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War hero Tony van Renterghem dies

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Tony van Renterghem, a Dutch war hero who spent 35 years in Hollywood working in cinematography and as a technical, historical and script adviser, died July 19 at his home in Sequim, Wash. He was 90.

For several years, van Renterghem served as an adviser to George Stevens Sr. and worked on such films from the director as 1959's "The Diary of Anne Frank" (he also was a consultant for the Pulitzer Prize-winning play) and the 1965 biblical epic "The Greatest Story Ever Told."

He did four years of research on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth for the latter release, including one year with uncredited screenwriter Carl Sandburg.

As a cameraman, van Renterghem worked on TV Westerns including "Gunsmoke," "Cimarron Strip" and "The Wild Wild West."

A member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., IATSE and SAG, van Renterghem emigrated to the U.S. in 1948.

Raised in Amsterdam, he was trained as one of the nation's last mounted cavalry officers. He served eight years in the Netherlands Armed Forces, seeing combat against German paratroopers during the Blitz, and five years in the Dutch Resistance during the German occupation of Holland that began in 1940.

Van Renterghem worked in high-level espionage, helped hide those fleeing Nazi persecution, and initiated and ran the film and photo units of the Dutch Resistance (known as the "underground camera"). He was condemned to death by the Nazis but continually eluded them.

For his wartime activities, he received numerous awards from the Dutch government, including the World War II Dutch Resistance Cross from Queen Beatrix and the Israeli Yad Vashem "Righteous Among the Nations" Honor for his efforts in saving Jewish lives.

Van Renterghem is survived by Susanne Severeid, his wife of 34 years, and their son Pablo.