Cape Town – Veteran South African film producer, Bill Troskie, has died. He was 84.
Bill the older brother of Boet Troskie, died in Bloemfontein on Thursday night following an extended illness. Mireschen Troskie-Marx, speaking on behalf of the family, told the OFM radio station in the Free State that the family is deeply saddened by the death of the businessman, whose funeral will take place on 12 April at the Dutch Reformed Church Bloemfontein North known as the Klipkerk.
Bill and Boet created their banner, Mimosa Films, in 1964 in Bloemfontein and teamed up with the legendary film director Jamie Uys to produce various South African films.
These went on to achieve blockbuster status worldwide thanks to the film production and distribution company's interaction with Hollywood as one of the first and only of its kind in South Africa working with the United States' film industry at a time when the idea of "Hollywood" for the local biz seemed a faraway and elusive dream.
Following Three Wise Men, the film was followed by Lost in the Desert/Dirkie, Animals are Beautiful People that won a Golden Globe, Funny People I, Funny People II, The Gods Must be Crazy I and The Gods Must be Crazy II which all enjoyed massive success at the South African and international box office.
Bill's first film as producer was Staal Burger (1969) and he went on to produce Die Rebel (1976), Sonja (1978), Night of the Puppets (1979) and Beloftes van Môre (1981).
The Gods Must be Crazy holds the record as the most commercially successful release in the history of South Africa's film industry for a South African produced film.
With the distribution of The Gods Must be Crazy (1980) Bill took over operations of Mimosa Films as acting CEO for a few years when his brother Boet moved to America to oversee the film's contract deals.
Mimosa Films is widely considered South Africa's most successful film production and distribution company, and the first South African company to pave the way to stardom in Hollywood. Later Bill Troskie and his wife, Yvonne, started several other businesses.