Jan Decleir

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Jan Decleir
Jan Decleir in 2003
Jan Amanda Gustaaf Decleir

(1946-02-14) 14 February 1946 (age 76)
Notable work"Priest Daens" in Daens ;
"Dreverhaven" in Character ;
"Angelo Ledda" in The Memory of a Killer
Awards Best Supporting Actor
2007 Wolfsbergen
Culture Prize
2003 Lifetime Achievement
Grolsch Film Award

Jan Decleir (born as Jan Amanda Gustaaf Decleir on 14 February 1946) is a prolific Belgian movie and stage actor born in Niel, Antwerp. [1] [2]



He had his first big role in Fons Rademakers's Mira (1971). Since then, he has appeared in countless Flemish and Dutch films and TV productions. In the world of theater he gained his fame by acting at the International New Scene for the play Mistero Buffo by Dario Fo. To the larger audiences of television he became known through his role of Sil de strandjutter in 1976 in the equally named TV series. He starred in Academy Award winning movies including Karakter by Mike van Diem and Antonia and the Oscar-nominated social drama Daens . More recently he turned down roles in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (due to commitments to other projects) and the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough . Decleir was also Belgium's national performer of Sinterklaas from 1993 until 2019.

In 2003 he had the starring role in the critically acclaimed thriller The Memory of a Killer (The Alzheimer Case) of which the leading American critic Roger Ebert wrote in his review: "Jan Decleir never goes for the easy effect, never pushes too hard, is a rock-solid occupant of his character. Everything he has to say is embodied, not expressed. Talks are under way for a Hollywood remake, but this performance will not be easily equaled. Gene Hackman, maybe. Morgan Freeman. Robert Mitchum, if he were alive. Decleir is the real thing."

For several years he also led the Studio Herman Teirnlick where he brought in many new teachers: actors from various theater companies (e.g., de Blauwe Maandag Compagnie, STAN, etc). [ citation needed ]

Personal life

Jan Decleir has been married to Brechtje Louwaard since 1 April 2006. He was previously married to Caroline van Gastel with whom he has 3 children (Sofie, Jenne and Flor). Both his siblings - sister Reinhilde Decleir (died in 2022) and brother Dirk Decleir (died in 1974) involved in acting, too. [ citation needed ]


Over the lifespan of his career Jan Decleir has received several prizes for his acting. He was awarded the Best Actor Award for his role in Off Screen (directed by Pieter Kuijpers) at the Montreal World Film Festival. In 2003 he received Golden Calf Culture Prize (Dutch: Gouden Kalf') and in 2007 a Golden Calf for Best Supporting Actor for the movie Wolfsbergen at the Netherlands Film Festival. In 2008 he was awarded the best actor prize at the Tiburon International Film Festival for his role in Man zkt vrouw (A Perfect Match) . For his role in The Barons , he received the Magritte Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2013 he also received the Flemish Culture Prize for General Cultural Merit. [ citation needed ]


Decleir in "All For Love" (1993) Jan Decleir - ALL FOR LOVE - Blauwe Maandag Compagnie - 1993.jpg
Decleir in "All For Love" (1993)

He is also known from Flemish TV series such as:


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  1. Cinémathèque royale de Belgique (1999), Belgian Cinema, Royal Belgian Film Archive, ISBN   978-90-5544-234-8
  2. Jozef Deleu (1998), The Low Countries: Arts and Society in Flanders and the Netherlands : a Yearbook, 1998-99, Stichting Ons Erfdeel, ISBN   978-90-75862-28-7