Arnold Wynand Schulkes

20th April 1930 – 18th February 2016

Arnie Schulkes

‘And so we say good bye to dear Arnie. No man could ever have shown greater loyalty.’


A young Canadian called Arnold Schulkes turned up in Cortina one day with his far-from-well wife on a far-from reliable Vespa scooter. They were, as he put it, ‘going putt-putt-putt’ through Europe, with the aim of seeing his relatives in Holland. As they stopped to watch the filming, one of the crew said, ‘Do you want to work? Would you like to be a stand-in?’ ‘What’s a stand-in?’ came the reply. Before he knew whether it was Cortina or Christmas he was at the top of a dam, dressed as Stanley Baker, and trying not to betray any hint of vertigo. People began to notice that there was a likeness to Dirk. Schulkes was an inch taller, ‘an inch all round bigger’, although slightly narrower in the shoulder. From the back the two men were almost indistinguishable. Dirk already had a regular stand-in, John Adderley, who had worked with him for some years; but Adderley wanted to join his family in America. Thanks to him, Schulkes managed to obtain a union ticket reasonably quickly and by the spring of 1959 he had the job. From that unpromising beginning Dirk and he developed a partnership which lasted for ten years and – by his reckoning – twenty-three films.

From ‘Dirk Bogarde’: The authorised biography by John Coldstream