Eghard van der Hoven

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Eghard van der Hoven (19**- 2006) was an actor and highly regarded theatre administrator.


Born circa 1922. He married Tilana Hanekom. They had two sons, Hendrik and Eghard.

He passed away in Pretoria on 14 September 2006, aged 84.


Joined the Hanekom Geselskap in 1944 as a juvenile lead, billed as “South Africa’s Laurence Olivier”. Later joined National Theatre Organisation as actor and organiser of tours from 1952 to 1958. He spent some years with the SABC. When NTO closed down and the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT) was founded, he became head of the drama company. Under his guidance and that of his successors (Mannie Manim and Francois Swart) this company was to develop in perhaps the best ensemble the country has seen. In 1967 he became director of PACT, a position he held till he retired in 1983. He then returned to acting (e.g. as the father in Deon Opperman’s highly regarded political play Stille Nag (1989-90) and delivering a number of prominent television performances). Also became a popular columnist, commentator and consultant on arts matters.

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

Acted in Die Jaar van die Vuuros (NTO 1952), Die Ryk Weduwee (NTO 1953), Ek Onthou vir Mamma (NTO 1954), Verkiesing sonder politiek! (NTO 1955), Die Wit Perde van Rosmersholm (NTO 1955), Die Twisappel (NTO 1955), Bitter Einde (NTO 1956-7), Oupa Kanniedood (NTO 1957), Skrikkeljaar (NTO 1958).

Ek, Anna van Wyk (TRUK 1985), Comrades (PACT 1986), Die Laaste Sondag (TRUK 1986), Die Salem-Verhoor (TRUK 1988), Die Sakeman van Venesië (TRUK 1991), Raai Wie Kom vir Ete? (TRUK 1991), Drie Susters (TRUK 1992).

He starred in Deon Opperman’s Stille Nag in 1989.

Awards, etc

He was honoured by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns in 1984 and in 1988 he received an award from the State President for his contribution to the development of theatre in South Africa.

He was recognised as one of the pioneers of Afrikaans theatre by the drama department of the Pretoria Technikon during a ceremony at the Breytenbach Theatre in Pretoria on 30 August 1994.

Awarded a Naledi Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003.

[TH, JH]


Du Toit, 1988 .

Stille Nag programme notes, 1990.

Tucker, 1997.

Interview with Diane de Beer, The Star, 23 June 1999.

Obituary Cape Times 15 September 2006.

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