Kees van Kooten has responded for the first time to the death of Wim de Bie. The 81-year-old comedian feels as if he has lost “a brother”, he writes in the VPRO Gids. The pair had known each other for seventy years.
Van Kooten describes how he already had respect for De Bie in secondary school, who was not only two grades higher, but also very tall. According to Van Kooten, De Bie had a natural authority.
While making programs for the VPRO, De Bie guarded their artistic freedom. Sketches arose “organically” and there was “no leader”, writes Van Kooten. The VPRO announced on March 27 that De Bie had passed away at the age of 83.
Van Kooten describes De Bie as someone with a nose for talent and “an antenna for new, technical possibilities”. De Bie not only acted as their conscience on screen, the comedian writes. He gave direction at many decisive moments in Van Kooten’s life.
“Something has finally been closed. As if a part of myself has died,” the comedian ends his tribute.