Franz Marx

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Franz Marx (1942- ) [1]. Actor, director, scriptwriter and film and TV producer.

Biography

Enormously successful writer and producer of South African soap operas, stage and film actor and film and television director. Trained at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Potchefstroom, where he also taught acting for a while. In 1965 he joined PACT as a full-time actor.

His novel Spieëlbeeld was published in 2017.

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

As a sudent he had roles in Antigone (by Sophocles) (UTS 1961), 'n Bruid in die Môre (UTS 1963), Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino (UTS 1963), Agt Vroue (UTS 1963), Die Boesman Venus (UTS 1964).

As professional actor he was seen in Die Tas (PACT 1965), Die Onwillige Weduwee (PACT 1965), Die Italiaanse Strooihoed (PACT 1966), Die Pluimsaad Waai Ver (1966), Dokter teen Wil en Dank (PACT 1966), Die Huigelaar (PACT 1986), Uit Die Oude Doos (1967), Kats in die Pekel (1972), Die Burgemeester (1973), Die Hamer van die Hekse (PACT 1975), François Swart’s production of P.G. du Plessis’s 'n Seder Val in Waterkloof (PACT 1975), 'n Man met Vakansie (PACT 1976), Die Vrek (PACT 1976), Die Reënmaker (PACT 1976), Saterdag, Sondag, Maandag (PACT 1978), Germanicus (PACT 1981), Putsonderwater (PACT 1981), Wie Laaste Lag (PACT 1988).

After a break of more than a decade, he made a return to acting for Deon Opperman’s Magspel in 2000. In 2007 he appeared in Kaburu.

He directed Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino (PACT 1967), Die Drie Van Der Walts (1970).

Among the memorable roles for which he is remembered over the years are the leads in Moliére’s Wie de drommel is Pasquale?, Chris Barnard’s Pa, Maak vir my 'n Vlieër Pa [“Father, Make me a Kite”], Gogol’s Dagboek van 'n Waansinnige (“Diary of a Madman”), Anouilh’s Becket.

Film and television work

In 1968 he became the first full-time film actor in the country in films like Jy is my liefling (“You are my love”) and Danie Bosman and in 1973 he began directing. His first film was Fighter Pilots (Wing Commander) (1974), dubbed into Afrikaans as Seuns van die Wolke (“Sons of the Clouds”) while he wrote the scripts for Freddie’s in Love and Ma Skryf Matriek (“Mother Writes Matric”). He eventually made 18 films of varying critical and financial success.

In 1980* he moved to television, writing more than 13 television series, 7 single dramas and two mini series between 1980 and 2000. He made his debut with the hugely popular family series Skooldae (“School Days”), followed by Familiedae (“Family Days”) and Kampus (“Campus”). He now moved to adapt the soap-opera format for South African audiences with the record-breaking Agter Elke Man (“Behind Each Man”) which dominated TV for 4 years (1985-1988), followed by the even more formidable success of the multilingual Egoli – Plek van Goud (“Egoli – Place of Gold”), which has been running for more than 11 years and is in its 12th year of production since 1992.

He directed Die Vlindervanger (film).

Awards, etc.

He won best Afikaans actor at the DALRO Awards for his role in Saterdag, Sondag, Maandag.

Sources

Tucker, 1997. pp 314, 375.

Theatre programmes of the various productions.

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