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Subject: Has Anyone Ever Heard of Johan Heesters?

Written By: Henk on 12/17/07 at 4:25 pm

Of course you haven't...so let me tell you:

Johannes Heesters (born December 5, 1903) is a Dutch actor, singer and entertainer who can look back on an 85-year career, almost exclusively in the German-speaking world.
As of 2007, aged 104, Heesters holds the record of being the oldest performer worldwide who is still active, both on the stage and on television.

(Source:  Wikipedia)


http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/2/17/785141/JohanHeesters.jpg


Although this is an exceptional achievement, there have never been any celebrations marking Mr. Heesters'  jubilees (well, not in The Netherlands anyway). One reason for this is that he's hardly known in The Netherlands (because he spent most of his life in Germany and other German-speaking countries). The other (and main) reason, however, is that he is considered a collaborator during WW II. He continued performing in Germany during WW II, and has never condemned the nazi regime. He visited Dachau concentration camp where he met with SS troops (pictures of this event are known to exist), and although Mr. Heesters has repeatedly stated that he did not perform for the SS troops, this is (still) taken very seriously over here. It has damaged his career over here forever. The Germans, on the other hand, love him to death...
The last time Mr. Heesters has ever performed in The Netherlands was back in 1963. He was booed off stage.
Now, aged 104, he will make his comeback. On February 16, 2008, he will be performing in a theatre in his birthplace, the town of Amersfoort. Needless to say, I think, that this has aroused some old sentiments. Not everyone feels like the old man should be coming back to The Netherlands (and not just because he's feeble, nearly blind and has a quavering voice).
Personally, I don't really care. I wasn't planning on attending his performance (or what's left of it) anyway.


Do any of you have any comments/views on the subject?


Subject: Re: Has Anyone Ever Heard of Johan Heesters?

Written By: Paul on 12/17/07 at 4:34 pm

I suppose he's at the age where he's past caring about the public's perception of him and just wants to visit his roots one last time...

(That's assuming he doesn't fall off his perch in the meantime!)

If his return has still 'aroused some old sentiments', then I shouldn't think he'll be playing to a packed house...

Think Gary Glitter attempting a UK tour...different circumstances, but same result!

Subject: Re: Has Anyone Ever Heard of Johan Heesters?

Written By: Henk on 12/17/07 at 4:55 pm


I suppose he's at the age where he's past caring about the public's perception of him and just wants to visit his roots one last time...

(That's assuming he doesn't fall off his perch in the meantime!)


I'm quite sure this will be his final act, no matter what. Statistically, there is indeed a good chance he will not make it another two months.


If his return has still 'aroused some old sentiments', then I shouldn't think he'll be playing to a packed house...


That's where you're mistaken...the performance has nearly sold out.


Think Gary Glitter attempting a UK tour...different circumstances, but same result!


His crimes are of a much more recent date, so there's a lot more people that remember.

Subject: Re: Has Anyone Ever Heard of Johan Heesters?

Written By: Paul on 12/17/07 at 5:02 pm


That's where you're mistaken...the performance has nearly sold out.


Perhaps it's sold out because people want to see him fall off his perch...live on stage! (Aren't I wicked?  :D)

Subject: Re: Has Anyone Ever Heard of Johan Heesters?

Written By: Henk on 12/18/07 at 12:07 am


Perhaps it's sold out because people want to see him fall off his perch...live on stage! (Aren't I wicked?  :D)


Some might... But when asked, most people told they are coming to hear him sing.

Subject: Re: Has Anyone Ever Heard of Johan Heesters?

Written By: Henk on 02/15/08 at 3:20 pm


I'm quite sure this will be his final act, no matter what. Statistically, there is indeed a good chance he will not make it another two months.


Mr. Heesters is still alive (although not very well) and will be performing as planned tomorrow. A nasty tumble on New Years Day nearly spoiled the game...

A dozen or so television crews will be there to record the historic event. I doubt any of you will be watching it, though (heck! I won't even be watching!)

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