Vincent Hesse

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Vincent Hesse (1926-1975) was a broadcaster and actor.


Hermanus Johannes Vincent Hesse was born on 24 January 1926 in Lichtenburg in what today is South Africa’s North West Province. Though he acted both on the stage and in movies, he became primarily known as a radio broadcaster, notably on Springbok Radio as a presenter of music programmes and the early morning radio show for which he teamed up with the popular Douglas Laws, who dubbed him the Red Barron. For radio he also produced occasional documentaries and in addition he was the official announcer at the Rand Easter Show for approximately ten years.

As a young man he appeared on the stage in a number of productions for the Johannesburgse Afrikaanse Amateur Toneelspelers (J.A.A.T.S.) and also as Lennox in an Afrikaans version of Macbeth for African Theatres in association with the National Theatre Organisation. He also had supporting roles in a few films. According to Ian Reid, writing in the Rand Daily Mail, after Douglas Laws departed from the SABC, Hesse was “relegated to the record library in Broadcast House”, where he claimed to be the highest paid messenger boy at the SABC. In 1971 he was admitted to hospital after a heart attack and he died on 8 October 1975 at the early age of 49. In 1955 he had married Sophia Holtzhausen, a Johannesburg teacher, but the couple separated in 1969.



1946 – Piet se Tante (Producer: Jan Perold), 1948 – Die Heks, 1948 – The Barretts of Wimpole Street – Afrikaans version (Producer: Marjorie Swinford-Meyer), 1949 – Andromache (Producer: Aletta Gericke), Macbeth – Afrikaans version (Producer: Gwen ffrangçon-Davies).


1952 – Altyd in my Drome (Director: Pierre de Wet), 1961 – Doodkry is Min (Director: Jamie Uys), 1965 – Die Wonderwêreld van Kammie Kamfer (Director: Al Debbo), 1968 – Majuba: Heuwel van Duiwe (Director: David Millin), 1970 – Scotty Smith (Director: Peter Henkel).


Rand Daily Mail, 10 October 1975

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