Dirk de Villiers

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Dirk de Villiers (1924-2009) Actor, playwright, scriptwriter and film-maker.


Born Dirk Gysbert de Villiers on the farm Villeria in the Douglas district, went to school in Jagersfontein, Marquard and Bethlehem. He studied engineering in Johannesburg, then worked in the Cape Town docks, before finding his way to London where he took a course in marine engineering. He became a ship’s engineer and worked his way around the world till 1950, when he settled down with his wife Addie. He died on Christmas Day 2009. His son is the actor Gys de Villiers.

While studying in Johannesburg in 1942 he met up with Schalk Theron and joined the Sonop Afrikaner Kring theatre group.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

His first acting role was in Die Goue Tempel (Schalk Theron), and his first lead was in Aandblom van die Witsenberge (D.F. Malherbe). Other roles include Lennox in the 1950 Afrikaans Macbeth (NTO), *

He wrote a number of one act plays for the amateur theatre, including Ek Wag, Glasie, Ou Grote. Some under his full name of Dirk Gysbert de Villiers, including: Broers ("Brothers") and Sand , both written with Anton Prinsloo.

In 195* he became involved in the film industry, and established himself as one of the giants of the medium. His film and TV credits as writer and director include Jy is my liefling ***,

For TV he made the highly rated and popular series Arende ("Eagles"), about the Anglo Boer War. It finally turned out to be three series: Arende (1989), Arende II (1992), Arende III (1993).


Tribute written by Karen Hart published in Volksblad, 4 January 2010.

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