10 August 2020

Ernst Rückert

Ernst Rückert (1886-1950) was a German stage and screen actor. In the 1910s he was a popular film actor, while in the mid-1920s he starred in so-called Prussian films.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 220. Photo: Atelier Elite, Berlin.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Verl. Herm. Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 226. Photo: Atelier 'Elite', Berlin.

Ernst Rückert
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 686. Photo: Naxos-Film / Verleih E. Weil & Co.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Verlag Ross, Berlin, no. 1062/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Elite, Berlin W.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 4023/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Mac Walten, Berlin.

A sought-after silent film actor


Ernst Rückert was born Anton Ernst Rücker (without -t) in Berlin, Germany, in 1886 (according to IMDb in 1892).

He began his theatre career in 1908 and appeared on stage in Bleicherode, Königsberg, and Kiel, among others. In 1910, he started an engagement at the Luisentheater in Berlin. From 1911, he was a sought-after silent film actor, initially in leading roles at the company Continental Kunstfilm.

In 1912 he played the first officer of the Titanic in the Continental production In Nacht und Eis/In Night and Ice, directed by Mime Misu. The film was produced by Continental-Kunstfilm of Berlin, and while most of its footage was shot in a glasshouse studio, some footage was shot in Hamburg, and some footage was possibly done aboard the German ocean liner SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, then docked at Hamburg. With a running time of 35 minutes, In Nacht und Eis was three times longer than the average film of 1912. Shot in black and white, various scenes were tinted to heighten their impact, such as night scenes in dark blue and a shot of a stoker feeding a burner in red.

From 1914 to 1917, he took part in the First World War. In 1917 he continued his film career and continued to receive leading roles and important supporting roles. In the late 1910s, he was at Deutsche Mutoskop & Biograph  (DMB) the film partner of Lotte Neumann in such films as Hinter verschlossenen Türen/Behind Closed Doors (Paul von Woringen, 1917) and the two-part film Schweigen im Walde/The Silence in the Forest (Paul von Woringen, 1918).

When Neumann left the Deutsche Mutoskop und Biograph, he was the partner of Magda Madeleine in e.g. Die lachende Maske/The laughing mask (Willy Zeyn Sr., 1918).

In the early 1920s, Rückert alternated the various Berlin studios with that of Emelka and in particular Union-Film in Munich. At Union, Franz Seitz was Rückert's regular director, while Dary Holm often had the female lead. At Emelka, Rückert often acted opposite Fritz Greiner, in e.g. the rural drama Der Ochsenkrieg/The War of the Oxen (Franz Osten, 1920).

Rückert was reunited with Lotte Neumann, but while, she played Julia, he had to be satisfied with playing the father of Romeo (Gustav von Wangenheim) in Ernst Lubitsch's Shakespeare spoof Romeo und Julia im Schnee/Romeo and Juliet in the Snow (1920), set in a 19th-century Alpine village. Rückert was enormously productive acting in well 24 films in the year 1920 alone. These were supporting parts, either major ones as the antagonist of the male leads, or smaller parts.

Lotte Neumann in Hinter verschlossenen Türen (1917)
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, K. 2097. Photo: Lotte Neumann-Film, Berlin. Lotte Neumann and Ernst Rückert in Hinter verschlossenen Türen/Behind Closed Doors (Paul von Woringen, 1917).

Lotte Neumann in Hinter verschlossenen Türen (1917)
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, K. 2098. Photo: Lotte Neumann-Film, Berlin. Lotte Neumann and Ernst Rückert in Hinter verschlossenen Türen/Behind Closed Doors (Paul von Woringen, 1917).

Lotte Neumann and Gustav von Wangenheim in Romeo und Julia im Schnee (1920)
German postcard. Ross Verlag, no. 638/2. Photo: Maxim Film. Publicity still for Romeo und Julia im Schnee/Romeo and Juliet in the Snow (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920), with Lotte Neumann (Julia Capulethofer) and Gustav von Wangenheim (Romeo Montekugerl). Behind them, their shocked parents.

Ernst Rückert in Was Steine erzählen (1925)
German postcard by Verlag Ross, Berlin, no. 1062/3, 1927-1928. Photo: Elite, Berlin. Ernst Rückert as Theodor Körner in Was Steine erzählen/What the Stones Tell (Rolf Randolf, 1925).

