Johan Nell

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(19**-1968) A superb Afrikaans actor, seen as the natural successor to André Huguenet. Born in ***, he was blessed with a fine physique, good looks, and a splendid and resonant voice. He was first discovered when he joined ***. In a career of fine performances included *** in By die ou Meulstroom, Geleende Vere ****, Henry VIII (directed by Will Jamieson, with Johan Nell & Margaret Inglis), *** in O’Neill’s Touch of a Poet (NTO, 1961), ****. NELL, Johann. His life and career were ultimately destroyed by alcoholism. Performed in Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra in 1946. Played the brooding Heathcliff opposite Elizabeth Renfield’s Cathy in 1946. Starred in The Witch, staged by the Reps in 1948, together with Berdine Grunewald, Sam Moss and Doreen Mantle. Starred in Leon Gluckman’s revue Xmas Box at the Library towards the end of 1949. Herbert Kretzmer composed five of the songs and cast included Marjorie Gordon. Starred in an Afrikaans translation of John Van Druten’s I Remember Mama in 1954. It was directed by Taubie Kushlick and also starred Wena Naudé and Mathilde Hanekom. He starred in Clive Hirschhorn’s A State of Innocence which was staged at the Library Theatre in 1960. Ruth Oppenheim directed and it also starred Marjorie Gordon. Performed in Eugene O’Neill’s A Touch of the Poet together with Marda Vanne in the Alexander Theatre in Johannesburg in 1961. Margaret Webster directed this play for the National Theatre. He starred in Toerien-Rubin Company production of James Ambrose Brown’s The Years of the Locust at the Alexander Theatre in 1966. It also starred Frank Shelley and Yvonne Bryceland. NELL, Johan, Henry VIII, Will Jamieson (dir), Ronnie Davis & Margaret Inglis.

Three Leaf Arts Award for Best Supporting Actor, 1966, for his role in The Lower Depths. (Source: Teater SA, 1(3), 1969).

Three Leaf Arts Award for Best Actor, 1967, for his title role in King Lear. (Source: Teater SA, 1(3), 1969).


Tucker, 1997

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