John Van Dreelen Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (7) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Birth NameJacques van Drielen Gimberg
Height 5' 10½" (1.79 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The son of a celebrated Dutch actor, John Van Dreelen may have come by his debonair countenance with a bit of help from his continental pedigree. Fluent in several languages, he was reported to have escaped a concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Holland by disguising himself as one of the German officers he would later play so often on both big and small screens.

Though he bookended and sprinkled his career with appearances in many European films, Van Dreelen is best remembered as an A-list guest star in dozens of American television shows from the early 1960s to the mid-'80s. Never a major player in American theatrical films, he nonetheless scored a few choice roles, including the Danish concert pianist who rescues and woos Lana Turner during an extended sequence in Madame X (1966). Van Dreelen also enjoyed an international stage career and starred in the original American touring production of "The Sound of Music." Despite his close identification with despotic roles, he also easily breezed through light drama and comedy and cut a dashing and memorable figure in 1960s pop culture oeuvre.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: David Durrett (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (3)

Jane (? - ?) (divorced)
Rand, Rosemary (? - ?) (divorced)
Detomayo, Rosemary (? - 4 September 1992) (his death)

Trivia (7)

Was invited by Laurence Olivier to co-star in his 1950 production of "Daphne Laureola" (he also changed his stage name from Jack Gimberg to John Van Dreelen). Following a tour of England, the play landed briefly in New York. Restrictive immigration laws made it impossible for him to stay in America, and he returned to Europe. He returned to America a number of years later.
Made his US film debut in A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958). Director Douglas Sirk was instrumental in helping John and his wife Jane emigrate to America.
Played Captain Von Trapp in the first national tour of "The Sound of Music" opposite Barbara Meister and later Jeannie Carson. He was considered composer Richard Rodgers's first choice to play the movie role that eventually went to Christopher Plummer.
Played Audrey Hepburn's husband in both the English and French versions of the little-seen movie We Go to Monte Carlo (1951).
Son of Dutch actor Louis Gimberg and the French baroness Labouchere.
Sent to Papanburg concentration camp during WWII, he joined a performers' troupe, and during one performance managed to grab a German officer's uniform from the audience cloak room and escaped in disguise.
Fluent in Dutch, English, French, German and Italian.

Salary (1)

Von Ryan's Express (1965) $30,000

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page