Tine Balder

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Tine Balder (1924-2021). Actress and teacher.


Born Clementine Cobbaut in Antwerp, Belgium on 2 February 1924, she became a well-known Flemish and South African actress under her stage name of Tine Balder. She married Fred Engelen in 1944. The couple had three children, Bie, Jan, Katrijn. (See Bie Engelen, Jan Engelen) Tine passed away on 4 April, 2021.

She studied at De Stedelijke Normaalschool in Antwerp and then did drama at Het Hooger Instituut voor Toneel en Regie.

Taking the stage name of Tine Balder, she initially worked for the Jeugdtheater ("Youth theatre") under the direction of Fred Engelen.

From 1945 tot 1961 she was attached to the Koninklijke Nederlandse Schouwburg (the K.N.S.), as well as doing some TV and film work (e.g. Meeuwen sterven in de haven, 1955). With the K.N.S. she undertook three tours of the Belgian Congo and South Africa (1950, 1953 en 1956) and in 1960 she came to South Africa again to play the lead in Johanna, die Soldaat van God (Saint Joan by G.B. Shaw) for NTO and the University of Stellenbosch. The show opened in the Bellville Civic Centre on 21 September 1960.

In 1961 her husband accepted a professorship at the University of Stellenbosch and they settled in South Africa. When her husband died suddenly in 1967, she remained in Stellenbosch for a while, but in 1973 returned to Antwerp to continue her career in Belgium.

Back in Belgium, she worked for the K.N.S. once more, now under the direction of Domien De Gruyter. She did film television,radio and film work, for instance in Maria Speermalie (1979), Een vrouw tussen hond en wolf (1979), Springen (1985), Brylcream Boulevard (1995). Television appearances in Candida (1973), Rubens, schilder en diplomaat (1977), Alfa Papa Tango, Recht op Recht and Flikken (the episode called Dikke vrienden of 2000).

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

Settled in Stellenbosch, Balder taught acting, puppetry and make-up, also helping out as costumier and wardrobe mistress and actress in the new Drama Department at the University of Stellenbosch, as well as acting for the National Theatre Organisation (NTO), Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) and later the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT), performing both in English and in Afrikaans. On occasion she also did radio work for the SABC in Cape Town.

Stage roles:

She played the lead in many Afrikaans language productions, including Johanna, die Soldaat van God ( Saint Joan , G.B. Shaw, 1959), Elektra (Sophocles, 1966 - Gallery Club Trophy for the Best Actress ), Macbeth (University of Stellenbosch, 1967), Yerma (Lorca, 1967), Antigone (Sophocles), Die Fees van die Gekroonde Skoen (M. de Swaen), Lokval! (R. Thomas), Rashomon, Maria Stuart (Schiller), Don Carlos (Schiller), Lang Dagreis na die Nag (O'Neill), Siener in die Suburbs (P.G. du Plessis, 1971), Christine (Bartho Smit, 1973), Iemand Om voor Nag Te Sê (Chris Barnard, 1973), Skoene-skoene (PACT, 1973). Also in The Idiot by Dostoyevsky]], directed by Jo Gevers for CAPAB.

She also did a few plays in English, including Mary of Nijmeghem, Anna Christie (O'Neill), The Rivals (Sheridan, 1967).

Film Roles

She acted in a number of Flemish films and television plays, but was in only two South African films: Sononder (Carel Trichardt/1971) and Freddie's in Love (Manie van Rensburg/1971).

Awards, etc

Won best actress awards for her roles in Elektra. Christine and Iemand Om voor Nag Te Sê.


A.J. Opperman "'Grand Dame' met 'n speelse gees", in: Die Burger 8 April, 2021, p. 10.

U. Stark, in : Ons Erfdeel, 1973, 4, p. 123-125.

Vlaanderen. Jaargang 17. Christelijk Vlaams Kunstenaarsverbond, Roeselare 1968

Cape Times, 21 January 1969

SACD 1973;

G. Voets, Actrice Tine Balder, in : Vlaanderen, 200, mei-juni 1984, p. 199.


A.J. Opperman. 2021 "Tine Balder: ‘Grande dame met speelse gees’". Netwerk24, 6 April 2021.[1]

E-mail correspondence from Bie Engelen (Thursday, 21 July 2022 10:37)

Engelen, Bie. 2022. Tine Balder. Een Leven in het Theater. Limited edition. Toronto, Bie Engelen. (Gift from the author.)

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