The oldest active actor and tenor in the world Johannes Heesters died at 108 on Christmas Eve
Johannes Heesters (5 December 1903 – 24 December 2011) had been a Dutch actor, singer and entertainer with a career since 1921. Active almost exclusively in the German-speaking world from the mid-1930s, he was a controversial figure for his actions alleged support for the Nazi Party during the Second World War. Even though these accusations against him were alleged by a German author Volker Kühn, the German court did not find Kühn’s allegations were true and regained his fair name. But his fellow citizens in the Netherlands thought Heesters irredeemable.
He was booed off the stage in his first performance as he played the role as a Nazi-hating Captain in the musical “The Sound of the Music” in his homeland, Amsterdam. Forty-four years later when he was 105, he performed in his home country again in February 2008, many protests out of the Opera against his unverified Nazi activities. Heesters felt sad after he knew that he was an unwelcome person in his homeland.
Heesters was born in Amersfoort, Netherlands, was fluent in German. In his youth, he decided to become an actor and a singer at the age of sixteen and began vocal training. Heesters made his debut on Viennese stage in 1934.
Ps. original version published on the website of Taiwan News by Theresa Huang
According to the German mass media report, Heesters talked about his wartime activities, “what did I do wrong? Sure, I acted in films in the Third Reich, entertainment films, which distracted countless people inside and outside Germany from daily life during war.” he continued, “Sure, I wanted to make my career and I remember well at the time how many people in the Netherlands were proud that I made a career in the huge neighbouring country. But apart from my career – and the fact that, through no fault of my own, Adolf Hitler was one of the fans of my art – what have I done?”
An oldest artist in the world died, nevertheless, we mourn over his death in a humanity way.