955 and 1962). She co-starred with Leon Gluckman in Taubie Kushlick’s production of The Rope Dancers in 1958.

Also worked as a director with the Krugersdorp Municipal Dramatic and Operatic Society (KMDOS) during the war years.


The Women's Auxiliary, No. 51, November 1944.

Binge, 1969.

Tucker, 1997.

(Huguenet, 195*; Du Toit, 1988;) [TH, JH]

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