sees a little girl asleep on a bench tired after a day on the
South Beach, Durban. About what could she be dreaming?
Huge pink candy floss, or perhaps playing herself on the stage
of a huge audience in the Bellville Civic centre auditorium,
dancing her examination work on the still new Baxter theatre,
modelling clothes for some of the country’s top photographers,
playing the piano in a documentary on making pianos? Could she
possibly be dreaming of being close up to the elephants and the
Knysna bush where she takes part in a film based on Dalene
Matthee’s novel, Circles in the Forest, or singing the part of
one of the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music for two
seasons in the Nico Malan (now Arts Cape) theatre? Here, she
also acted and sang in Pieter Fourie’s drama, Die Joiner. Could
she possibly have dreamt about doing voice-over and acting in
radio dramas standing on a box to reach the microphone before
she even reaches high school?
Dorette Potgieter made her debut at the
tender age of five in the Afrikaans production 300-Plus,
celebrating the tercentenary of Jan van Riebeeck's landing.
At age six she was acting and singing in the musical production of
followed by The Sound of Music as Brigitta. She worked on radio
dramas and various dubbings for South African Television from
1980. It was in 1989 that Dorette made her debut in film,
playing the young Jane in Circles in the Forest, directed by Regardt van den Bergh. Some may remember her as the
launched on SA television in 1989.
She slipped seamlessly from Afrikaans to English, from
acting to dancing to modelling to singing. This she continued in
high school - getting top marks for her schoolwork while she
managed the lead part in Jennifer Louw's ballet production of
Mary Poppins. In spite of a fear of heights, she was lowered on
a trapeze onto the stage floor,
seemingly floating from the sky with her umbrella!
At sixteen, she won a countrywide hair competition with prizes
that included a motor car. She sold the car,
remaining two years of school in one at a private school and her
career took off!
After matriculating with Drama and Ballet, she pursued a career in
theatre, film, and international modelling. She also found time to
attend Drama at the University of Stellenbosch, Musical Theatre
at Pretoria Technikon, the UCT Ballet
School, and more
recently a 6-week Film Acting Masters Course at AFDA in Cape
"Some dreams are indeed made of this
kind of success".
She became a
South African soap star in 1997 & 1998 as the "ice
queen" Susan Bosman in Egoli Place of Gold, after which Dorette pursued her
acting career on the International market. More recent
television leads includes: Voete van Goud directed by Rob Riley,
Soutmansland and Vleisvreters directed by Gerrit Schoonhoven, Fishy Fashuns on SABC 2,
Charlie Jade as Mrs. Ajax (Canadian co-production for SABC 3),
Madam and Eve produced by Roberta Durrant for Penguin Films,
Villa Rosa as Wanda Retief, the bitch of this popular kykNET/Mnet
series, a cameo appearance in Sorted - for SABC3 directed by
Craig Freemont, and Going Up, as Leticia Cummings for SABC2.
Besides smaller parts in films, documentaries and
corporate presenting, she also played lead parts in three films
opposite well know actors like Jerry Springer, Armand Assanté, Christopher
Lambert, Greg Wise and Patrick Bergen.
These were Citizen Verdict, directed by Philippe Martinez
opposite Jerry Springer, The Piano Player - opposite Christopher Lambert
and directed by Jean
Pierre Roux, and as Vicky Young - the
lead in Africa, opposite Greg Wise and directed by Paul Matthews.
In between shoots and auditions, she busies herself with a
cabaret at local Arts Festivals, does charity work on the Cape
passionately for a toxic free environment, paints, writes
poetry, and gives method-acting tuition to an eager young
To be talented is one thing. To be successful means dedication,
hard work, and discipline. Dorette Potgieter was prepared to add
ingredients to her creative life to be able to do what she loved.