Heesters worked extensively for UFA till almost the end of the Second World War (his last wartime movie being Die Fledermaus, produced in 1945) and easily made the transition from the Nazi-controlled cultural scene to post-war Germany and Austria, appearing again in a number of films already in the late 1940s. He stopped making movies around 1960 though to concentrate on stage and television appearances and on producing records.
Heesters has two daughters by his first wife Wiesje Ghijs, whom he married in 1930. After her death in 1985, he remarried in 1991; his second wife, Simone Rethel (born 1949), is a German actress, painter and photographer. His younger daughter Nicole Heesters is a well-known actress in German-speaking countries too.
In the 1990s, he and his wife toured Germany and Austria with Curth Flatow's play Ein gesegnetes Alter (A Blessed Age), which was also televised in 1996.
On December 5, 2003, he celebrated his 100th birthday with a television special "Eine Legende wird 100" on the ARD.
In September and October 2003, Heesters appeared in Stuttgart at the Komödie im Marquardt theatre in a show commissioned on the occasion of his 100th birthday, Heesters — eine musikalische Hommage. In 2005 he was featured soloist in a major concert tour with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg under the direction of Scott Lawton.
On December 5, 2006 he celebrated his 103rd birthday with a concert at the Wiener Konzerthaus. On December 5, 2007 he celebrated his 104th birthday with a concert at the Admiralspalast, Berlin, and in February 2008 he performed in his home country for the first time in four decades amidst protests against his Nazi associations. He is now almost completely blind as result of the eye diseases glaucoma und macular degeneration.
My secret to a long, healthy life is to always keep working. It keeps me busy and happy, and gives me a reason to stay alive.| | |Johannes Heesters,
- Johannes Heesters at the Internet Movie Database
- Official website (in German)
- Postcards and tobacco cards