Henriëtta Gryffenberg profile

Henrietta Gryffenberg is best known for writing the screenplay for the Afrikaans drama series Erfsondes.

Henriëtta Gryffenberg (born 1964) is a South African playwright, TV scriptwriter, and actress. She is best known for playing Karen Hattingh in the Afrikaans drama series Die Sonkring.

Writing the screenplay for the Afrikaans drama series Erfsondes also brought her to the limelight. It premiered on SABC2 in 2007. More on her credit is playing Gerta in My Perfect Family in 2016.

Henriëtta Gryffenberg
Henriëtta Gryffenberg biography
Henrietta Gryffenberg is known for Erfsondes in 2012, High Rollers in 2013, and Karate Kallie in 2009.
Short Profile
Full name: Henriëtta Gryffenberg
Born 1964 (age 59 years old)
Place of birth: Johannesburg
Nationality: South African
Education: Drama
Alma mater: University of Pretoria
Occupation: Playwright, TV scriptwriter, actress
Siblings: Emile, Christiaan, Cobus, and late Susann
Parents: Ludwig Emil Gryffenberg, Maria Hendrika (Molly) Olwage

Early Life

Henriëtta Gryffenberg was born in 1964 in Bordeaux in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is the middle of five children and has three younger siblings – Emile, Christiaan, and Cobus. She had an older half-sister, Susann, who died of a bleeding stomach ulcer in 2005.

Her parents are Afrikaans teacher Ludwig Emil Gryffenberg and home maker Maria Hendrika (Molly) Olwage


Gryffenberg matriculated at Randburg High School with four distinctions in 1981. She studied at the University of Pretoria and obtained a BA in Drama in 1984. She holds a Higher Education Diploma in 1985. 

In 2013, the actress enrolled at the Film and Video Foundation for a master class in Beyond Structure.


At first, Henriëtta taught Afrikaans and drama at Dawnview High School in Primrose in Germiston.

Gryffenberg later worked as a production secretary on “Good Morning South Africa” ​​at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. She then began dubbing and then landed roles in television dramas. She became known for appearing in many television series.

Henriëtta played a role in a production of People are Living There (1986). She worked for PACT and appeared in Dalk in 1988, Antjie Somers and I in 1989, Taraboemdery in 1989, and Plastics in 1993. 

The actress landed other roles on stage, including in Die Papegaaivrou in 1990, the pantomime Jan en die Boontjierank in 1991, and Droomsmokkelaar in 1993. 

Gryffenberg appeared in Keely and Du in 1997, Briewe aan ‘n Rooi Dak in Aardklop 2001, Desnieteenstaande in 2003, and Sophia Mentz Beredder Haar Boedel in 2007.

As a writer, she wrote Erfsondes and some episodes of the television series Generations and 7de Laan. She also wrote Daar’s ‘n Kind in my Kop with Anna-Ghrett Errasmus.

In 2010, Henriëtta was assisting the director of Dood van ‘n Verkoopsman. She also directed directed Die Uitnodiging at Innibos in 2019. She is a member of the South African Scriptwriters Association (SASWA). She was a chairman for a while.

More of her writing credits are the one-act play Dis nie my Bybie nie and the cabaret Swartskaap. Gryffenberg adapted Irma Venter’s detective novel Minder as Niks for the screen, working with Wyrd Films in 2022. 

Awards and Nominations

Henriëtta Gryffenberg received the Kanna Prize for best performance in music theatre for the text and her performance in Swartskaap, 2005. The text was rewarded with the AngloGold/ Ashanti-Smeltkroesprys for best new Afrikaans text in 2004.

The actress was a nominee for best supporting actress on the Afrikaans stage for the 1993 DALRO Award. She earned the recognition for her role in Droomsmokkelaar.


  • Binnelanders as Wendy
  • Die Sonkring as Karen Hattingh
  • Dit Wat Stom Is as Ilse Beekman
  • Erfsondes as Sylvia
  • Legacy as Suzette
  • My Perfect Family as Gerta
  • Swartwater as Anika
  • Tydelik Terminaal as Suzet Holtzhauzen
  • Z’bondiwe as Mrs Verster
  • Zero Tolerance as Lucy

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