30 August 1944 (age 73)
Frederik Jan Georg (Freek) de Jonge (born Westernieland, The Netherlands, 30 August 1944) is a Dutch comedian, performer, writer and singer.
He was born in the village of Westernieland, the son of a pastor. His family moved to Workum, and later to Zaandam and Goes. At age 11, Freek had his first performance on stage. After barely making it through high school, he studied Cultural Anthropology in Amsterdam. During his studies he met Bram Vermeulen and Johan Gertenbach. The three students formed a cabaret group, Neerlands Hoop In Bange Dagen (often referred to simply as 'Neerlands Hoop').
Neerlands Hoop (a duo after Gertenbach's departure) changed Dutch cabaret and comedy forever and became a legendary theatre outfit. They incorporated rock music in their shows: 'Neerlands Hoop Express' (1973-1974) featured a full (and loud!) rock band, 'Bloed aan de paal' (1978) was Neerlands Hoop's loud-rocking protest show against the Dutch national football team participation in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, then a military dictatorship.
In 1979, after the demise of Neerlands Hoop, Freek de Jonge started his solo career and became arguably The Netherlands' most legendary comedian and cabaret/theatre personality of all time.
Freek de Jonge is also an acclaimed writer. He wrote three novels: 'Zaansch Veem' (1987), 'Neerlands Bloed' (1991) and 'Opa's Wijsvinger' (1993). He directed two films: 'De Illusionist' (1983) and 'De Komediant' (1986).
Every once in a while De Jonge draws attention as a recording musician. He wrote a hip hop song with Dutch rapper Brainpower and, in 1994, worked with Dutch band, Nits, under the name Frits. They performed covers of old Neerlands Hoop songs, translated Nits songs into Dutch and recorded newly written material. An album was released in 1995: Dankzij de Dijken.
After this one-off project, Freek de Jonge continued to work with the Nits' keyboard player, Robert Jan Stips: under the moniker Stips they released two albums: Gemeen Goed (1997) and Rapsodia (1998). De Jonge's cover version of Bob Dylan's Death Is Not The End reached the first place of the Dutch hit-parade in 1997. The musical co-operation with Robert Jan Stips continues to this day.
2013 saw the release of De Jonge's very first 'pop' studio album under his own name: Zonde. "More than ever before I feel like a musician now," De Jonge said.
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