Aart Staartjes

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Aart Staartjes
Aart Staartjes in de Stratemakeropzeeshow.png
Aart Staartjes in De Stratemakeropzeeshow (1973)
Aart Staartjes

(1938-03-01) 1 March 1938 (age 81)
Known forPlaying Meneer Aart in Sesamstraat

Aart Staartjes (born 1 March 1938) is a Dutch actor, director, television presenter and documentary maker from Amsterdam. He is well known for his role on Sesamstraat, the Dutch co-production of Sesame Street. On this show, his character's name is Meneer Aart (Mr. Aart) and in this persona he authored a book called Meneer Aart: Leven en werken van de man die geen kindervriend wil heten (Mr. Aart: Life and work of the man who does not want to be named a friend to children).

Staartjes used to present the annual arrival of Sinterklaas in the Netherlands. As of 2005, he retired from this job.

Early life[edit]

Aart Staartjes was born in Nieuwendam, a neighbourhood of Amsterdam-Noord. He had an older brother, and a younger sister. They lived in a house on the Nieuwendammerdijk. His father, his grandfather, and an uncle of his worked in a carpentry shop located behind the house. Staartjes started his primary education at the age of eight.[1] After that, he went to the mulo in Amsterdam, followed by the Kweekschool, a teachers' college. He dropped out of the Kweekschool in 1958, and went to the theater school instead. He graduated in 1961.


Staartjes made his debut in 1961 in Meneer Topaze, based on a play written by Marcel Pagnol in the 1930s.

In 1984, Aart started to play the role of Mr. Aart in Sesamstraat, the Dutch adaptation of Sesame Street. Mr. Aart is a rather grumpy elderly man who always has something to complain about. Especially about the animal characters Pino, Tommie and Ieniemienie. This character was added because critics felt Sesamstraat was too idyllic and needed something to counteract this. Over the years, Mr. Aart gradually became milder developed into a more grandfatherly figure. This probably happened because of the death of Lex Goudsmit, who was considered to be the previous "grandpa" of Sesamstraat.

Personal life[edit]

Staartjes was twenty-two years old when his first child was born. He divorced his first wife sixteen years later. He later married a woman named Hanna.[1]

Filmography (selection)[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sietse van der Hoek (5 October 2002). "Aart Staartjes". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Full Cast and Crew". Oorlogswinter (1975 TV miniseries). 1975.
  3. ^ "Oorlogswinter". episodate.com. Retrieved August 9, 2016.

External links[edit]