Tobie Cronjé (1948- ) is a South African actor, comedian and stage director.
Trained at the University of Pretoria Drama Department
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
The leading Afrikaans comic actor of his times., his quirky looks, prominent chin and lanky but expressive body and slightly squeaky but flexible voice made him an immediate favourite on stage with the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal. For them he played numerous comic roles, including a cameo in Small’s Kanna, hy kô Hystoe, the lead “Lafras” in Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey (Chris Barnard, 1971), ***, Die Vasvat van ‘n Feeks (Taming of a Shrew, 19**) ***.
A multi-talented and bilingual performer, he actually also commands a stong singing voice and a virtuoso musical ability – which has led to numerous roles in musicals.
He starred in Brickhill-Burke’s production of the Broadway hit I Love my Wife, Pyjama Tops which was staged at the André Huguenet in 1979, and the Brooke Theatre in 1980, Robert Mohr’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream during the opening season of the Pretoria State Theatre in 1981, I Love my Wife again in 1982 at the Civic Theatre together with Eddie Eckstein. It returned after a run in Sydney with Bartholomew John, Erica Rogers and Sharon Lynne having joined the cast.
He starred in One for the Pot (1985), Funny Peculiar (1986), Rough Crossing at the Alhambra Theatre (1987), Charley's Aunt (1988), PACT’s annual pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Alexander Theatre (1991).
Some of his many other productions include Babbelkous en Bruidegom (1973), Othello, Kort Voor Lank, The Play's the Thing, Summer Holiday (2002), Funny Peculiar, When the Cat's Away, Whodunnit?, Rough Crossing, Two Pianos Four Hands (2000), Is the Mouse Boss? (1994), Certified Male (2001), Caught in the Net, Piano Man (1989), Moumou, The Bitterbek Blues of Ben (die Breker) Bartman (2002), Sing (Roodepoort, 2008, Pretoria & KKNK, 2010), Die Leo's (2013).
With the advent of broadcast television in 1976 he immediately jumped to national prominence with a number of comedy series, notably in the hugely popular Willem (a detective series written by Kobus Louw and starring Cronje as the bungling detective and the young Katinka Heyns as his secretary). This was followed by a number of other notable television roles and a number of films, including the TV series Kootjie Emmer (198*) and Onder Draai die Duiwel Rond (199*) and the film Zap Zap.
Lifetime achievement award, Naledi Award, 2009.
SACD 1977/78; 1978/79; 1979/80.
Various entries in the NELM catalogue.
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