Biography: Marcel Van Heerden 50 years in the film industry

Marcel van Heerden (born 1952), is a South African actor and director. He is best known for his roles in the popular films The Flyer, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and White Wedding.

Full biography: Marcel Van Heerden

Image of Marcel Van Heerden the actor.
Image of Marcel Van Heerden the actor.

Full name: Marcel Van Heerden
Date of birth: 1952
Place of birth: Cape Town
Education: Paul Roos Gymnasium
Occupation: Actor
Known for: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Spouse(s): Julia Venter
Networth: Unknown
Nationality: South African

Early life of Marcel Van Heerden

Van Heerden was born in 1952 in Cape Town and grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. His mother Marie van Heerden, was a stage director and actress. Marcel has one brother, Johann van Heerden. His brother was also an actor, but ended up becoming a producer and retired in 2003. Marcel’s brother like him also studied at Stellenbosch University but went on to complete a Doctorate in Drama. [1]

Education of Marcel Van Heerden

Started his drama studies at the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department. Then he moved to the University of Cape Town Drama Department. Where he continued his studies under Robert Mohr and Mavis Taylor. And ended up qualifying with a Bilingual Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama in 1975.

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Marcel went on to become one of the first Afrikaans actors to work consistently in an anti-apartheid theatre. Such as The Space and The Market Theatre, as well as film and television.

Personal life of Marcel Van Heerden

Van Heerden was in a relationship with the singer, Juliana Venter with whom he also collaborated in the performance group Mud Ensemble in the 1990s. The couple has one son, Vincent. Whose date of birth remains unknown as of now.


Marcel van Heerden’s Networth is unknown. The exact number at least. However, considering the longevity of his career. Some sources cite figures between $5million to $7 million. Taking into account his long career in acting, playwright,  writing, directing, producing and creating. Aswell as other ventures he may have picked up along the way.

Career of Marcel Van Heerden

Image of Marcel Van Heerden with Hanna Grobler.
Image of Marcel Van Heerden with Hanna Grobler.

Marcel van Heerden has been working in the entertainment industry since the seventies. Mainly as film actor as well as on television and on the stage. His films include Mapantsula, The Flyer, White Wedding, Durban Poison, Long Walk to Freedom, Pad na Jou Hart and currently ‘n Pawpaw vir my Darling. On television Marcel is known, amongst other productions, for Konings, Onder Draai die Duiwel Rond and The Outcast.

He is also a well-known voice artist and dubbing director. His short film Vryslag, which he wrote and directed, was chosen as the best short film at 2015’s Silwerskermfees (Silver Screen Festival in Cape Town). In 2013 Vryslag, as a radio drama, won the Sanlam-RSG radio playwriting competition. Marcel has a son, Vincent (23), with the singer Juliana Venter. Marcel and Juliana started the performance group Mud Ensemble in the nineties. (Murray la Vita).

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Film roles

His roles in local and international feature films include: Hooper in Savage Encounter (1980), Dial in The Outcast (1984), Jock in ‘n Wêreld sonder Grense (1987), Hussein in Hostage (1987), Lann in Steel Dawn (1987)[1], Stander in Mapantsula (1988)[2], Jobman (1990), Hendrik Erasmus in The Fourth Reich (1990), Salvo in Night of the Cyclone (1991), John the Baptist in The Visual Bible: Matthew (1993),

Trooper Stone in Trigger Fast (1994), Johnnie in Jump the Gun (1997), Freddie in Husk (short film shown at Cannes Film Festival, 1999), Toyota Owner in Hijack Stories (2000), Deek in Glory Glory (2002), Piet in A Case of Murder (2004), September in Max and Mona (2004), Chris Hummell in Red Dust (2004), Anders in The Flyer (2005), Kogla in Beauty and the Beast (2005), Hennie in Everyman’s Taxi (2009), Oudolf in Hond se Dinges (2009), Mr. Fanie van Zyl in White Wedding (2009), Die Prokureur (the attorney) in Molly en Wors, die Movie (2013), Tango du Toit in ‘n Pawpaw vir my Darling (2015).

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Television roles

His roles in South African television drama include [4]: Van Vuurentjie/Sarel van Vuuren in Koöperasiestories (TV1, 1983 and KykNet, 2015), Stoffel in Konings (TV1, 1992), Ricky Vermelho in Torings (TV1, 1994), Basie de Wet in Onder Draai die Duiwel Rond (SABC1, 1997-2012), Daniel in Yizo Yizo (SABC1, 1999), Valken in Arsenaal (SABC2, 2002 and KykNet, 2007 and SABC3, 2011),

Gabriël in Gabriël (SABC2, 2005), Swys van Wyk in Amalia (KykNet, 2005 & 2006 and SABC2, 2010), Marius in 90 Plein Street (SABC2, 2011), Wynand in Donkerland (KykNet, 2013), Spike Swanepoel in Sterlopers (KykNet, 2014), Adam Shore in Thola (SABC2, 2014), Col. van Rensburg in When We Were Black (SABC1, 2014), Chris du Plooy in Suidooster (KykNet, 2015), Jan in Die Boekklub (KykNet, 2016).