JV
John Van Eyssen

John Van Eyssen

John Van Eyssen was a South African born actor, agent and film production executive. He moved to Britain following the Second World War, attending the Central School of Speech and Drama.\nVan Eyssen appeared in films from 1950 as well as on stage but achieved his greatest fame as an actor when he portrayed Jonathan Harker in the Hammer Film Productions version of Dracula in 1958.\nHe left acting in 1961 to become head of the Grade Organisation literary agency. His subsequent clients were Franco Zeffirelli, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. He left the business in 1965 to work for the UK division of Columbia Pictures, eventually becoming Managing Director in July 1969. Among the films he oversaw were A Man for All Seasons, Born Free, Georgy Girl, To Sir, with Love, The Taming of The Shrew, and Oliver!. Both Oliver! and A Man for All Seasons won Best Picture Academy Awards. In 1970, he was promoted to Worldwide Head of Production and moved to New York.\nAfter his tenure at Columbia, Van Eyssen became an independent producer, returning to the UK in 1991 to establish Britain's premier showcase for talented young filmmakers, the Chelsea Film Festival.
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