Actress/director Wimie Wilhelm: loved for her professionalism and honesty

Film and TV enthusiasts will not soon forget the characteristic low, somewhat hoarse voice of actress, comedian and director Wimie Wilhelm. Between 1998 and 2006 she appeared as watch commander Els Peeters in the police series Baantjer. She also performed in Cops Maastricht and Cop. Last Saturday, September 16, Wilhelm passed away in her hometown of Amsterdam after a short illness at the age of 62; she was suffering from cancer. She was the permanent director of big names from cabaret and theater, including Brigitte Kaandorp, Richard Groenendijk, Jenny Arean, Jörgen Raymann and Bodil de la Parra.

Wimie Wilhelm was born on August 21, 1961 in Amsterdam as Anita Wilhelm, but at the age of 18 she decided to change her first name. After completing a teacher training course, she studied Dutch language and literature at the University of Amsterdam. During her studies, she became involved in the theater world by playing roles in plays by students on the directing course. Since the late 1990s she has acted with, among others, the Noord-Nederlands Toneel, Orkater and Bos Theater Productions. Her last directing was the Parade performance You are also not allowed to say anything anymore from George & Eran Theater Productions.

For years she directed Richard Groenendijk, whom she was also friends with. The comedian calls it “a privilege” to have known Wilhelm on Instagram.


Wilhelm performed numerous roles in major films such as Black book (2006), Pete Bell (2002) and Crumb (1999). In December last year she had a role in it Sinterklaas news. She is praised for her expertise and honesty, Groenendijk said on Facebook: she “brought out the best in you.”

In 2018, Wilhelm directed the autobiographical performance The burned house by Bodil de la Parra, a loving family portrait about De la Parra’s Surinamese and Indian ancestors. The performance was notable for its disarming honesty, poignancy and, above all, the very faithful direction, which made the dramatic climax of a guilty colonial past hit hard.

Wilhelm himself acted in the performance Snakeskin (2005) by Orkater, also based on a text by De la Parra, in which she played the tragic role of Lidwien.

Wilhelm often played such special characters, including as a poor woman (in Pete Bell), in Black book as a prison guard, as a psychologist New neighbours (2014), as a nurse in Goofy (1997) and furthermore as a driver, ex-convict and head of a school.

In the magical-realistic youth film Strong stories from Salt Flood (2008), she played the role of a female angel, a beautiful performance that is still remembered.