Bill Troskie (1934-2019) was a South African businessman and film producer.
Born one of six children in Bloemfontein,
He was a great enthusiast of all kinds of sport, himself being an amateur boxer in his youth, developing a lifelong interest and involvement in cars and car racing, and a passion for rugby. For example, he was a long time sponsor of athletics in the Free State, as well as a member of the executive of the Free State Rugby Union and Chairman of the Old Greys Rugby Club in Bloemfontein for a number of years.
Besides his involvement in the film industry (see below), he was also a successful businessman. Beginnning with the original Bill Troskie Motors in Bloemfontein, Bill and his wife, Yvonne, founded several motor firms and owned a number of farms.
He died an extended illness on 4 April and was buried on 12 April from the Dutch Reformed Church Bloemfontein North, also known as the Klipkerk.
Contribution to South African film
In 1964 Bill and his younger brother Boet Troskie, created the successful film production and distribution company Mimosa Films in Bloemfontein and teamed up with the legendary film director Jamie Uys to produce various South African films. The company also developed valuable business links with similar companies in Hollywood.
Their first film was Three Wise Men, and their subsequent successes included Dirkie (197*, distributed internationally as Lost in the Desert) , Animals are Beautiful People (which won a Golden Globe), Funny People, Funny People II, The Gods Must be Crazy (1980) and The Gods Must be Crazy II. The films all enjoyed success at the South African and international box office. The Gods Must be Crazy in particular was an amazing success and still holds the record as the most commercially successful release in the history of South Africa's film industry for a South African produced film.
As a producer he worked for the subsidiary Constantia Films, and his first film was Staal Burger (1969). He then went on to produce Breekpunt (1971), Salomien (1972), Soekie (1975), Die Rebel (1976), Sonja (1978), Night of the Puppets (1979) and Beloftes van Môre (1981).
In 1980, with the distribution of The Gods Must be Crazy, Bill took over operations as acting CEO of Mimosa Films for a few years while his brother Boet Troskie moved to America to oversee the film's contract deals.
Go to the ESAT Bibliography
Return to ESAT Personalities T
Return to South African Theatre Personalities
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page