Jana Cilliers

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Jana Cilliers (born 1950). Actress.


Jana was born in Pretoria as the daughter of renowned painter Betty-Cilliers Barnard.

She married actor/film director Regardt van den Bergh and the couple have two daughters, of which one - Lika van den Bergh - also turned to acting. After their divorce she married actor Bill Flynn. Her daughter, Lika, is also an actress and film producer.



She studied acting at the University of Pretoria and London’s Royal Academy of Performing Arts.


to become part of the new generation of bilingual performers working for the various Performing Arts Councils, as well as the independent companies such as The Space in Cape Town () and The Market Theatre in Johannesburg) and Pieter Toerien Productions (**).

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

She performed in Don Juan (in Afrikaans, CAPAB 1975), Die Vroue van Troje at the Market Theatre in 1977, My Husband’s wild desires almost drove me mad, The Space 1977, Sly Fox 1979.

Other of the many productions on stage include 1975, Die Groot Wit Roos, Luilummel en Flenterpiet, Play@Risk, The Taming of the Shrew, Yelena, Kanna hy kô Hystoe, The Dance of Death, Twelfth Night, or What You Will, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (as "Frankie", 1988), Rain for CAPAB, the Brickhill-Burke production of Alan Aykbourn’s trilogy, The Norman Conquests, separately titled Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden, at His Majesty's Theatre in 1979, Pous Johanna II which originally premiered as one of the productions at the Market Theatre's Women's Festival, Wild Honey 1986, Snake Beneath the Rose performed in 1986, The Maintenance Man 1990, Love Letters at the Richard Haines Theatre in September 1991, The Glass Menagerie in 1994, In Praise of Love, Antony and Cleopatra, (as Cleopatra, 1999),The Breath of Life (2004), Romeo en Julia (Vleis, Rys, en Aartappels, 2005), macbeth.slapeloos (2014).

In the 1990s she began to establish a major reputation for her superb one-woman performances – including Opdrag: Ingrid Jonker (1998-9), The American Popess, 2001 and Master Class (where she played Maria Callas).

Her television work includes Salome, Waiting and the series City People. She has also appeared in feature films for producer Jans Rautenbach and for Regardt van den Bergh, e.g. Boetie Gaan Border Toe!.

Awards, etc

Nominated for Best Actress for Fleur du Cap 1978.

Nominated Fleur du Cap Cilliers, Jana for In Praise of Love [best actress], 1995.

Master Class (where she played Maria Callas, winning a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress, 1996), a Edinburgh Crystal Award and a national and several regional Vita Awards.

Vita Award (Cape Town region) Cilliers, Jana; Bezuidenhout, Aletta : [joint winners - best lead actress, award year 1997.

Vita award (Cape Town region) Jana Cilliers: The American popess; Best actress, 2002.


SACD 1977/78; 1979/80.

Programme of Snake Beneath the Rose in 1986.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Tucker, 1997.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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