Rolf Lefebvre

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Rolf Lefebvre (1916-1974) Actor.

Also credited Rolfe Lefeuvre on occasion.


Born in Johannesburg on 12 October, 1916, and presumably grew up there.

He moved to England, where he studied acting, graduating from RADA in 1936.

His theatre activities in England included working with a weekly rep company that he had founded with Mary Morris in Surrey, for nine months, inter alia performing in Love from a Stranger by Agatha Christie at the Barn Theatre, Oxted, with the company called The Strange Players (possibly the company in question) in 1937. Then came “several appearances” in the West End and apparently a tour with Frank Forbes-Robertson in The Passing of the Third Floor Back. He also appeared in a number of TV films (e.g. Richard of Bordeaux, General John Regan and Lady Precious Stream)[1].

In 1940 he was back in South Africa working as an announcer and producer at the Johannesburg Station of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. He also worked in theatre at this time, notably so at the Standard Theatre for companies such as the Munro-Inglis Company and the Gwen ffrangçon-Davies/Marda Vanne Company (between 1941 and 1946), resigning from the SABC in 1943 to concentrate on theatre.

It seems he then returned to the UK, joining the newly formed Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company for the 1948/9 season, but would back to South Africa on occasion to do some work with the newly founded National Theatre Organisation (NTO). One play we do know he was in was Guy Butler's The Dam. (In his autobiography, Guy was very complimentary about his performance – thought he was the best thing in it.)

After returning to the UK he seems to have worked in radio and television to a large extent, but eventually virtually only in radio. Besides the fact that he had an excellent voice, a key reason for avoiding the stage was that he felt he could not trust himself to remember lines.

(For his TV and film credits, see the entry on him on IMDb at

He died on December 9, 1974.

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

Among his many stage appearances (while often doubling as a stage manager) in South Africa have been:

Flare Path (playing "Squadron Leader Swanson", 1943), What Every Woman Knows (playing "David Wylie", 1943), Watch on the Rhine (playing "Teck de Brancovis"), Milestones (playing "Arthur Preece", 1944); Blithe Spirit (playing "Charles", 1944), And So to Bed (a comedy about Samuel Pepys, 1944-5), The Merry Wives of Windsor (playing "Master Frank Ford", 1945), Full House (1945), A Month in the Country (playing "Rakitin", 1946), The Wind of Heaven (playing "Evan Howell", 1946), The Dam (1952).

He also did some radio work, for example he and Marie Ney played Romeo and Juliet for SABC radio (broadcast on 27 April 1944). .


Percy Tucker. 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press: p. 13.

Notes from Anthony Akerman. E-mail correspondence 28 February, 2022.

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