06 August 2016

Annet Nieuwenhuyzen (1930-2016)

Yesterday, 5 August 2016, Dutch stage, TV and film actress Annet Nieuwenhuyzen (1930-2016) has died. She was one of the Grand Dames of the Dutch theatre. Nieuwenhuyzen won many awards, including a Golden Calf for her part in the film Leedvermaak (1989). She was 85.

Eric Schneider, Annet Nieuwenhuyzen
Dutch card to promote the stage musical Ja, ik wil/I do! I do!, a coproduction by Nieuw Rotterdams Toneel and Paul Kijzer. Annet Nieuwenhuyzen and Eric Schneider were the leads.

One of the icons of the Dutch stage

Annet Nieuwenhuyzen (sometimes written as Nieuwenhuijzen) was born in 1930 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In 1953, she made her stage debut at De Haagse Comedie in The Hague after being spotted in a student production of the play Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams. She was studying political and social sciences in Amsterdam at the time.

Although she never trained as an actress, Nieuwenhuyzen became one of the icons of the Dutch stage during her long career. She played important parts for the Dutch theatre companies De Haagse Comedie, Het Rotterdams Toneel, Globe, Publiekstheater and Toneelgroep Amsterdam. She starred in the Greek classics and the plays by Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen en Berthold Brecht.

Twice, she won the Dutch version of the Tony Award, the Theo d'Or for Best Actress, for her performances in the plays Barefoot in the Park (1965) / Mourning becomes Electra (1965) and for The Good Person of Szechwan (1975). She also appeared in lighter genres. She proved to be a gifted singer in musicals like Ja, ik wil/I do! I do! and A Little Night Music.

She was also a beloved television actress and appeared in such acclaimed TV drama series as Bij nader inzien/On closer inspection (Frans Weisz, 1991), Oud Geld/Old Money (Rudolf van den Berg, 1998-1999), Wet & Waan/Law & Delusion (Ben Sombogaart a.o., 2000), and Keyzer & De Boer Advocaten/Keyzer & De Boer Lawyers (Pim van Hoeve a.o., 2006-2007).

Annet Nieuwenhuyzen was the wearer of the Theo Mann-Bouwmeesterring; the highest award for a Dutch actress. In 1994 she forwarded the ring to actress Anne-Wil Blankers.

Dutch trailer for Zus & zo/Hotel Paraiso (2001). Source: Nederlands Film Festival (YouTube).


Annet Nieuwenhuyzen also appeared in several films. Her cinema debut was the comedy Kleren maken de man/Clothes make the man (Georg Jacoby, 1957), starring Kees Brusse. Later, Nieuwenhuyzen appeared in such films as Een pak slaag/Mr. Slotter's Jubilee (Bert Haanstra, 1979), again opposite Kees Brusse, and Afzien/Forgo (Gerrard Verhage, 1986), starring Gerardjan Rijnders.

For her role in the film Leedvermaak/Polonaise (Frans Weisz, 1989) about a Jewish family after WW II, she was awarded the Gouden Kalf, the Dutch Academy Award, for Best Actress. Chip Douglas at IMDb: “The film was critically lauded and received a number of prices, including 'Golden Calf' awards for (director Frans) Weisz, (actor Pierre) Bokma and Nieuwenhuijzen. This inspired the director, the playwright and the entire cast to reunite a dozen years later for Qui vive (following the same family in the Eighties) and another eight years after that with Happy End (the final part set in the Nineties).”

Other films in which Annet Nieuwenhuyzen appeared were Zus & zo/Hotel Paraiso (Paula van der Oest, 2001), and the mockumentary Master Class (Hans Teeuwen, 2007).

Annet Nieuwenhuyzen had a longtime relationship with former TV presenter Kick Stokhuyzen, and since 2012, she was married to theatre historian Xandra Knebel. Actor Victor Reinier is her nephew.

Trailer Happy End (2009). Source: Nederlands Film Festival (YouTube).

Sources: Chip Douglas (IMDb), De Volkskrant (Dutch), Theaterencyclopedie (Dutch), Dutch News, Wikipedia (Dutch) and IMDb.

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