Eric van der Donk in 2005. Photo ANP / Merlijn Doomernik

Eric van der Donk’s acting (1929-2021) has always contained a mixture of sensitivity and something diabolical

Eric van der Donk in 2005.ANP photo/Merlin Domirnick

“Busink remains a family bank with Bussink at its helm.” This phrase appears regularly in TV series old money, in which Eric van der Donk played the role of the head of the family and the manager of the bank. This wonderful series of Maria Goos aired in 1998 and 1999 and ensured that Van der Donk became a popular actor with a wide audience. He died Saturday in his hometown of Arnhem at the age of 92.

Although he had an extensive career behind him, Van der Donk left old money We see that he was one of the greatest representatives of Dutch theater. For example, in that series there was a scene in which he gives his daughter Pup (Saskia Temmink) who wants to leave the family nest a gold necklace. “Now you can always go home,” he would say with a mixture of shyness and boldness.

As far as the quality of the drama is concerned, Van der Donk has already appeared in the series Upon closer examination (After Fosquel’s novel) And in CallAnd About the vicissitudes of a law firm. “As soon as you leave television, you are a well-known Dutchman,” he said in an interview in 1999. de VolkskrantCelebrating the second season of old money. He was referring to the fact that in the midst of his impressive career he suddenly became a well-known Dutchman because he appeared on TV. But he was also happy with it: “It is a pleasure that at the end of your career you can surprise the audience, but also you. The strange thing is that I am constantly asked again; All kinds of delicious snacks on my way.

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A few years ago he had already decided to stop acting in the theater. It is not surprising, if you consider his career, which took place mainly at the Toneelgroep Theater in Arnhem. There he played countless roles from 1960 to 1985, in all possible genres – from tragedies to comedies, from Brecht and Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde and Moliere. In the mid-1980s, he played for a short time in Amsterdam at the Het Publiektheater, including in Silence By Lars Noren became one of his most beautiful roles. In it, the owner of a hotel was an alcoholic in a family on the verge of collapse. The combination of vulnerability and greatness that he showed in him was similar to the role of Albert Finney in the film. under the volcano. There was always a mixture of delicacy and something diabolical in his representation, with his melodic handling of text as the main feature. He was also elusive, both in business and in person. Eric van der Donk possessed a desirable mix of an older, wise man and a subtle boy.

Louis Dore

Acting is a wonderful profession in which I have invested as much energy as possible. He said in a 1999 interview. In 1978 he won the Louis d’Or award for his leading role in Spanish brabandar Van Bredeiro, in 1996, was awarded the Golden Calf Film Award The longest journey By Peter Verhoef on the kidnapping of Gerrit Jan Heine. In 2005, he can be considered as the former politician Max van der Stoel in the TV movie the crownOn the Zorreguieta case.

Van der Donk, who was married and the father of two children, has spent the past few weeks in a nursing home in Arnhem. But in his old age, he attends performances, always interested in what the new generation is doing. He said of his career at the time: “In all humility I can say that I am a decent actor. I screwed up roles, I was vain and coquettish when someone loved me, and I never hid behind it, but I can say I had nothing left to prove.

The fact that a number of his roles are engraved in memory may already be proof of this.

Improvement: An earlier version of this article stated that Eric van der Donk lived in a nursing home for several years. this is not true. He lived there for several weeks.

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