Ernst Rückert in Die elf Schill'schen Offiziere
German postcard. Ernst Rückert as Fritz von Wedel in Die elf Schill'schen Offiziere/The Eleven Schill Officers (Rudolf Meinert, 1926).

Historical films about the German resistance during the Napoleonic wars


In the mid-1920s, Ernst Rückert had major parts in the so-called Prussian films, historical films about the resistance of the Germans during the Napoleonic wars. In 1925 Rückert starred as Theodor Körner in the period piece Was Steine erzählen/What the Stones Tell (Rolf Randolf, 1925).

In Die elf schill'schen Offiziere/The Eleven Schill Officers (Rudolf Meinert, 1926), Rückert played a major part as Fritz von Wedel, one of a group of Prussian officers who have resisted the Napoleonic army. Their Major, Von Schill is killed and the others are captured, including Udo (Werner Pittschau), in love with Fritz's sister Marie. Fritz takes Udo's place, so Udo can flee with Marie (Mary Nolan). When Udo hears of the death sentence against the officers he runs back but too late.

Rückert had once more the lead as Theodor Körner in another patriotic film with a Prussian theme, Lützows wilde verwegene Jagd/Lützow's Wild Hunt (Richard Oswald, 1927), with Arthur Wellin in the title role. The film deals with a combination of the amorous encounters with a stage actress (Mary Kid) and a modern Jeanne d'Arc (Wera Engels), and the fight of the Germans against Napoleon (Paul Bildt) and his army, and this all in the year 1813, in which Körner died himself.

Less serious was Rückert's part as the Prince in Franz Hofer's remake of his own film, Das rosa Pantoffelchen/The Pink Slippers (Franz Hofer, 1927), with Hanni Reinwald in the female lead.

In the 1930s, Rückert became a minor, often uncredited actor in films. He also rarely got engagements in theater, such as in 1933 at the open-air stage of the Märkisches Museum. Until 1935, he regularly worked in film, with the last bit part in Parkstrasse (Jürgen von Alten, 1939), starring Olga Tschechova. In 1940 he was drafted, in the season 1941/1942, he was an actor and director at the Berlin Tourneetheater Gastspieldirektion IX. Finally, he was assigned to the K.d.F. front theater.

Ernst Rückert survived the war and died in 1950. He was 63 or 57 (the sources differ). According to IMDb, he acted in over 150 films.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, no. 910. Photo: Atelier Eberth, Berlin.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 3000. Photo: Mac Walten, Berlin.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 3001. Photo: Mac Walten, Berlin.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Verlag Ross, Berlin, no. 1062/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Elite, Berlin W.

Ernst Rückert
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4023/2, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Mac Walten.

Sources: Filmportal.deFilmportal.de, Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

09 August 2020

Dana Andrews

American film actor Dana Andrews (1909-1992) was a major Hollywood star during the 1940s. He continued acting in less prestigious roles into the 1980s. He is remembered for his roles as a police detective-lieutenant in the Film Noir Laura (1944) and as war veteran Fred Derry in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), the latter being the role for which he received the most critical praise. During his career, he worked with such directors as Otto Preminger, Fritz Lang, William Wyler, Jean Renoir, and Elia Kazan.

Dana Andrews in Deep Waters (1948)
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 250. Photo: RKO Radio Films. Dana Andrews in Deep Waters (Henry King, 1948).

Dana Andrews
Uruguayan postcard by CF. Photo: RKO Radio Films.

An innocent lynching victim


Carver Dana Andrews was born on a farmstead near Collins in southern Mississippi in Covington County in 1909. He was the third of 13 children of Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister, and his wife, the former Annis Speed. The family relocated subsequently to Huntsville in Walker County, Texas, the birthplace of his younger siblings, including future Hollywood actor Steve Forrest.

Andrews attended college at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and studied business administration in Houston. He left school in 1929 to take a job as an accountant with the Texas oil company Gulf. In 1931, at the height of the Great Depression, he quit his job, and hitchhiked to Los Angeles, hoping to break into show business.

He worked in various jobs, such as working at a gas station in the nearby community of Van Nuys. To help Andrews study music at night, the station owners stepped in ... with a deal: $50 a week for full-time study, in exchange for a five-year share of possible later earnings. Andrews studied opera and also entered the Pasadena Community Playhouse, the famed theatre company, and drama school. He appeared in scores of plays there in the 1930s, becoming a favourite of the company. He played opposite future star Robert Preston in a play about composers Gilbert and Sullivan, and soon thereafter was offered a contract by Samuel Goldwyn. Andrews signed the contract, but it still took two years before Goldwyn and 20th Century-Fox to whom Goldwyn had sold half of Andrews' contract had work for him.

