Award-winning actor, Jacques Bessenger, is best known for his role as Renier in the popular television drama series, Erfsondes. Renier is one of the main antagonists in the series and Jacques’ portrayal of this character has earned him a 2013 SAFTA nomination & ATKV Mediaveertjie award as Best Actor in a Drama Series. Although Jacques is praised for his ability to depict dark and sinister characters, he is also admired for the ease with which he portrays pleasant and heroic roles. Jacques received a NuMetro KykNET Silwerskerm award in 2012 for his portrayal as the courageous Robert McLachlan in the critically acclaimed film, Verraaiers. He also received a Tempo Award nomination as Actor of the Year for his work in Erfsondes and Verraaiers.
Jacques played Armand in the box office hit, Wolwedans in die Skemer (2012). He voiced the same part in the radio drama version of this thriller. He was also seen in the film Ordinary People. Other film credits include Ballade vir’n enkeling(2015), Sink(2016), Modder en Bloed(2016), Krotoa(2017) and Kanarie(2017).
Jacques ’professional television career began shortly after he completed his National Diploma in Drama in 2001. In 2002 he landed a leading role in the drama series Song vir Katryn on KykNET. More roles soon followed. Some of the most significant television series in which Jacques has starred include Erfsondes, Jozi Streets, Justice for All, House of Love, Thisa, Getroud met Rugby, Donkerland, Fluiters and Keeping Score. Jacques has also appeared in several popular South African soap series, such as 7de Laan, Villa Rosa and Binnelanders and in the daily drama, Isidingo where he played Dr Bertillon opposite reputable actors Mary-Anne Barlow and Robert Whitehead. International work include the miniseries, Madiba, and HBO’s Warrior.
Jacques’ talents are not only evident in front of the camera or behind a microphone, but also on stage. Jacques has been entertaining theatre audiences across the country for the past 10 years. He was a cast member of Kringe in ‘n Bos; he performed alongside Amanda Strydom in Chris Vosters’ Die Kabaret; he performed at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in plays such as Death by Numbers, The Zoo Story and The Quiet Violence of Dreams. Jacques performed in Die Afrikaner with Gys de Villiers; was seen in the controversial Dalliances; and portrayed the part of Reverend Paris and reverend Hayle in The Crucible which was nominated for an Naledi award for best production in 2011. Jacques portrayed the role of Josef in the musical Jesus die Musiekblyspel at the Pretoria State Theatre. His most recent theatre credits include New Foudland and Driving Miss Daisy, where he stars opposite Sandra Prinsloo and John Kani.
Apart from Jacques’ experience as a performer, he has also directed a number of theatre productions. He was the artistic director for the ACT/DALRO/NEDBANK Scholarship Finale (2010 – 2015). More directing projects include F.A.T for he Grahamstown Arts Festival, Fiona Coins’ Careful, Ligte Uit, Slaggat and Trek.
Jacques has presents several workshops on the craft of acting and is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others. He thoroughly enjoys the creative developmental process, whether on stage, backstage, in front of the camera or behind it. He is a versatile performer, an artist who is committed to his craft and a passionate entertainer and teacher.