Leon Ernest “Schuks” Schuster was born on 21 May, 1951. He is a South African filmmaker, comedian, actor, presenter and singer. He was drawn to the film making process at an early age. As child he and his brother Ottoh L would play practical jokes on his family and films.
Schuster went to Hoërskool Jim Fouché in Bloemfontein and studied for a BA degree at the University of the Orange Free State, where he played rugby for the first team. He returned to Jim Fouché as a teacher for two years.
In 1982, he was approached by Decibel Records to compile a series of sports songs and his first record, Leon Schuster, sold 10,000 units. His second album, Broekskeur, sold in excess of 40,000 units and this was followed by Briekdans and Leon Schuster – 20 Treffers, which sold more than 270,000 copies.
His hit CD Hier Kom Die Bokke garnered an FNB Sama Music Award for Biggest Selling CD of 1995. His following CD, Gatvol in Paradise, sold in more than 125,000 units and gave rise to the unofficial Gauteng anthem, “Gautengeling”
Schuster’s first feature, You Must Be Joking!, produced in collaboration with Johan Scholtz and Elmo de Witt, became popular with South African audiences and gave rise to the sequel You Must be Joking! Too.
These films were candid camera sketches and Schuster made many more of these films as well as slap-stick films, including Mr Bones, his most successful film, which earned more than R33 million at the South African box office.
In September, 2011 it was reported that Schuster’s next movie Mad Buddies would be partly financed by the Walt Disney Company, which would also handle distribution and marketing. The film was released in 2012 and starred Schuster opposite funnyman Kenneth Nkosi. Despite poor reviews, the film was successful in South Africa, garnering R4.5 million in the opening weekend from a budget of R20 million.
Looking at his Public image: Schuster is well-respected and much admired in South Africa. He was rated number #43 in SABC’s Greatest South Africans poll for his comedic work.