Finally, nine years after arriving in Los Angeles, he made his film debut at 20th Century Fox in Lucky Cisco Kid (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1940) starring Cesar Romero. He was in Sailor's Lady (Allan Dwan, 1940), developed by Goldwyn but sold to Fox. Andrews was loaned to Edward Small to appear in Kit Carson (George B. Seitz, 1940) before Goldwyn used him for the first time in a Goldwyn production: William Wyler's The Westerner (1940), featuring Gary Cooper. Andrews had support parts in Fox films Tobacco Road (1941), directed by John Ford; Belle Starr (Irving Cummings, 1941), with Gene Tierney, billed third; and Swamp Water (1941), directed by Jean Renoir. His next film for Goldwyn was the comedy Ball of Fire (Billy Wilder, 1941), again teaming with Cooper, where Andrews played a gangster.

Back at Fox, Andrews was given his first lead, in the B-movie Berlin Correspondent (Eugene Forde, 1942). He was second lead to Tyrone Power in Crash Dive (Archie Mayo, 1943) and then appeared in the film adaptation of The Ox-Bow Incident (William A. Wellman, 1943) with Henry Fonda. He played an innocent lynching victim, a role often cited as one of his best. Andrews then went back to Goldwyn for The North Star (Lewis Milestone, 1943). He worked on a government propaganda film December 7th: The Movie (John Ford, Gregg Toland, 1943), then was used by Goldwyn again in Up in Arms (Elliott Nugent, 1944), supporting Danny Kaye. Andrews was reunited with Milestone at Fox for The Purple Heart (Lewis Milestone, 1944), then was in Wing and a Prayer (Henry Hathaway, 1944).

Dana Andrews
Dutch postcard by Fotoarchief Film en Toneel, no. 3503. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

Dana Andrews
Dutch postcard, no. a.x. 230. Photo: RKO Radio Films.

A laconic city detective


One of Dana Andrews's famous roles was as a detective in Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944) with Gene Tierney at Fox. His matter-of-fact, deadpan acting style was perfectly suited to laconic city detective Mark McPherson. The Los Angeles Times: "The story of a cynical detective falling in love with a portrait of a supposed murder victim became a classic and seemed to vault Dana Andrews to a level of stardom that he would inhabit for the rest of his career."

He co-featured with Jeanne Crain in the musical State Fair (Walter Lang, 1945), a huge hit, and was reunited with Preminger for Fallen Angel (Otto Preminger, 1945). In 1946, he co-featured with Susan Hayward in an excellent Western, Canyon Passage (Jacques Tourneur, 1946). Andrews did another war film with Milestone, A Walk in the Sun (Lewis Milestone, 1945), then was loaned to Walter Wanger for a Western, Canyon Passage (Jacques Tourneur, 1946).

Andrews's second film with William Wyler, also for Goldwyn, was his most successful: The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946). It was both a popular and critical success with seven Oscars and became the role for which Andrews is best known. Andrews appeared in Boomerang! (1947), directed by Elia Kazan; opposite Merle Oberon in Night Song (John Cromwell, 1947), at RKO; and in Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger, 1947).

In 1947, he was voted the 23rd most popular actor in the U.S. Andrews starred in the anti-communist The Iron Curtain (William A. Wellman, 1948), reuniting him with Gene Tierney, then Deep Waters (1948). He made the comedy No Minor Vices (Lewis Milestone, 1948), then went to England for Britannia Mews (Jean Negulesco, 1949). Andrews went to Universal for Sword in the Desert (George Sherman, 1949), then Goldwyn called him back for My Foolish Heart (Mark Robson, 1949) with Susan Hayward. He also played a brutal police officer in Where the Sidewalk Ends (Otto Preminger, 1950), also with Tierney.

Around this time, alcoholism began to damage Andrews's career, and on two occasions it nearly cost him his life as he drove a car. Edge of Doom (Mark Robson, 1950) for Goldwyn was a flop. He went to RKO to make Sealed Cargo (Alfred L. Werker, 1951) which was the only film he made with his brother, Steve Forrest. At Fox, he was in The Frogmen (Lloyd Bacon, 1951). Goldwyn cast him in I Want You (Mark Robson, 1951), an unsuccessful attempt to repeat the success of The Best Years of Our Lives. From 1952 to 1954, Andrews was featured in the radio series, 'I Was a Communist for the FBI', about the experiences of Matt Cvetic, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Communist Party of the United States of America.

