Pikkie Uys

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Pikkie Uys (1913-1954) was a stage and film actress, as well as a theatrical producer.


Susanna Sophia (Sannie) (Pikkie) Uys was born on 20 May 1913 to Cornelis Jansen Uys and his wife Elizabeth Catharina Strydom. She was the youngest of four children and grew up on the farm Elizabethsrust near Petrusburg, in what was then the Orange Free State. She matriculated at the Oranje Hoër Meisieskool in Bloemfontein and during the early 1930s joined the Hanekom-Van Zyl Geselskap. When, in 1934, the company’s leading lady, Wena Naudé, left on a study tour to The Netherlands, Sannie Uys took over the roles that would normally have gone to her. Also with the company was Anton Ackermann, whose disagreements with Hendrik Hanekom caused him to leave and start his own touring company, the Anton Ackermann Geselskap. Sannie Uys went with him and was renamed Pikkie (reportedly after a little dog that always toured with her). She and Ackermann were married in October 1937. Her most popular role in those years was in the Afrikaans version of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Entitled Koop my Blomme, it was staged at the Standard Theatre in Johannesburg. It was translated by G.J.C. Uys who, in fact, was her brother. He later became a prominent agricultural economist.

Ackermann’s heavy drinking caused a rift between them and eventually the couple were divorced. Afterwards she continued to tour with her own company. In March 1949 she married Julius John Katzke. According to the marriage certificate he was in insurance, but in 1946 a Julius J. Katzke photographed the feature film Die Skerpioen, in which Ackermann had had a leading role. In 1950 Pikkie and Julius were divorced and on 27 December 1954 she died at the National Hospital in Bloemfontein of Hodgkin’s Disease. She and Ackermann had a son called Uys Ackermann, who also had a small role in Die Skerpioen.

Theatre Credits

1934 – Die Verstoteling (Director: Willem van Zyl), 1935 – Wittebroodsdae (director unknown), 1936 – Haar Geheim (director unknown), 1937 – Die Hand van die Gereg (director unknown), 1939 – Janette (director unknown), 1939 – Skipbreukelinge van die Lewe (director unknown), 1939 – Roza (Director: Anton Ackermann), 1940 – Koop my Blomme (Director: Anton Ackermann), 1940 – Met my Hele Hart (director unknown), 1943 – Hier Kom Japie (director unknown), 1943 – Onskuldig Veroordeel (Director: Anton Ackerman), 1944 – Onsterflike Liefde, 1944 – Vergelding (Director: Anton Ackermann), 1945 – O Diep Rivier, O Donker Stroom (production only), 1946 – Janie Gooi Haar Flikkers (director unknown), 1948 – Skaakbord van die Liefde (production only), 1950 – Die Bosveldnooi (production only), 1950 – Dis te Laat vir Trane (director unknown), 1950 – Ou Spogter en sy Dogter (director unknown), 1952 – Met My Hele Hart (director unknown – previously staged in 1940). She also appeared in Martjie, die Maltrap, for which we don’t have a date. It is likely that she directed many of the plays with which she toured in later years, though she may not have acted in them.

Film Credits

1947 – Pantoffel-regering (Directors: Ronald Brantford & Anton Ackermann), 1947 – Simon Beyers (Director: Pierre de Wet).


L.W.B. Binge - Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950) (1969)

Danie Botha - Voetligte & Applaus!: die beginjare van die Afrikaanse beroepstoneel (2006)

The Rand Daily Mail (various issues)


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