Editing in progress
Berdine Grünewald (1913-1994) Actress.
Married to English playwright and anthropologist Robert Ardrey. Her autobiography entitled ***** published by *** in 19**, revised in 19**.
She died in Cape Town on 7 August 1994 aged 81.
A remarkably beautiful woman, she started her acting career with André Huguenet and was closely associated with his work in the 1940s, though working for many other companies (professional and amateur) as well over the years. She toured with the Commonwealth Theatre Company(??) (19**-19**), performed for National Theatre Organisation (19**-**) and founded the South African Actors' Equity Association in 1957 (**??). Retired from acting in 1966.
She moved abroad in the late 1950s and performed in Europe, Brittain and Australia. She returned to South Africa in 1973.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
She led Ruth Oppenheim’s company of actors at the Windmill Theatre in April 1955 during a production of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. Starred in a stage version of André Gide’s novella, The Immoralist. It was staged at theWindmill Theatre by Ruth Oppenheim and company post 1955, and also starred Stanley Coghan and Charles Stodel.
She appeared as Marguerite Gautier in Die Dame met die Kamelias in 1966, her last appearance on stage in her professional career.
Among her most prominent performances are in As die mure kan praat ("If the walls could talk" - 19**), *, the nurse "Esther" in Hendrik Hanekom's production of Oom Paul (193*) for Teatergroep (1942), the leads in Fagan's Lenie and Schiller's Maria Stuart (both Volksteater, 1941), ***** (an Afrikaans translation of Ladies in Retirement) for the Siegfried Mynhardt Company (1942), The *** In 1947 she played Ophelia in the famous Afrikaans Hamlet and in 1950 Lady Macduff in Macbeth (NTO).
Performed in an Afrikaans translation of Ladies in Retirement with Lydia Lindeque for Siegfried Mynhardt’s company in 1942. She starred in The Witch, staged by the Reps in 1948, together with Johann Nell, Sam Moss and Doreen Mantle.
Skrikkeljaar, Ugo Betti (Alewyn Lee) (vertaal), Eghard van der Hoven, Gerrit Wessels, Mathilde Hanekom, San de Lange, Louis/e/a Aucamp, Reenen van Niekerk, Salie Vermaak, Robert Mohr (regie), Doreen Graves (kostuums), Frank Graves (dekor), 1958.
She had founded the first actors' trade union in South Africa which became Actors' Equity and, finally PAWE.
Die Burger, 8 August 1994.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to ESAT Personalities G
Return to South African Theatre Personalities
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page