Patrick Mynhardt (1932-2007) Gifted bilingual (Afrikaans and English) actor and enjoyable eccentric.
Born in Bethulie in the Free State, of an Afrikaans father and a Irish mother. He died on stage in London in 2007 at the age of 75 while performing in his one-man show Boy from Bethulie at the Jermyn Street Theatre in the West End.
He was educated at Bethulie School and De La Salle College in East London, South Africa. He then spent three “disastrous” years at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, where he did, however, discover that he had a flair for acting.
In 1954 he left for London where he intended to spend three years at the Central School of Drama but left after only one term and pursued his drama studies privately.
He joined the National Theatre Organisation in 1953 as an actor and toured the country for a year and a half appearing in English and Afrikaans plays. In 1954 he left for Britain, where he eventually landed his first job in a repertory company.
He returned to South Africa at the end of 1960.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
Mynhardt is most memorable in South Africa for his one man performances of Herman Charles Bosman's "Oom Schalk Lourens" stories. The first programme, called A Sip of Jerepigo, was devised by Mynhardt, directed by Michal Grobbelaar and opened at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre on 4 Novemeber 1969. A Sip of Jerepigo played again at the Brooke Theatre in February 1972. He was seen in More Jerepigo at the Alexander Theatre in 1973 and the Academy Theatre in 1980. Others in the series were called Another Sip of Jerepigo and Just Jerepigo. He presented A Sip of Jerepigo at the Pieter Roos Theatre in 1992. Just Jerepigo and Cold Stone Jug at the Groot Marico Kunstefees in 2002.
His one-man autobiographical piece The Boy from Bethulie was staged at the Intimate Theatre by a group called A Teater as their first production in 1983. He staged The Boy from Bethulie at the Warehouse in May 1990.
His more formal stage credits include Iepekonders (1953), The King of Diamonds (1961), A Touch of the Poet (1961), Jonkvrou Edelwater (1962), Guilty Party (1962), Policy for Murder (1963), Christie, Montserrat (Equierdo 1963), The Playboy of the Western World (Sean Keogh 1963), The Cherry Orchard (PACT, 1963), Rashomon, directed by Joan Brickhill in 1965, The Deputy (1965), Twelve Angry Men (1965), The Devils (1966), The Beaux' Stratagem (Fiogard, 1966), War and Peace (Napoleon, 1966), Staircase (1967, Harry), Dodedans (Edgar, 1967), Die Spel van Liefde en Toeval (Pasqual, 1967), Staircase (the Langford-Inglis Company, 1967 as Harry), Fanny (1968), The Crucible (PACT 1975), Conspiracy for PACT at the Alexander Theatre in 1976, Die Verminktes (1977), Die Vader (1978), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1978), Sly Fox for The Company at the Market Theatre in 1979, The Siege of Nugget Street (1979), The Royal Hunt of the Sun(1981), The Taming of the Shrew (1981), Karoo Grand (1983), Translations (1985), Long Day's Journey into Night (1989), Nemesis (1989), Houd-den-Bek (1990). He starred in Die Sakeman van Venesië at the Alexander Theatre in 1991 and Mirakel (1992).
International film credits include A Clockwork Orange, **.
The brilliant local TV drama Vyfster made him a household name as the menacing prison "don" called "Papa", while his ongoing role as the grandfather in the popular sitcom Suburban Bliss kept him in the public eye for much of the 1990s.
He was a recipient of a Johannesburg Theatre Management Lifetime Achievement Award at the FNB Vita Awards presented at the Theatre on the Square, Sandton, in 2002.
Boy from Bethulie programme notes, 1983.
The Citizen, 26 October 2007.
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