Esmé Euvrard (b. Smithfield, Free State, 19/05/1919 – d. Sandton, Gauteng, 11/09/1993) was a radio broadcaster, singer and actress.
Esmé Euvrard was the youngest of four children of Albertus and Anna Euvrard and in her time was one of South Africa’s most popular radio personalities. She and Jan Cronjé appeared together in the long-running Afrikaans serial Liefdeslied (1953-1959) and also presented Só Maak Mens, a programme of household tips, recipes and interviews that ran from 1957 to 1985, when Springbok Radio closed down. The programme subsequently moved to Radio Suid-Afrika. Together with Paul Desmond she presented Springbok Rendezvous, a programme for “the boys on the border” consisting of music requests and messages, as well as a popular Sunday night music programme called Esmé’s Music Album. In addition Tannie Esmé was responsible for many Afrikaans children’s programmes.
She played small roles in five films, namely Man in die Donker (Truida Pohl/1962), Majuba: Hill of Doves / Majuba: Heuwel van Duiwe (David Millin/1968), Vrolike Vrydag 13de (Richard Daneel/1969), Stadig oor die Klippe (Richard Daneel/1969) and Wolhaarstories (Bromley Cawood/1983). Together with Dana Niehaus she acted in the television series Net ‘n Bietjie Liefde (Henk Hugo/1977). She and Cronjé also dubbed the speaking voices of Marika Rökk and Paul Hubschmid respectively for the Afrikaans-language version of the German film Maske in Blau (1953). In addition she was one of the narrators of the Afrikaans version of the documentary Krag vir Suid-Afrika (Denis Scully/1959).
She was married to the noted Portuguese-born flamenco guitarist Gilberto Bonegio and they both joined the Mercedes Molina Spanish Dance Company when it was established in 1958. She was, in fact, a talented singer and she and Gilberto produced at least one fado record. In 1988 she produced a record of children’s stories entitled Diereverhaaltjies. Gilberto died in 1964 after spending 20 months in a coma following a car accident and all of her devoted fans identified with her loss. Their two sons, Raúl and Fernando, followed in their father’s footsteps and became talented flamenco artists in their own right. (FO)
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