Dana Andrews
Vintage postcard.

Dana Andrews
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 676. Photo: Universal.

Farley Granger and Dana Andrews in Edge of Doom (1950)
Publicity still by Goldwyn Production / RKO Radio Pictures. Farley Granger and Dana Andrews in Edge of Doom (Mark Robson, 1950).

A young hero who no longer looked the part


Dana Andrews's film career struggled in the 1950s. In 1952, with his studio contracts expired, he began to free-lance and formed his own production company, Lawrence Productions. Assignment: Paris (Robert Parrish, 1952) was not widely seen. He did Elephant Walk (William Dieterle, 1954) in Ceylon, a film better known for Vivien Leigh's nervous breakdown and replacement by Elizabeth Taylor.

Duel in the Jungle (George Marshall, 1954) was an adventure tale; Three Hours to Kill (Alfred L. Werker, 1954) and Smoke Signal (Jerry Hopper, 1955) were Westerns; Strange Lady in Town (Mervyn LeRoy, 1955) was a Greer Garson vehicle; Comanche (George Sherman, 1956), another Western. By the middle 1950s, Andrews was acting almost exclusively in B-movies.

However, his acting in two films for Fritz Lang during 1956, While The City Sleeps and Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, and two for Jacques Tourneur, Curse of the Demon (1957) and The Fearmakers (1958), is well regarded. Around this time he also appeared in Spring Reunion (Robert Pirosh, 1957), Zero Hour! (Hall Bartlett, 1957), and Enchanted Island (Allan Dwan, 1958).

By the late 1950s, work was increasingly harder to get. He was typed in films as a young hero, but he no longer looked the part. His hair was turning white. In 1952, Andrews had toured with his wife, Mary Todd, in 'The Glass Menagerie', and in 1958, he replaced Henry Fonda on Broadway in 'Two for the Seesaw'. He stayed in the play for a year, co-starring with Anne Bancroft. It briefly revitalised his career. Andrews began appearing on television on such shows as Playhouse 90, General Electric Theatre, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Twilight Zone, and The Dick Powell Theatre. He also continued to make films like Madison Avenue (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1961). He went to Broadway for 'The Captains and the Kings', which had a short run in 1962.

In 1963, he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild. In 1965, Andrews resumed film work with supporting roles in The Satan Bug (John Sturges, 1965) and In Harm's Way (Otto Preminger, 1965). He also had the lead in Crack in the World (Andrew Marton, 1965), and Brainstorm (William Conrad, 1965). However, he was cast increasingly in supporting roles: such as in the Eurospy film Berlino appuntamento per le spie (Operazione Polifemo)/Berlin, Appointment for the Spies (Vittorio Sala, 1965), The Loved One (Tony Richardson, 1965), and Battle of the Bulge (Ken Annakin, 1965) starring Henry Fonda.

Andrews still played leads in low-budget films like Hot Rods to Hell (John Brahm, 1967). By this time, Andrews had evolved into a character actor, as in the war film The Devil's Brigade (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1968) and the Italian production I diamanti che nessuno voleva rubare/No Diamonds for Ursula (Gino Mangini, 1967). Later, Andrews returned to the leading role of college president Tom Boswell on the soap opera Bright Promise (1969-1971).

Dana Andrews
Dutch postcard by Takken, Utrecht, no. 3532. Photo: RKO Radio Films Foto archief: Film en Toneel.

Dana Andrews
Vintage postcard. Photo: RKO Radio Films.

Controlling his alcoholism


Dana Andrews' increasing alcoholism caused him to lose the confidence of some producers. Andrews took steps to curb his addiction and eventually controlled his alcoholism. He worked actively with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and appeared in a television public service advertisement concerning the subject in 1972.

Andrews spent the 1970s in supporting Hollywood roles such as The Last Tycoon (Elia Kazan, 1976) starring Robert de Niro, and the TV film The Last Hurrah (Vincent Sherman, 1977), with Carroll O'Connor. He also appeared regularly on TV in such shows as Ironside, Get Christie Love!, Ellery Queen, The American Girls, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, and The Love Boat.

