Freddy Heineken

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Freddy Heineken
Freddy Heineken (1983).jpg
Freddy Heineken in 1983
Alfred Henry Heineken

(1923-11-04)4 November 1923
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died3 January 2002(2002-01-03) (aged 78)
Noordwijk, Netherlands
Resting placeGeneral Cemetery in Noordwijk
ResidenceNoordwijk, Netherlands
Corporate director
Years active1941–2002
Net worthIncrease ƒ 9.5 billion (2002)
Political partyPeople's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Board member ofHeineken International
Spouse(s)Lucille Cummins (m. 1948–2002; his death)
ChildrenCharlene de Carvalho-Heineken

Alfred Henry "Freddy" Heineken (4 November 1923 – 3 January 2002) was a Dutch businessman for Heineken International, the brewing company bought in 1864 by his grandfather Gerard Adriaan Heineken in Amsterdam. He served as chairman of the board of directors and CEO from 1971 until 1989. After his retirement as chairman and CEO, Heineken continued to sit on the board of directors until his death and served as chairman of the supervisory board from 1989 till 1995. At the time of his death, Heineken was one of the richest people in the Netherlands, with a net worth of 9.5 billion guilders.[1]


Early life[edit]

Heineken was born on 4 November 1923 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He was the grandson of Gerard Adriaan Heineken, who was the founder of the brewery Heineken. He entered the service of the Heineken company – which by then was no longer owned by the family – on 1 June 1941 and bought back stock several years later, to ensure the family controlled the company again. He created the Heineken Holding that owned 50.005% of Heineken International; he personally held a majority stake in Heineken Holding. By the time of his resignation as chairman of the board in 1989 he had transformed Heineken from a brand that was known primarily in the Netherlands into a brand name recognized worldwide.


Freddy Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer were kidnapped in 1983 and released on a ransom of 35 million Dutch guilders (about £15.7 million GBPs). The kidnappers Cor van Hout, Willem Holleeder, Jan Boellaard, Frans Meijer, and Martin Erkamps, were eventually caught and served prison terms. Before being extradited, Van Hout and Holleeder stayed for more than three years in France, first on the run, then in prison, and then, awaiting a change of the extradition treaty, under house arrest, and finally in prison again. Meijer escaped and lived in Paraguay for years, until he was discovered by Peter R. de Vries and imprisoned there. In 2003, Meijer halted resisting his extradition to the Netherlands, and was transferred to a Dutch prison to serve the last part of his term.

The films The Heineken Kidnapping (2011) and Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2015) are based on this incident.


Heineken married Lucille Cummins, an American from a Kentucky family of bourbon whiskey distillers. Heineken died unexpectedly from pneumonia on 3 January 2002 at the age of seventy-eight in his home in Noordwijk. The businessman died in the presence of his immediate family, including his daughter Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken. Heineken struggled for some time with deteriorating health, in 1999 he suffered a mild stroke but recovered. Shortly before his death he broke his arm in a fall. Heineken was buried at the General Cemetery in Noordwijk. Heineken's daughter inherited his fortune.[2][3] Heineken was a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).[4]

Popular culture[edit]

A film of the kidnapping De Heineken ontvoering, with Rutger Hauer playing Freddy Heineken, was released in October 2011. A second film, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken, based on De Vries' book about the kidnapping, was produced by Informant Media in 2013 based on the scenario written by William Brookfield. In this film Heineken is played by Sir Anthony Hopkins with the kidnappers played by Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, Ryan Kwanten, Mark van Eeuwen and Thomas Cocquerel.[5][6][7][8]



  1. ^ (in Dutch) Freddy Heineken Archived 2014-05-29 at the Wayback Machine, Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 10 December 2005
  2. ^ (in Dutch) Freddy Heineken overleden, Telegraaf, 4 January 2002
  3. ^ (in Dutch) Freddy Heineken overleden,, 4 January 2002
  4. ^ (in Dutch)Schaduwkoning van Nederland - Profiel: Alfred Heineken, De Groene Amsterdammer, 12 January 2002
  5. ^ (in Dutch) Anthony Hopkins wordt Freddy Heineken, Telegraaf, 12 May 2013
  6. ^ (in Dutch) Hopkins gaat Heineken spelen, NOS, 12 May 2013
  7. ^ (in Dutch) Anthony Hopkins speelt Heineken in nieuwe film over ontvoering, Volkskrant, 13 May 2013
  8. ^ "Sir Anthony Hopkins set to film Heineken kidnap movie". BBC News. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.

External links[edit]