Obituary: Actor, restaurateur Frans Tumbuan dies at 76
Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak
The Jakarta Post
Seasoned actor Frans Tumbuan and father of the iconic Jaya Pub died on Monday after years of struggling with diabetes. He was 76.
Producer and writer Raam Punjabi said the passing of Frans was a big loss to the film industry he had contributed to for over three decades.
'I was shocked upon hearing the news early today,' said Raam over the phone while in Hong Kong. 'Frans and Rima are my friends. I have known Rima for 50 years.'
Rima Melati, who is among Indonesian top actresses in the early 1970s, was Frans' partner on and off screen. They were married for 42 years.
'Frans is also the pioneer of modern food and beverage industry in the country,' said Raam.
Frans was born in Indonesia on Aug. 3, 1939, but moved to the Netherlands and spent his adult years there as a restaurateur.
After met Rima while visiting Holland, Frans sold his three restaurants and a small hotel in Amsterdam to return to Indonesia.
He opened Jaya Pub right in the heart of Jakarta, his own version of the old-style pubs of Europe. Risking scrutiny from the government at that time, he hosted anti-government artists and decorated the walls with seven magazines that had been banned by the government.
In early 1980s, the pub was the womb for the country's jazz movement, as Frans built a stage to host a Sunday Jazz event.
After 40 years, Jaya Pub remains a force in town.
Frans' daughter Keke Tumbuan, along with Indra Ameng from Ruang Rupa art space, held a monthly Superbad gig to a attract younger crowd.
Film critic Makbul Mubarak said that for the younger generation who started to watch Indonesian productions after Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? (What's Up with Love?) Frans was known for his father roles in the movies.
'The father image has been closely associated with Frans Tumbuan,' said Makbul.
Frans was an international-class actor that had been included in a number of US-Indonesian productions, such as Sam Firstenberg's Blood Warriors and Guy Norris' Rage and Honor II as well as Robert Anthony's Without Mercy in 1996.
He also acted side by side with Chris Noth in Peluru & Wanita (Bullet and Women) and Cynthia Rothrock in Bidadari Berambut Emas (Golden Fairy).
More recently, Frans acted in genre films, including the thriller Dead Time: Kala, Ruma Maida, the adventure movie Ekspedisi Madewa and Conor Allyn's actioner Java Heat.
Condolences came from young filmmakers, actors and friends on social media.
Vino G. Bastian, who played Frans' son in Realita, Cinta dan Rock 'n Roll (Reality, Love and Rock 'n Roll) said on Twitter: 'Farewell, Oom Frans Tumbuan ['¦] We'll miss you so much Papa Ipank.'
Ipank was Vino's character's name in the movie.
Film critic Adrian Jonathan Pasaribu said that young actors could learn how Frans always explored his acting skills.
'Frans Tumbuan was an amazing character and actor,' he said.
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