It was at this time, the 1970s, that Andrews became involved in the real estate business. Andrews's final roles included the Mini-series Ike: The War Years (Boris Sagal, Melville Shavelson, 1979) in which he played General George C. Marshall, The Pilot (Cliff Robertson, 1980), and the soap opera Falcon Crest (1982-1983). His last film was Prince Jack (Bert Lovitt, 1985).

Andrews had married Janet Murray in 1932. Murray died in 1935 as a result of pneumonia. Their son, David (1933–1964), was a musician and composer who died from a cerebral hemorrhage. In 1939, Andrews married a Pasadena Playhouse actress, Mary Todd, by whom he had three children: Katharine, Stephen, and Susan. For two decades, the family lived in Toluca Lake, California.

During the last years of his life, Andrews suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He spent his final years living at the John Douglas French Center for Alzheimer's Disease in Los Alamitos, California. On 17 December 1992, 15 days before his 84th birthday, Andrews died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia. His wife died in 2003 at the age of 86.

Dana Andrews in Sword in the Desert (1949)
Dutch postcard, no. 395. Photo: Universal International. Dana Andrews in Sword in the Desert (George Sherman, 1949).

Susan Hayward and Dana Andrews in My Foolish Heart (1949)
Belgian card, no. 850. Photo: R.K.O. Susan Hayward and Dana Andrews in My Foolish Heart (Mark Robson, 1949).


Trailer Laura (1944). Source: BFI Trailers (YouTube).

Source: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

08 August 2020

The Cinema of Jan Vanderheyden

Outside of Belgium, little is known about the history of the Flemish cinema. The first Flemish sound film, De Witte/Whitey (1934) was an enormous success. The film's director, Jan Vanderheyden, and his wife, German scriptwriter Edith Kiel, made a series of popular folk comedies during the 1930s and early 1940s. The young star of De Witte, Jef Bruyninckx, grew up in their films. Lately, we found a series of rare postcards of the 1940s with some of the stars of the Jan Vanderheyden films.

Jef Bruyninckx in De Witte (1934)
Belgian postcard by Esclamator. Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film. Jef Bruyninckx in De Witte/Whitey (Jan Vanderheyden, 1934), based on the eponymous novel by Ernest Claes. In 1980 a new adaptation by Robbe De Hert would follow.

Jef Bruyninckx (1919-1995) was an important and popular Flemish actor and film and television director. He was one of the founders of both Flemish film production and Flemish television, in which he continued to play an important role later. Bruyninckx was also an editor and taught editing at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent.

Nini de Boël
Belgian postcard by Huis Ern. Thill, Brussel (Brussels). Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film.

Nini de Boël (1898-1982) was a Flemish actress and soprano who was known as the 'Antwerp Nightingale'. She starred in many revues and operettas in the first half of the 20th century, and also appeared in several Flemish films, including the comedy Janssens tegen Peeters/Janssens against Peeters (Jan Vanderheyden, 1939).

René Bertal
Belgian postcard by Huis Ern. Thill, Brussel (Brussels). Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film.

René Bertal (1898-1962) was a Belgian actor who acted in Flemish folk films of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.  Bertal played the title role in the comedy Antoon, de flierefluiter/Anton, the Village Casanova (Jan Vanderheyden, 1942) with Nand Buyl. After this feature,  he appeared in two shorts, the escapist musical short film Muziek is schoon/Music is beautiful (Jan Vanderheyden, 1943), and Een zondags uitstapje/A Trip on Sunday (Jan Vanderheyden, 1943).


Martha Dua
Belgian postcard by Huis Ern. Thill, Brussel (Brussels). Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film.

Belgian actress Martha Dua is known for three Vanderheyden films: the comedy Janssens tegen Peeters/Janssens against Peeters (Jan Vanderheyden, 1939) with Charles Janssens, the sequel Janssens en Peeters dikke vrienden/Janssens and Peeters are close friends (Jan Vanderheyden, 1940) and the soccer comedy Wit is troef/White is Trump (Jan Vanderheyden, 1940).

Jan Vanderheyden


Jan Vanderheyden (1890-1961) was both a film producer and director. He was married to the German filmmaker Edith Kiel, who wrote the scripts for his films.

Their first film, De Witte/Whitey (1934), was also the first Flemish film production with sound. It was also very successful. Weeks after the première in Antwerp's Cinema Colosseum the public kept coming to the picture.

