“This is my first time writing about Phar Lap. He has been dead for years and I still haven’t got around to researching his life. “He was an incredibly successful film director and producer from 1970s onwards,” he says. “He was the first South African filmmaker to put out films in Hollywood, South Asia and Europe and he was extremely controversial about his politics. His most controversial film was called “The White Man’s Burden – that was a very, very difficult film.” When Phar Lap died in 2008, he died “in his sleep” because of a health issue.
“He used to tell all the children ‘I’m here to help you’, and you thought he was a really nice person, because his family seemed to be a wonderful family.”
Practical jokes about Phar Lap:
The only thing he never got to do was “Alfred” – a movie about a millionaire who is a black man who wants to be an actor
On his love life:
He slept with over a hundred women a day, according to one woman who saw his films
Who killed Phar Lap?
We’ve asked several people familiar with his life about the question but no one has any idea.
How famous is he?
His filmography includes “Funny Uncle”, “The White Man’s Burden” and “Lap Time”
His death from a drug overdose – in hospital while filming “Funny Uncle” in 1966 – was the catalyst that propelled him out of obscurity, and brought him to the heart of South Africa’s media scene.
When he dies we will lose a great man, but we will also lose a part of South African cinema.
You can view a short film and find online video clips about his life on his website.
Dozens of young people have worked at Phar Lap’s studio and have a love affair with his films that even his sons say they can’t get enough of.
“If he did say ‘I don’t want you to work in my studio’, that would be a disgrace – you can’t do that!”
But he also won awards for directing “The White Man’s Burden”, the story of a white man brought up by blacks in a suburb of Johannesburg.
Some people know him because he’s a big name in the business world, but no-one knew Phar Lap as well as he does, and he doesn’t need anyone to remind
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