|ACTOR, SINGER (THE NETHERLANDS)|
BORN 5 Dec 1903, Amersfoort - DIED 24 Dec 2011, Starnberg, Bayern: Klinikum Starnberg|
REAL NAME Heesters, Johan Marius Nicolaas
GRAVE LOCATION München, Bayern: Nordfriedhof, Ungererstrasse 130 (056)
Johannes Heesters (Jopie for his friends) took singing and acting lessons in Amsterdam. In 1921 he debuted in a Dutch version of Shakespeare's "Midsummernight's Dream". In 1930 he married the actress Louisa H. Ghijs. They moved to Germany in 1934 and there Heesters became a very succesful movie star and operetta singer.
He wasn't actively involved in politics but he frequently met important nazis including Hitler himself. In 1941 he was invited to visit concentration camp Dachau. After the war he denied that he had been there. Accusations that he had performed in Dachau for officers of the SS were not proven but he had to admit that he had visited Dachau.
After the war he was no longer welcome in the Netherlands but in Germany he continued his career. From 1960 onwards he concentrated on the stage. His wife died in the 1980s and in 1992 he married the actress Simone Rethel, who was 46 years his junior.
He continued acting until he was well over 100 years old. When he was about 105 years old he said on television that Hitler had been a nice person (to him at least) but he distanced himself from Hitler's politics. During his last years he was blind and Simone cared for him until he died in 2011, aged 108.
cooperated with Rökk, Marika