Ben Kruger was a South African actor and writer best known for his role as Oom Okkie in the kykNET soapie Binnelanders.
He was also known for his roles as Sakkie Bezuidenhoudt in the SABC2 drama series Zero Tolerance; as Neef Gert in the soapie 7de Laan; and as James Gregory, a former jailer and later friend of Nelson Mandela, in the 1997 made-for-TV movie Mandela and de Klerk.
As a school boy he took part in various radio plays, advertisements and stage plays with the help of his drama teacher, Aletta Gericke. He also took part in his first movie as a school boy, playing Dirkie Uys in Dave Millen's movie Die Voortrekkers.
He matriculated at Helpmekaar Boys High in Johannesburg then joined the navy for his military service. During his time in the navy he worked in their TV training studios as a scenarist and camera man and later as a producer.
He was responsible for a variety of training films for the navy and at the same time gained a lot of experience about the medium.
Following his navy training he started working as a professional actor, in a Jan Scholtz movie - 'n Sondag in September - and the SABC production Die Pannekoekhuis.
He also enrolled at the Drama Department of the Pretoria University where he achieved his BA degree in Drama after three years. He supported himself by working behind and in front of the cameras during his holidays.
In his third year he was invited to take part in PACT's production Beckett, with Marius Weyers and Frans Marx.
He was also seen in the last production staged by PACT in the Breytenbach Theatre as well as the first PACT production in the State Theatre.
Throughout the years Ben worked in all facets of the industry as technician, actor and producer. He was writer and head writer for a variety of soapies, and wrote hundreds of minutes' of documentaries which he produced.
Ben was director of The Learning Theatre, an industrial film company. He had various other business interests and was especially involved in the motor industry.
His hobbies included cooking – he made two DVDs about how to deal with potjiekos and braai.
Television series he acted in include Zero Tolerance, Van der Walt's Fault, Jacob's Cross, 7de Laan, Riemvasmaak and Gabriel.
In 2010 he played the role of Tiny in the SABC2 sitcom Die Uwe Pottie Potgieter. He was one of the five main credited cast members.
Ben died on 26 May, 2021, of complications related to COVID-19. He was 64.