Wilna Snyman (1935-) Stage and TV actress. One of the foremost character actresses of the 1970s to the 1990s.
She was born in Kimberley on 14 September 1935.
Her autobiography Memoires was published in 2006. (ISBN 0620362634).
She studied drama under Babs Laker.
After four amateur productions for JAATS, NTO offered her a permanent appointment. Her professional career began in 1966 when she joined PACT. Later she moved back to Cape Town, again studied under Babs Laker and did radio work for Suzanne van Wyk.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
Among her more prominent portrayals for PACT are in Die Ryk Weduwee (as Anna de Kock, 1968), Oom Wanja 1969. Her portrayal of Makiet in Kanna hy kô Hystoe, 1974, was memorable. In 1976 she played ** in Vroue van Troje for the Market Theatre. She starred in François Swart’s production of 'n Seder val in Waterkloof in 1975. She starred in Barney Simon’s production of an Afrikaans translation of The Women of Troy at the Market Theatre in 1977. She starred in Die Kersietuin for PACT in 1979. She starred in Die Drie Van Der Walts in 1979. She starred in Filumena in 1981. She starred in an Afrikaans translation of The Lion in Winter in 1982, in The Maids at the Windybrow in 1987. She starred in Dieter Reible’s revival of The Lion in Winter in 1988.
She had roles in Herman Steytler’s Vyf Dogters, Die Teken and Stille Nag by Deon Opperman, Sweet Sorrows, Die Leeu in die Winter as Eleanor, Mis in 1994, Anastasia, Die Vroue van Troje, Hamlet. Francois Swart (dir), First Monday in October, 1980, CAPAB. (First English role), Theodora, 1981, Bloedbruilof Aug. 1985, Don Juan onder die Boere 1985. She was also seen in The Balcony, The Real Inspector Hound, Black Comedy and as Molly Dwyer in Gulls (PACOFS 1991).
One of her many film roles was in Weerskant die Nag in the 1970s.
On television she became nationally known for her role as “Madel” in the long-running and popular Afrikaans soap opera Sewende Laan (“Seventh Avenue”).
Won the Computicket Award for Best Actress in 1975, 1977 and 1978. Won a Rapport “Oscar” in 1979.
In 1984 she was honoured by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns for her contribution to South African theatre.
Nominee 1991 Snyman, Wilna in Dear Mrs Steyn (Johannesburg Repetory Players Award for best actress in a leading role in English)
She won a Naledi Lifetime Achiever Award, February 2005.
SACD 1973; 1977/78; 1978/79; 1979/80; 1980/81.
Stille Nag programme notes, 1990.
The Star, 15 February 2005.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to ESAT Personalities S
Return to South African Theatre Personalities
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page