Paul de Groot was born in Surabaya, Indonesia on 11 January 1878. Paul de Groot received training for the stage at the Toneelschool in Amsterdam. His directors were two famous men, Eduard Verkade and Louis Bouwmeester. De Groot travelled with repertory companies to the Far East, especially through the Dutch East Indies. He was subsequently employed by the Princesse-Tooneel of Cor Ruys in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and acted in films produced in Hollywood and in Berlin (Ufa). 

In 1924, he travelled to South Africa. Here, several ventures with his own company were a success in terms of artistic excellence but they made no money. He joined Hendrik Hanekom’s company as artistic producer in July 1926, upon which the company was named the Paul de Groot company. He left South Africa in 1935. Most of his successes, which include Huistoe (Heimat by H. Sudermann), Oorskotjie (Scampolo by Dario Niccodemi) and Besigheid is besigheid by Cor Ruys), were productions performed in the Netherlands and on tour in the Far East. De Groot also ventured to produce original Afrikaans plays, one of them Die misdade van die vaders by A. du Biel. He was the theatre and drama mentor of several Afrikaans repertory companies. De Groot left South Africa for Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1935 and later returned to the Netherlands.

Until April 1940, when De Groot left the Netherlands for the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), he still appeared in productions. He presumably died in the Dutch East Indies, during the Japanese occupation. The place of his death is not known. Sources differ on the date of his death, some give it as c.1942


Beyers, C.J. et al.(eds).(1981). Dictionary of South African Biography, Butterworth: Durban, v. 4, p. 113.|Potgieter, D.J. et al.(eds). (1971). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, NASOU: Cape Town, v. 3, p. 620. 

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