Helmut Fischer

Helmut Fischer (15 November 1926 – 14 June 1997) was a popular, award-winning German actor.

Helmut Fischer
Helmut Fischer Schauspieler.jpg
Helmut Fischer in 1991
Born(1926-11-15)15 November 1926
Died14 June 1997(1997-06-14) (aged 70)
OccupationActor

LifeEdit

Helmut Fischer was the son of a businessman and a tailor who grew up in the Munich district of Neuhausen at Donnersbergerstraße 50a,[1] where he also went to school. When the secondary school rejected him, he joined Otto Falckenberg's drama school, which he quit after a short time. Subsequently, Fischer worked as a stage actor. In 1952, he debuted at Würzburg city theatre in the role of Albrecht III in Friedrich Hebbel's Agnes Bernauer. The reviews were devastating.

For almost 20 years, Fischer remained largely unknown and was only cast in minor supporting roles. Among other things, he worked at the Zuban show at Munich's Oktoberfest, playing the part of a zebra's behind. In 1953, he married dancer Utta Martin, with whom he lived together up until his death (44 years). 1961 saw the actor's debut in Bavarian Television, as a hairdresser in Ludwig Thoma's comedy Die Lokalbahn. Fischer described himself as "terrible" in that role, and said in retrospect: "Richtig g'schämt hab' ich mich, wie überzogen ich damals g'spielt hab (I was terribly ashamed about my totally excessive acting)." Because he wasn't able to pay the bills as an actor, Fischer also worked as a film critic for Munich daily Abendzeitung.

In 1972, he played in a Bavarian Television production of the first episode of the Tatort series, as an assistant to Inspector Veigl (played by Gustl Bayrhammer). When the character of Veigl was "retired" in 1981, Fischer was promoted to Commissioner Ludwig Lenz, and until 1987 solved a total of seven cases. In 1974, while hanging out in his favorite café Münchner Freiheit, Fischer met director Helmut Dietl. The latter quickly recognized his talent, and in 1979 cast him in a major role in the TV series Der ganz normale Wahnsinn, in which Fischer, for the first time, got to play the role of an easy-going playboy.

 
Memorial for "Monaco Franze" (Helmut Fischer) at Münchner Freiheit

Fischer's final breakthrough as a television actor came in 1983 when Dietl cast him as the lead in the series Monaco Franze – