Frederik Burgers

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Frederik Burgers (b. 07/07/1907 – d. 16/07/1967) was a comedian, stage, radio and film actor.


Frederik Louis Benjamin Burgers was born in Johannesburg, the son of Philip Rudolph Burgers and Johanna Catharina Wilhelmina Adendorff. His father was an occasional actor and Frikkie frequently assisted him backstage. He made his first stage appearance at the age of 15 when, one night, his father fell ill and the boy took his place. He started radio work in 1931. In this he was encouraged by his younger brother, M.P.O. Burgers, who was one of the first full-time broadcasters of the Suid-Afrikaanse Uitsaaikorporasie (SAUK). He quickly gained a reputation as a radio comedian and remained popular with shows such as Bog Met Blou Maandag, in which he took part until shortly before his death.

His first film role was in Die Wildsboudjie (1946), based on the popular play by Fritz Steyn, followed by Die Skerpioen (1946), both directed by Arthur Bennett. On stage he appeared in many comedy and variety shows and in 1949 he teamed up with Al Debbo (1924-2011) to go on a country-wide tour. They both appeared as themselves in the film Kom Saam Vanaand! (1949) and their stage success led to African Film Productions featuring the duo in five popular comedies. He was also a great hit in Piet se Tante (1959), an Afrikaans film version of the Brandon Thomas play Charley's Aunt, playing the redoubtable Fransina Opperman, and Oupa en die Plaasnooientjie (1960). Of his sixteen films, nine were directed by Pierre de Wet.

Curiously, his real profession was mine surveyor and he began working at Crown Mines at the age of twenty-one. Throughout his life he fitted in his film work with his mining duties and most of his films were made when he was on holiday. He also played the piano and apparently was the organist at the Gereformeerde Kerk in Turffontein. He was first married to Aletta Elizabeth Nel and after her death in 1948, he married Lydia Johanna Botha in 1951. He died of a heart attack while on a flight from Johannesburg to Durban shortly after the aeroplane took off from Jan Smuts Airport. (FO)

Film Credits

Die Wildsboudjie (Arthur Bennett, with Louis Knobel), Die Skerpioen (Arthur Bennett/1946), Kom Saam Vanaand! (Pierre de Wet/1949), Hier’s Ons Weer! (Hyman Kirstein/1950), Alles Sal Regkom! (Hyman Kirstein/1951), Altyd in My Drome (Pierre de Wet/1952), ‘n Plan Is ‘n Boerdery (Pierre de Wet/1954), Matieland! (Pierre de Wet/1955), Dis Lekker om te Lewe (Pierre de Wet/1957), Fratse in die Vloot (Pierre de Wet/1958), Piet se Tante (Pierre de Wet/1959), Oupa en die Plaasnooientjie (Pierre de Wet/1960), En die Vonke Spat (Pierre de Wet/1961), As Ons Twee Eers Getroud Is! (Jan Perold/1962), Piet My Niggie (Jan Perold/1964), Die Wonderwêreld van Kammie Kamfer (Al Debbo/1965).


South African National Bibliography

Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm (1982)

van Nierop, Leon - Daar doer in die fliek (2016)

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