Joey de Koker

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(1932-2014) Actress, teacher and director.


Originally from Paarl, where completed her matriculation at La Rochelle High School in 1949. She completed a B.A. in Social work at the University of Stellenbosch, but never practiced, since she went straight into freelance drama teaching and theatre work.

She had a son and a daughter, the actress Gretha Brazelle. She died in Paarl on 26 June 2014.


While at the University, she also studied speech and drama at the Akademie vir Dramakuns (ADK) with Babs Laker and Rosalie van der Gucht, completing a Trinity College Licentiate with them.

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

Although she had a qualification in social work, she never practiced in the field, since she went straight into freelance drama teaching and theatre work. While still a third year BA student, she worked on the programmes for the 1952 Van Riebeeck Festival in Cape Town.

As speech and drama teacher

In 1953 she became a senior lecturer for the ADK, taking on the Paarl branch.


In the period 1953-1960, she was intensively involved with the Skuurteater in Paarl. In the 1950s she worked for the National Theatre Organisation (NTO), acting in a number of plays, then in the 1960s and 1970s moved on to do occasional work for CAPAB and the Space Theatre as well.

As actress

Roles include:

Voorlopige Vonnis, NTO, 1958,

'n Bruid in die Môre (Hugo Claus, Een Bruid in de Morgen, NTO 1959) ,

Speelgoed van Glas, (PACOFS 1984),

Pieter-Dirk Uys’s Karnaval, directed by Dawie Malan and also starring Lida Botha, Dale Cutts and Magda Beukes at Upstairs at the Market in 1981;

A Flea in her Ear (CAPAB 1988), directed by Schalk Jacobsz.

Die Vleiroos (as Nedda Barnard), Nico Arena, and National Arts Festival, 1992.

As stage director

She directed Die Pluimsaad Waai Vêr for PACOFS, 1967;

An English translation of Putsonderwater by Anthony Dawes as The Virgin and the Vultures by the amateur dramatic society of the Johannesburg College of Education;

Kwart voor Dagbreek at Meul Teater, Paarl, presented by Paarl Theatre Club, October 1996.

Radio and television

As actress

Her radio career began in 1953 in Cape Town, where she would play numerous leading roles in a range of classical dramas, serials, youth dramas and poetry programmes. Among her colleagues at the time were Ken Swart, Suzanne van Wyk, Cecil Jubber and Olivier Burgers.

She acted in the television series Avenues which was broadcast on SABC3, 1998

As director

Resident Afrikaans drama producer for SABC in Cape Town

Director of the radio drama Drif, 1995.

As dubbing director

In 1967 she became one of the first dubbing directors in the country, when she did post-production sound work for the Afrikaans musical film Jy is my Liefling.

In 1976 she joined the SABC as a dubbing director in Auckland Park, not only producing some of the most memorable examples of lip-synch dubbing in South African television history, but training many actors, directors and sound operators in the skills required as well.

Film work

Had a role in the film Anderkant die Stilte, 2012.

Awards, etc

Nominated for a Radio Artes as director of the radio drama Drif, 1995.


Cape Times, 7 July 1992.

Die Burger, 13 Mrt 2012

Joey de Koker 1932-2014: Die Burger, 3 Julie 2014: p. 16

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