Johan Bernard

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Johan Bernard (1945-2012) Actor, director, teacher, writer, theatre manager and chef.

Sometimes listed as Johann Bernard (e.g. by Sandra Herrington, 1988)


Born in Bloemfontein, went to Grey College, and studied drama at University of Cape Town.

He passed away in Arlanc, France on Tuesday 11 September 2012.


He had a short lived children's theatre company called Kindertoneel, funded by his mother, in Port Elizabeth vicinity in 1968, the company including Johan Geyser (stage manager) and Lydia Theron (actress). After a stint as an actor for PACOFS, he became the founder-lecturer of the Drama Department at the University of Zululand in 1978. He then returned to Bloemfontein to become Head of Drama at the performing arts council - PACOFS, doing most of the works of Chekhov (except Uncle Vanya), usually employing his former teacher Rosalie van der Gucht as director, before he left.

From there moved to the SABC to become a television producer (inter alia of such successful series as Konings ["Kings"] and Onder Engele ["Among Angels"]) and later head of Television Drama (19**-1999). He also made one film, ’n Pot vol winter (1992).

In 1999 he and Pierre Knoesen retired to France to found and run a successful guest house, Ma Cachette, in Arlanc.

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

For PACOFS he had roles in Andorra (PACOFS 1964), The Rashomon Gate, Verkiesing sonder politiek! and Die Soldateminnaars. Other roles include Oom Wanja (PACT 1967), 'n Skip is Ons Beloof (CAPAB 1969), The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969/70).

He directed Elizabeth I (PACOFS 1975), The Fantasticks (PACOFS 1975), Hello and Goodbye (PACOFS 1973 and 1976) and the PACOFS production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, February 1978.

He translated the children's play Pippi Langstrump.

Awards, etc


Die Soldateminnaars programme notes, 1965.

Elretha Britz in the Volksblad, 12 September 2012. (

Private e-mail correspondence from Braam Muller, 11 November, 2012.

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