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Johannes Heesters

Johannes Heesters

Birthday: 1903-12-05 · Known For: Acting

46 Movies · 8 TV Series

Biography

Johan Marius Nicolaas Heesters (5 December 1903 – 24 December 2011) professionally known as Johannes Heesters, was a Dutch actor of stage, television and film, as well as a vocalist of numerous recordings and performer on the concert stage with a career dating back to the 1920s. Heesters worked as an actor until his death and was one of the oldest performing entertainers in history, performing shortly before his death at the age of 108. Heesters was almost exclusively active in the German-speaking world from the mid-1930s and became a film star in Nazi Germany, which later led to controversy in his native country. He was able to maintain his popularity in Germany in the decades until his death.

Personal Life

My secret to a long, healthy life is love and passion; age differences do not matter. Heesters had two daughters by his first wife Louisa Ghijs, whom he married in 1930. After her death in 1985, he remarried in 1992. His second wife, Simone Rethel (born 1949), was a German actress, painter, and photographer. His younger daughter Nicole Heesters is a well-known actress in the German-speaking world, as well as his granddaughter Saskia Fischer. In December 2010, the 107-year-old Heesters announced that he had quit smoking for his then 61-year-old wife: "She should have me as long as possible."On 1 January 2008, he fell down some stairs in his holiday home in Tyrol and broke two ribs.On 31 October 2011, Heesters gave his last public performance at the Bayrischer Hof in Munich. Four weeks later, on 29 November 2011, he developed a fever, and was rushed into the hospital. On 4 December, he was fitted with a heart pacemaker following a good recovery. He was allowed to go home less than a week later, just in time to spend his 108th birthday the next day with family. He did not feel strong enough to make the planned stage appearance to sing in celebration of his birthday and also had missed the premiere of his last film, Ten. Due to a relapse in his condition, on 17 December he was readmitted to the hospital where he subsequently suffered a stroke, dying on Christmas Eve in 2011.

Early Life

Heesters was born in Amersfoort, Netherlands, the youngest of four sons. His father Jacobus Heesters (1865–1946) was a salesman and his mother Geertruida Jacoba van den Heuvel (1866–1951), a homemaker. Heesters was fluent in German from a very early age having lived for several years in the household of a German great uncle from Bavaria. Heesters decided to become an actor and a singer at the age of sixteen and began vocal training. Heesters specialized in Viennese operetta very early in his career, and made his Viennese stage debut in 1934 in Carl Millöcker's Der Bettelstudent (The Beggar Student).

Movies & TV Series

1991.

1 TV Series
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