7de Laan pays tribute to Christine Basson: 'She had the sharpest wit and a high-voltage sense of fun for life'
Cape Town - The creators and series director of SABC2's weekday Afrikaans soap, 7de Laan, shared a rich oral history of Christine Basson's legacy to South Africa's performance arts in theatre, film and television.
Christine Basson, known for her iconic TV roles as Marietjie Barnhoorn in Agter Elke Man and Nora Naudé in Egoli died on Monday at the age of 78.
Following the end of Egoli in 2010, Christine Basson worked as a dialogue coach from 2011-2014 on Danie Odendaal Productions' 7de Laan.
"Christine was an extremely talented and a familiar face in the South African television industry. I remember when Egoli started she was one of the leading actresses who carried the role out with the utmost professionalism and passion," friend Annie Basson told Channel24 on Monday.
"In her time at 7de Laan when she was a dialogue coach she honed and sharpened our actresses and actors' skills and talents through her meticulous guidance. She is one of the most professional people I have encountered in this industry," she adds.
Danie Odendaal, founder and producer of 7de Laan said: "Christine Basson's passing is a great loss to us. She has made a valuable contribution to 7de Laan in her years as a dialogue coach. I can recall that even over a cup of coffee, how she would give one feedback and her honest opinion about the characters and the show. I could always trust her judgement 100%."
Henry Mylne, a longtime friend and industry acquaintance of Christine and currently the series director at 7de Laan said: "I met Christine Basson when I was a student at Stellenbosch University and she was an established professional actress working mainly in Cape Town".
"Christine Basson branched into television when it started in South Africa, playing a variety of parts in English and Afrikaans drama productions till she became a household name as Marietjie in Franz Marx's hit series Agter Elke Man."
"I directed her for the first eight golden years as Nora in the first South African hit soap Egoli. She literally closed the studio doors on the last day when Franz stopped shooting Egoli. After that she willingly retired from acting."
"She was however coaxed back for a few years to 7de Laan by Danie Odendaal where we again worked with me as director and she as dialogue coach. Here she could impart her vast knowledge of acting to all permanent and guest artists."
"Our friendship never dented over 30 years I was blessed to have the privilege of directing her so many years in our industry. She was a consummate professional," he adds.
About her personality he said: "She had the sharpest wit and a high-voltage sense of fun for life. Christine was adored by arts management, filmmakers and the public alike. She always dyed her hair a ravishing blonde and was always attired in black. She used to say: 'I come from an era where a gal was either coiffed chestnut brown or pitch black or in my case bottle blonde'."
He speaks about how she will be remembered, saying: "She carried this profession and was constantly in demand. She leaves dozens of colleagues in the industry in deep mourning of a highly respected talent and a straight-down-the-line person who never spoke anything but the truth in her direct 'take no prisoners' demeanour. As she would put it: 'I don't care, but I have a problem with that'!"