The oldest working actor?

The oldest working actor?


norman lebrecht

December 05, 2011

The Dutch actor Johannes Heesters is 108.

He’s still working. See here. His most recent appearance this year was in a short film, titled Ten.

Between 1935 and 1945 Heesters was an active Nazi sympathiser, performing for Hitler and Goebbels and, reportedly, for the SS at Dachau concentration camp. Longevity does not necessarily confer moral merit.



  • john humphreys says:

    true, longevity certainly doesn’t confer moral merit. Was (is) he a good actor? – never heard of him. Plenty examples of lousy, unprincipled artists, musicians, writers. One of my favourite pianists, Alfred Cortot had a particularly bleak record in this regard…….a shame that there is so often no equation between great artistry and great humanity

  • Thomas Moser says:

    A mediocre to poor actor, a miserable singer, but capable of sending German women into ecstasy. Whatever his moral fibre may be no longer interests me (he was filmed a couple of years ago saying that Hitler was “a nice guy” – phooey !). Fact is, his appearances on the German stage are nothing short of freakshow appearances. Someone should “get the hook” and get him OFF the stage. Its embarassing.

  • Thomas Moser says:

    Addendum : His daughter, Nicole Heesters, is a fine actress with greatly deserved success in stage and in tv productions. Fabulous. Just get Dad back to the home, please !

  • David Snyder says:

    Wagner: Genius does not confer moral merit. As for Heesters, what is the moral merit of those who pay him to act?Some very fine people in the USA were prevented from working because their humane morals were in the way of a political agenda.

  • Dr. Adolphus says:

    Johannes Heesters is a great singer and he was (in his day) a fine actor. Not exceptionally good, but fine nonetheless. He was a major star in the Third Reich, and a personal friend to Joseph Goebbels. His looks and connections made him famous, more then his talent.

    He must have very good genes – his daughters are in their 80s, I believe, yet they look maybe 60 at most. He still has a strong voice and a full head of hair.

  • Michael P Scott says:

    Longevity may not necessarily confer moral merit, but we can take some satisfaction that it HAS given him a good long time to ponder his actions.