Freddy Heineken
Heineken in 1985
Born(1923-11-04)4 November 1923
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died3 January 2002(2002-01-03) (aged 78)
Noordwijk, Netherlands
Resting placeGeneral Cemetery in Noordwijk
Corporate director
Years active1941–2002
Political partyPeople's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Board member ofHeineken International
Lucille Cummins
(m. 1948)
ChildrenCharlene de Carvalho-Heineken

Alfred Henry "Freddy" Heineken (4 November 1923 – 3 January 2002) was a Dutch businessman for Heineken International, the brewing company created in 1864 by his grandfather Gerard Adriaan Heineken in Amsterdam. He served as chairman of the board of directors and CEO from 1971 until 1989. After his retirement as chairman and CEO, Heineken continued to sit on the board of directors until his death and served as chairman of the supervisory board from 1989 to 1995. At the time of his death, Heineken was one of the richest people in the Netherlands, with a net worth of 9.5 billion guilders.[1]

Early life

Heineken was born on 4 November 1923 in Amsterdam. He was the grandson of Gerard Adriaan Heineken, who was the founder of the brewery Heineken International.


On 1 June 1941, he entered the service of the Heineken company, which by then was no longer owned by the family. He bought back stock several years later, to ensure the family controlled the company again. He created the Heineken Holding that owned 50.005% of Heineken International; he held a majority stake in Heineken Holding. By the time of his resignation as chairman of the board in 1989 he had transformed Heineken from a brand that was known primarily in the Netherlands into a brand name recognized worldwide.


Main article: Kidnapping of Freddy Heineken

Freddy Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer were kidnapped in 1983 and released on a ransom of 35 million Dutch guilders (around 15,800,000 euros or 17,332,600 US dollars). The kidnappers – Cor van Hout, Willem Holleeder, Jan Boellaard, Frans Meijer, and Martin Erkamps – were eventually caught and served prison terms. Before being extradited, Van Hout and Holleeder stayed for more than three years in France, first on the run, then in prison, and then, awaiting a change of the extradition treaty, under house arrest, and finally in prison again. Meijer escaped and lived in Paraguay for years, until he was discovered by crime reporter Peter R. de Vries and imprisoned there. In 2003, Meijer stopped resisting his extradition to the Netherlands and was transferred to a Dutch prison to serve the last part of his term.

The films The Heineken Kidnapping (2011) and Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2015) are based on this incident.

Personal life

Heineken married Lucille Cummins, an American from a Kentucky family of bourbon whiskey distillers.

Heineken was a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).[2]

In 1989, Heineken illegally destroyed the Villa Böhler in Oberalpina, designed by Heinrich Tessenow from 1916-18.[3]

Heineken struggled for some time with deteriorating health; in 1999 he suffered a mild stroke but recovered. Shortly before his death, he broke his arm in a fall. He died from pneumonia on 3 January 2002 at the age of 78 in his home in Noordwijk in the presence of his immediate family, including his daughter Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken. Heineken's daughter inherited his fortune.[4][5] He was buried at the General Cemetery in Noordwijk.

In popular culture

A film of the kidnapping, De Heineken Ontvoering, with Rutger Hauer playing Freddy Heineken, was released in October 2011. A second film, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken, based on De Vries' book about the kidnapping, was produced by Informant Media in 2013 based on the scenario written by William Brookfield. In this film Heineken is played by Anthony Hopkins with the kidnappers played by Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, Ryan Kwanten, Mark van Eeuwen and Thomas Cocquerel.[6][7][8][9]


See also


  1. ^ (in Dutch) Freddy Heineken Archived 29 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 10 December 2005
  2. ^ (in Dutch)Schaduwkoning van Nederland – Profiel: Alfred Heineken, De Groene Amsterdammer, 12 January 2002
  3. ^ (in English) [1], Terrasse der Villa Böhler in Oberalpina (Via Alpina 39). Erbaut von Heinrich Tessenow 1916-18. Nach 5-jährigen Streitereien 1989 von Alfred Heineken illegal abgebrochen.
  4. ^ (in Dutch) Freddy Heineken overleden Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Telegraaf, 4 January 2002
  5. ^ (in Dutch) Freddy Heineken overleden,, 4 January 2002
  6. ^ (in Dutch) Anthony Hopkins wordt Freddy Heineken, Telegraaf, 12 May 2013
  7. ^ (in Dutch) Hopkins gaat Heineken spelen, NOS, 12 May 2013
  8. ^ (in Dutch) Anthony Hopkins speelt Heineken in nieuwe film over ontvoering, Volkskrant, 13 May 2013
  9. ^ "Sir Anthony Hopkins set to film Heineken kidnap movie". BBC News. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.