Louis van Niekerk

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(1935-) Actor for stage, film and television, and stage director.


Louis was born in Stellenbosch and moved to Pretoria in 1955. His son, Gert van Niekerk also went into theatre.


In Pretoria he worked with several amateur organisations until 1961 when he started working with Volksteater on a regular basis. He joined the PACT ensemble company in 1964.

Blessed with an unusually deep and resonant voice and strong stage presence, Louis became one of the stalwarts of the PACT Afrikaans company, later becoming the artistic director (198*-199*)???*.

He was PACT’s head of drama circa 1978.

Roles as actor

He made his debut as a professional actor in Die Besoek van die Ou Dame.

He first role for PACT was in Bruidjie Dit en Bruidjie Dot in 1964. 1964 Antonio Twaalfde Nag (Sh/Krige) ; 1967 Astrow Oom Wanja (Chek/Schoeman) ; Was die Boere toe Tevrede (Revue) ;

In the late 1960s and 1970s he became closely associated with the work of P.G. du Plessis, in which he delivered some memorable performances as “Dogoman” in P.G. du Plessis’s Die Nag van Legio (196*), “Mattewis” in P.G. du Plessis’s phenomenally popular dramatization of Mikro’s Mattewis en Meraai (1969?? ), “Giel” in P.G. du Plessis’s equally successful Siener in die Suburbs (1971),

He played the title role in François Swart’s Afrikaans production of Othello for PACT with Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers in 1975. He starred in an Afrikaans translation of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter called Die Leeu in die Winter together with Wilna Snyman under direction from Francois Swart for PACT in 1982. He starred in Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca together with Elize Cawood and Yvonne Bryceland at the Market Theatre in November 1984. He starred in Bobby Heaney’s production of an Afikaans translation of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons called My Seuns together with Johan Engelbrecht and Lida Botha at the Alexander Theatre for TRUK in 1984.

He also translated and starred in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman for PACT (Dood van ‘n Handelsreisiger, 1984), with Louw Verwey. He played Orgon in Die Huigelaar (1986); he starred in Die Storm for TRUK at the Alexander Theatre in 1989. He played the title role in Uys Krige’s Afrikaans verson of King Lear which was staged at the Pretoria State Theatre and the Civic Theatre in 1990. He starred in Bartho Smit’s Die Keiser circa 1992. He starred in Julius Caesar at the Windybrow in 1994. He starred in Charles Fourie's Don Gxubane Onner die Boere at the Arena at the State Theatre in 1994, Die Leeu in die Winter, Valley Song (1995).

He translated and acted in Eendsonderend, originally The Duck Variations, 2011. Performed in Liefde, Anna (Aardklop, 2012)

Plays directed

Louis directed a production of Kanna hy kô Hystoe for PACT in 1974, the translations Die Vader (Strindberg’s The Father), Saterdag, Sondag, Maandag (Eduardo di Filippo’s Saturday, Sunday, Monday), Die Reënmaker (PACT 1977), Jôli- Jôli (by Letraz, retaining its original French title) and a revival of Die Dagboek van Anne Frank for PACT in 1978. He directed Chris Barnard’s Die Swanesang van Majoor Sommer for PACT in 1979. He directed an Afrikaans translation of the setwork piece The Merchant of Venice called Die Koopman van Venesië starring Don Lamprecht and Rika Sennett in 1981. Brief van die Harlekyn (2007),

Film and TV

On television he was seen in Grondbaronne.


He was awarded a special Kanna in 2012 for his contribution as a performing artist.


Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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