William Pretorius (1941-2007). Film, theatre and literary critic, and poet.
Born in East London, South Africa of an Afrikaans father and English mother, and grew up in Vereeniging. Originally trained as a fitter and turner, but then completed a B.A in English literature at UNISA, becoming a regular writer on film, theatre, books and general entertainment in 1976. He began his career with regular film reviews and a book column concentrating on South Africa literature in the Afrikaans paper Rapport where he worked until 1993. He also worked as freelancer for the Weekly Mail (later the Mail and Guardian), writing on film under his own name and as Fabius Burger, from 1985 to 1995. In later years he became known for his weekly FreeWheeling column for artslink.co.za.
In addition Pretorius was an experienced script reader and has acted as a judge for various film competitions, including Vierspel, Entshe Talente and Dramatic Encounters for the SABC, and New Directions for M-Net.
He also taught film and scriptwriting, partly at the Actors Centre in Johannesburg.
For 28 years he was the partner of film and stage actor Tobie Cronjé, whom he had met on the Trans Karoo Express in 1979.
Barron, 2007 [TH]
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