14 April 2016

André van Duin

Funny-looking, reddish André van Duin (1947) is a famous comedian and actor in the Dutch-speaking countries. He is also a singer, writer, and creator of television programs, and he starred in three Dutch film comedies.

André van Duin
Dutch promotion card by CNR, Weesp.

The talent of amusing people

André van Duin was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1947. His birthname was Adrianus Marinus Kloot, which he legally changed to Adrianus Marinus Kyvon in 1966, a few years after taking the pseudonym André van Duin.

As a kid he developed the talent of amusing people, imitating celebrities and singing. At the age of 15 he sent letters to several TV networks, requesting an audition. In 1964 he was discovered when he won the TV talent contest show Nieuwe Oogst (New Harvest), and started appearing as a guest in a few shows, including that of singing father and daughter Willy Alberti and Willeke Alberti.

In 1965 he got the opportunity to do a television programme of his own, Een avondje TV met André/A TV evening with André. From 1967 onwards, he took apprenticeship at comedians Willy Walden and Piet Muyselaar's Snip & Snap theatre shows.

In the 1970s André van Duin set up his own Revue with Frans van Dusschoten as the straight man and Corrie van Gorp. These shows were televised on TROS and in 1975 Van Duin won an award for Dag dag heerlijke lach/Hello hello delicious laugh (1974-1975). During this decade Van Duin recorded several hit songs such as Het bananenlied (1972), a parody of The Banana Boat Song.

In 1972, André van Duin began the radio program Dik Voormekaar Show. First with broadcasting company Radio Noordzee Internationaal, later with the NCRV and TROS. He involved his then technician, Ferry de Groot, in the show, becoming the character Meneer de Groot (Mister de Groot). The show continued to air on radio (and for a period also on TV) as recently as 2009.

André van Duin debuted as an actor in the TV series Het meisje met de blauwe hoed/The Girl With The Blue Hat (Dick van 't Sant, 1972), playing an army recruit opposite Jenny Arean. It was a TV version of the film musical Het meisje met den blauwe hoed/The Girl With The Blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934), with Truus van Aalten and Lou Bandy in the Van Duin part.

In 1976, Van Duin had a massive hit with the song Willempie. Parents of mentally challenged children considered his performance offensive. Van Duin escaped legal actions by apologising on television. Later that year, Van Duin released And're Andre (The Other Andre), an album stripped of wackiness that became the first of five volumes.

André van Duin
Dutch postcard by Postcheque en Girodienst, 's-Gravenhage. Illustration: n.n.

André van Duin
Dutch postcard by Nederlands Artisten Management, Rotterdam.

Both serious and wacky

André van Duin made his film debut with Pretfilm/Fun Film (Robert Kaesen, 1976) in which he played various characters with his croonies from his stage and TV comedies, Frans van Dusschoten and Corrie van Gorp. In 1981 he starred with the same team in another comedy, Ik Ben Joep Meloen/I am Joep Melon (Guus Verstraete, 1981), which was another reasonable success.

In 1982 followed his most ambitious film, De Boezemvriend/The Bosom Buddy (Dimitri Frenkel Frank, 1982), partly an adaptation of the Danny Kaye film The Inspector General (Henry Koster, 1949). Van Duin portrayed charlatan dentist Fred van der Zee who is mistaken for Napoleon's delegate. De Boezemvriend was considered a failure and Van Duin hasn't returned to the big screen since.

Cartoonist Toon van Driel created André's own comic book series in 1987. Very popular was the WWF-promoting TV series Animal Crackers (1988). Van Duin and his new stable-mate Ron Brandsteder were team-captains in the TV show Wie ben ik?/Who am I? (1989), hosted by Caroline Tensen.

Between 1993 and 1999 Van Duin made television shows for RTL. In 2007 the André's Nieuwe Revue-tour was launched; Belgium was visited in November 2008 for five shows in Antwerp. In 2009 he made a new series of Dik Voormekaar Shows. In 2010, Van Duin released the cd Dubbel, made up of both serious and wacky songs.

During his career, André van Duin had 41 singles in the Dutch Top 40, 22 of those reached the Top 10 of which 3 singles became number one. André van Duin was in a relationship with Wim van der Pluym from 1974 until 1995, when Van der Pluym died. Van Duin married Martin Elferink in 2006. In 2013, he returned to TV as Petrus in the hit series 't Schaep met de 5 pooten/The Sheep with five legs. On stage, he impressed with his role in The Sunshine Boys (2015).

De Dik Voormekaar Show

De Dik Voormekaar Show
Dutch postcards by Gebr. Spanjersberg, Rotterdam / Antwerpen, 1979. Photos: NAM / Direct Promotion. Publicity stills for the TV series De Dik Voormekaar Show (Guus Verstraete, 1977-1979). TV version of the popular radio program with André van Duin and Ferry de Groot in which the various characters were portrayed on screen by hand puppets in the first season (1977-1978) and full body costumes in the second (1978-1979).

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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