Renée Soutendijk

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Renée Soutendijk
Renée Soutendijk 1992.jpg
Renée Soutendijk in 1992
Born Renette Pauline Soutendijk
(1957-05-21) 21 May 1957 (age 60)
The Hague, Netherlands
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Theo Lenssen[1]

Renette Pauline Soutendijk (born 21 May 1957), known professionally as Renée Soutendijk, is a Dutch actress. She was a favorite star of director Paul Verhoeven's films and is perhaps best known for her work in his 1980 release Spetters. Her good looks and striking blond hair secured her status as a Dutch sex symbol in the 1980s.[2][3][4] She has also played a number of television and stage roles, and is one of the leads in the 2012 RTL 4 television series Moordvrouw.


A former gymnast, Soutendijk made her television debut in the Dutch television series Dagboek van een herdershond (1979–1980). She began her film career playing sexy blonde heroines in the Paul Verhoeven-directed cult films Spetters (1980)[5] and The Fourth Man (1983). Spetters established her as a sex symbol; the movie and its star attracted attention in the United States as well,[6] and The New York Times saw her "stylish performance" of a "compelling character" as a focal point of the movie.[7] In the early 1980s, Soutendijk, Monique van de Ven, and Willeke van Ammelrooy were the three best-known actresses in Dutch cinema, and most movies featured one of the three.[1] The movie that marked her breakthrough as an actress in a major role, though, is considered to be The Girl with the Red Hair (1981), in which she played Dutch resistance fighter Hannie Schaft.[8] From 1981 to 1989 she played in Zeg 'ns Aaa, one of the longest-running and most popular Dutch sitcoms.

Soutendijk's first English-language role was as Eva Braun in the made-for-TV movie Inside the Third Reich. Her subsequent TV movie roles included Anna Mons in Peter the Great (1986) and Mrs. Simon Wiesenthal in Murderers Among Us (1989).[9] She sought a career in Hollywood and lived in the United States for a year and a half, taking her six-year-old daughter Caro with her but leaving her husband in Amsterdam.[1] She played opposite Academy-award nominee Chris Sarandon in the Holocaust-themed movie Forced March (1989), and the title character in Eve of Destruction (1991). According to Soutendijk, she was screen tested when other American actresses were reluctant to take on such an action-packed role; producers were reluctant to hire a relatively unknown actress "with an unpronounceable surname", so director Duncan Gibbons had to finance her himself.[10] But she returned to the Netherlands, unhappy with the prospects offered her (a seven-year contract for a Star Trek series, she later said) and with the strain it placed on her marriage.[1]

In the late 1990s, after another Dutch film (De Flat) flopped,[11] she took a break from Dutch cinema and played in German television movies (and series, including Tatort) in which, she said, she was rarely typecast and played more interesting characters.[1] Dial 9 and Met grote blijdschap (With Great Joy), which were both released in 2001, marked her return to the Dutch movie-screen after a four-year absence.[1] Since 2001, Soutendijk played roles in television shows and as a stage actress, playing for instance Queen Juliana (2006)[12] and a woman dying of cancer in Margaret Edson's Wit (2010).[13][14][15] In 2011, Soutendijk was given the Rembrandt Award for her body of work.[16] That same year, news came that Soutendijk was to star in a television series for RTL 4, Moordvrouw, a police drama.[17][18]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ockhuysen, Ronald (24 August 2008). "Het meisje voorbij". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Sweeney, Louise (30 September 1985). "European festival splices diplomacy, fine films". Christian Science Monitor. pp. 25–26. 
  3. ^ "What's On: Out of Order". The Age. 6 November 1987. Retrieved 29 June 2011. Soutendijk repris[es] her stock blonde sexpot schtick... 
  4. ^ Grant, Lee (15 July 1981). "Spetters: Sexuality and Reality". Los Angeles Times. p. I1. 
  5. ^ Thomson, David. The new biographical dictionary of film. Random House. p. 2838. ISBN 978-0-375-70940-1. 
  6. ^ Kleiner, Dick (3 September 1981). "Fresh from Holland: Renee Soutendijk". Sarasota Journal. p. 10. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Forsberg, Myra (9 August 1987). "Home Video; Movies". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Veraart, Karin (17 July 2001). "Impressies van 20 jaar film". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Murderers Among Us". Los Angeles Times. 23 April 1989. p. 7. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  10. ^ (in Dutch) "Eve of Destruction" by Gary Gelt, Veronica Magazine #18, May 4, 1991. p. 11.
  11. ^ Beerekamp, Hans (7 February 2001). "De Sterren: Reneé Soutendijk". NRC Handelsblad. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Janssen, Hein (27 April 2006). "Wuivende hand op een stokje". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Embrechts, Annette (20 April 2010). "Joods meisje heeft verrassend scherpzinnige kijk op het leven". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  14. ^ "Podiumkunsten". de Volkskrant. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  15. ^ Embrechts, Annette (10 March 2010). "Sterven zonder ontroering". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "New Kids wint Rembrandt Award beste film". de Volkskrant. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "Wendy van Dijk en Renée Soutendijk in nieuwe politieserie". Televizier. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Bakker, Arjen (28 June 2011). "Politieserie is beter dan sponsor-reisshow". Friesch Dagblad. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 

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