Ivan Berold

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Ivan Berold (b. 03/04/1923) was an actor.


Ivan Berold had just turned 18 when he appeared in a production of the operetta The Lilac Domino (1941) produced by the Johannesburg Operatic and Dramatic Society (JODS). After that he was clearly committed enough to wait until the war was over before he sailed for England in 1946. There he joined a repertory company called the White Rose Players, which had its base at the Grand Opera House in Harrogate and could boast of having had Sonia Dresdel, Dulcie Gray, Brian Rix and Trevor Howard amongst its ranks. He was with them for about a year, appearing in a new play every two weeks, including This Was a Woman by Joan Morgan, who had come to South Africa to act in Leander De Cordova’s film Swallow (1922).

After a brief intermission in South Africa, during which he acted in Little Nellie Kelly (1948), again for JODS, he returned to England to appear in a popular revue called After the Show (1950-51), in which a young Beryl Reid also appeared. In between he had married the American actress/singer LaVerne Burden, who in 1948 had come to South Africa to star in the African Consolidated Theatres production of Oklahoma! and went on to play the part of Julie Jordan in Carousel at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. In October 1951 the couple travelled to the United States on board the Ile de France and after that we rather lose track of him until 1957 when he and LaVerne were divorced.

Back in South Africa he appeared in a range of plays and musicals, including such favourites as The Boyfriend (1957), Lock Up Your Daughters (1960), Little Mary Sunshine (1965), The Secretary Bird (1969) and Applause (1971) a few of them for JODS. In 1973 he was in England and appeared in Peter Pan at the London Coliseum, with Maggie Smith in the title role. At some stage he married Nanette Dart (born Kritzinger), but this marriage didn’t last either. At far back as 1950 he made his first television appearance when he acted in Carissima for the BBC. He appeared fleetingly in two German television series and also acted in some local films, amongst them The Foster Gang (Percival Rubens/1964), in which he played William Foster. He even starred in a seventies photo story as “the man called Curtis” in Operation Traitor, with the likes of George Korelin and Elwen Morris.

In 1965 he married Mary-Ann Diener, who as Mary-Ann Berold made a few local stage and film appearances. Eventually he gave up his acting career and the couple moved to the United States, though in 1984 they both appeared in a commercial for a residential development project, with the always handsome Berold playing a James Bond-like secret agent and his wife impersonating Margaret Thatcher. From 1985 they ran a luggage store in Redondo Beach in California, which finally closed towards the end of 2008. (FO)

South African Credits


1941 – The Lilac Domino (Director: Perry Salmon) (JODS at Standard Theatre), 1948 – Little Nellie Kelly (Director: Betty O’Connor) (JODS at Witwatersrand Technical College Theatre), 1956 – Nekrassov (Director: Cecil Williams) (Reading by the Regent Players at Darragh Hall), 1957 – The Boy Friend (Director: Sandy Wilson) (Brooke Theatre), 1957 – A Hatful of Rain (Director: Stuart Brown) (The Company of Three at Library Theatre), 1958 – Career (Director: Leonard Schach) (Johannesburg Repertory Players at Alexander Theatre), 1958 – Thieves’ Carnival (Director: Leon Gluckman) (Johannesburg Repertory Players at Alexander Theatre), 1960 – Lock Up Your Daughters (Director: Leonard Schach) (Playhouse Theatre), 1961 – The Fantasticks (Director: Leon Gluckman), 1965 – Little Mary Sunshine (Director: Ricky Arden) (JODS at Alexander Theatre), 1967 – Gigi (Director: Taubie Kushlick) (JODS at the Zion Hall), 1967 – Babes in the Woods (Director: Robert Young) (JODS at Civic Theatre), 1969 – The Secretary Bird (Director: Kerry Jordan) (Pieter Toerien & Basil Rubin at Intimate Theatre), 1971 – Applause (Director: Otto Pirchner) (JODS at Civic Theatre), 1979/80 – Pyjama Tops (Director: Alexander Doré) (Toerien-Firth Company at André Huguenet Theatre & Baxter Theatre).

Television (filmed in South Africa)

1968 – Schatzsucher unserer Tage (Episode: Rivalen) (Director: Rolf von Sydow) (for ZDF), 1971 – Diamantendetektiv Dick Donald (Episode: Der stumme Zeuge) (Director: Jürgen Goslar) (for ZDF), 1977 - Jordan (single episode) (for SABC)


1956 – Paul Krüger (Director: Werner Grünbauer), 1964 – The Foster Gang (Director: Percival Rubens), 1965 – Diamond Walkers (Director: Paul Martin), 1970 – Satan’s harvest (Director: Douglas K. Stone), 1990 - Senzeni na? (short) (Director: Bernard Joffa).


British News Paper Archive, Harrogate Herald

Desert Sun, 11 May 1984

Malcolm Woolfson - But the melody lingers on

Percy Tucker - Just the ticket!: my 50 years in show business 1997)


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