John Van Eyssen
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|John Van Eyssen|
Van Eyssen in trailer for "Three Steps in the Dark" (1953)
|Born||Matthew John Du Toit Van Eyssen
19 March 1922
Fauresmith, South Africa
|Died||13 November 1995
Fulham, London, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Shirley Goulden (divorced 1977)|
|Children||David van Eyssen|
John Van Eyssen (born Matthew John Du Toit Van Eyssen, 19 March, 1922 – 13 November, 1995) was a South African born actor, agent and film production executive. He moved to Britain following the Second World War, attending the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Van Eyssen appeared in films from 1950 as well as on stage (playing Cassio in Orson Welles' 1951 production of Othello, for example) but achieved his greatest fame as an actor when he portrayed Jonathan Harker in the Hammer Film Productions version of Dracula (released as Horror of Dracula in the US) in 1958.
He left acting in 1961 to become head of the Grade Organisation literary agency. His subsequent clients were Franco Zeffirelli, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. He left the business in 1965 to work for the UK division of Columbia Pictures, eventually becoming Managing Director in July 1969. Among the films he oversaw were A Man for All Seasons (1966), Born Free (1966), Georgy Girl (1966), To Sir, with Love (1967), The Taming of The Shrew (1967), and Oliver! (1968). Both Oliver! and A Man for All Seasons won Best Picture Academy Awards. In 1970, he was promoted to Worldwide Head of Production (ex-USA) and moved to New York.
After his tenure at Columbia, Van Eyssen became an independent producer, returning to the UK in 1991 to establish Britain's premier showcase for talented young filmmakers, the Chelsea Film Festival. He was longtime companion to Ingrid Bergman in the years before her death in 1982.
His son, David Van Eyssen, is a US-based producer and director known for the webseries RCVR.
- The Angel with the Trumpet (1950) - Albert Drauffer
- Murder in the Cathedral (1951) - 5th Priest
- Four Sided Triangle (1953) - Robin
- Three Steps in the Dark (1953) - Henry Burgoyne
- The Men of Sherwood Forest (1954) - Will Scarlett
- The Cockleshell Heroes (1955) - Marine Bradley
- Brothers in Law (1957) - Mr. Forbes - Barrister. (uncredited)
- The Traitor (1957) - Lieut. Grant
- Quatermass 2 (1957) - The P.R.O.
- Account Rendered (1957) - Clive Franklyn
- The One That Got Away (1957) - German prisoner #5
- Dracula (1958) - Jonathan Harker
- The Whole Truth (1958) - Archer
- Moment of Indiscretion (1958) - Corby
- Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959) - Hewitt
- Carry On Nurse (1959) - Surgeon Stephens
- I'm All Right Jack (1959) - Reporter
- Blind Date (1959) - Insp. Westover
- Make Mine Mink (1960) - Rowson (uncredited)
- The Criminal (1960) - Formby
- Exodus (1960) - Detective (uncredited)
- A Story of David (1961) - Joab
- Like Two Drops of Water (1963) - (uncredited)