South African writer and Egoli creator Franz Marx dies of Covid-19 complications

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Franz Marx
Franz Marx
Photo: Getty Images

  • South African writer and director Franz Marx has died at the age of 78 of Covid-19 complications.
  • Speaking to Channel24, author Leon van Nierop said that Franz died on Sunday at 9:45. 
  • A force in the South African TV industry, Franz is best-known for creating M-Net's Egoli - Plek van Goud which ran from 19 seasons from 1992 to 2010.

South African writer and director Franz Marx has died. He was 78.

Speaking to Channel24, author Leon van Nierop said that Franz died of Covid-19 complications on Sunday at 9:45 in Pretoria.

Starting his career in TV as a full-time actor in 1968 and later director, Franz went on to write numerous TV series, and mini-series between 1980 and 2000. 

Franz adapted the soap opera format for the South African audience with the record-breaking Agter Elke Man (Behind Each Man), which dominated TV for four years, between 1985 and 1988.

He is most well-known for creating M-Net's Egoli - Plek van Goud (Egoli - Place of Gold), which ran for 19 seasons from 1992 to 2010. 

In a tribute to Franz, Leon wrote on Facebook: "He taught all of us who tried to write soap operas (with an emphasis on trying) how to construct soap operas and write summaries of each episode. Also what to do and what not to do."

He went on to say: "I still remember working with him on Christmas Day on some of the first episodes of Egoli. He was a workaholic ('I always work in the mornings, do not bother me in the mornings Leon,') who gave his life for the soap opera, especially at the beginning."

"What a loss. One could have written books about him. But first, this tribute to Franz as the undisputed and highly-respected king of soap operas. Many people who still write soap operas today have learned from him. A big one is gone," said Leon.


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