The story describes the boyishnesses of Louis Verheyden (Jef Bruyninckx), a white-haired rascal, nicknamed 'De Witte' (the white one) in Zichem, a village in the countryside. In the film, everything happens from the child's perspective. Edith Kiel added a love story to the original storyline made by Ernest Claes, something the original author did not like. Another adaptation with which the Church instead had difficulties was the minimalised role of the village priest.

In the following years, Vanderheyden and Kiel made such films as Alleen voor U/Only for you (Jan Vanderheyden, 1935), Uilenspiegel leeft nog/Uilenspiegel Still Lives (Jan Vanderheyden, 1935), De wonderdokter/The miracle doctor (Jan Vanderheyden, 1936), Havenmuziek/Music in the Harbour (Jan Vanderheyden, 1937), and Drie flinke kerels/Three good guys (Jan Vanderheyden, 1938). In most of these films, the boys Jef Bruyninckx and Nand Buyl played leading roles.

A huge success was the comedy Janssens tegen Peeters/Janssens against Peeters (Jan Vanderheyden, 1939) starring Charles Janssens, Louisa Lausanne and Jef Bruyninckx. The following year, the sequel Janssens en Peeters dikke vrienden/Janssens and Peeters as good friends (Jan Vanderheyden, 1940) was released.

During the German occupation of Belgium between 1940 and 1944, Vanderheuyden produced four of the six films made by Belgian companies in a market that was otherwise flooded by imported German films. His films included Veel geluk, Monika/Good Luck, Monique! (Jan Vanderheyden, 1941) featuring Louisa Colpeyn, and Antoon, de flierefluiter/Anton, the Village Casanova (Jan Vanderheyden, 1942) with René Bertal.

Vanderheyden hoped to benefit from the Flamenpolitik instituted by the Germans, as Belgian cinema had traditionally been dominated by English and French language films. Vanderheyden made his last film in 1942, after which Belgian feature film production was suspended due to an increasing shortage of film stock.

Antoon Janssens
Belgian postcard by Huis Ern. Thill, Brussel (Brussels). Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film.

Flemish actor Antoon Janssens (1866–1958) is better known as Toontje Janssens. He was one of Belgium's most popular comedians. Since 1929, he appeared in several Belgian films including the comedy Janssens tegen Peeters/Janssens against Peeters (Jan Vanderheyden, 1939) in which he played Granddad Peeters, the soccer comedy Wit is troef/White is Trump (Jan Vanderheyden, 1940) with soccer player Raymond Braine, and the sequel Janssens en Peeters dikke vrienden/Janssens and Peeters as good friends (Jan Vanderheyden, 1940).

Louisa Colpeyn
Belgian postcard by Huis Ern. Thill, Brussel (Brussels). Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film.

Louisa Colpeyn (1918-2015) was a Belgian actress, who worked both in the theatre and in the film. In 1942, she moved to Paris. She appeared in more than thirty films from 1939 to 1983, including Janssens tegen Peeters/Janssens against Peeters (Jan Vanderheyden, 1939) and Veel geluk, Monika/Good luck Monique! (Jan Vanderheyden, 1941) in which she played the title role. Her son is the acclaimed author Patrick Modiano.

Fred Engelen
Belgian postcard by Huis Ern. Thill, Brussel (Brussels). Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film.

Fred Engelen (1912-1967) was a celebrated Belgian stage actor and director in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. He also acted in Flemish films such as Met den helm geboren/Born with the helmet (Jan Vanderheyden, 1939), starring Jef Bruyninckx and Nand Buyl, the comedies Janssens tegen Peeters/Janssens against Peeters (Willem Benoy, Jan Vanderheyden, 1939), Een engel van een man/A man like an angel (Jan Vanderheyden, 1939), and Antoon, de flierefluiter/Anton, the Village Casanova (Jan Vanderheyden, 1942).

Jef Bruyninckx
Belgian postcard by Huis Ern. Thill, Brussel (Brussels). Photo: Jan Vanderheyden-Film.

Jef Bruyninckx (1919-1995) was an important and popular Flemish actor and film and television director. He gained fame through his leading role as De Witte van Zichem in the eponymous Flemish success film De Witte/Whitey by Jan Vanderheyden (1934). In the following series of folk films by Vanderheyden, he also always played one of the main roles. He was one of the founders of both Flemish film production and Flemish television, in which he continued to play an important role later. Bruyninckx was also an editor and taught editing at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent.

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.