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09 August 2010

Loesje Bouwmeester

Dutch actress Loesje Bouwmeester (1912-?) was born into the most famous stage family of the Netherlands. She had a short film career in the 1930s.

Loesje Bouwmeester
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for De familie van mijn vrouw (Jaap Speyer, 1935).

One of the Worst Films Ever Made in the Netherlands


Loesje Bouwmeester was born as Louise Johanna Maria Vis in 1912. Her parents were Martinus Vis and Roosje Bouwmeester, a daughter of the legendary Dutch stage and film actor Louis Bouwmeester.

Loesje grew up in Batavia in the Dutch Indies (now Indonesia). When she returned to the Netherlands, she started her career on stage in 1932. Her debut was in Op hoop van zegen (The Good Hope), opposite Esther de Boer-van Rijk. She also posed for advertisements,

Her film debut was the comedy De familie van mijn vrouw/My Wife’s Family (Jaap Speyer, 1935), starring Johan Kaart and Sylvain Poons.

This was a light comedy based on an old boulevard play by A. Duprez and A. Milo Bennet with songs by Rudolf Nelson and Jacques van Tol.

Some critics concluded that this was one of the worst films ever made in the Netherlands. It was the last film of its veteran director Jaap Speijer and producer Loet C. Barnstijn.

Loesje Bouwmeester in De familie van mijn vrouw
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for De familie van mijn vrouw (Jaap Speyer, 1935).

Charming Oddity


Loesje Bouwmeester’s next film was Jonge harten/Young Hearts (Charles Huguenot van der Linden, Heinz Josephson, 1936), starring Leo de Hartogh and Rini Otte.

Bouwmeester played a secondary part in this film, which was financed with a heritage and made by two debutant writer-directors. With a group of young actors they filmed the lyrical tale of students on summer holiday on the Dutch island Texel.

The result was a charming oddity in the history of the Dutch film, with beautiful shots of clouds and waves by Otto van Neijenhoff. The critics were enthusiastic, but the public was not interested.

Loesje Bouwmeester married that same year with Piero Zini. With her Italian husband she moved to Milan in Italy, and retired. They had a daughter, Pierluisa Zini.

After her husband's death in 1946, Loesje married Hermanus Adrianus van Roosmalen in 1955, who suddenly died in 1957. After the death of her second husband, she lived again in Italy.

Jonge harten
Dutch film poster for Jonge harten/Young Hearts (Charles Huguenot van der Linden, Heinz Josephson, 1936). Design: Titus Leeser.

Sources: Simon Koster (De Bouwmeesters - Dutch), Henk van Gelder (Hollands Hollywood - Dutch), Cinema.nl (Dutch), Wikipedia (Dutch) and IMDb.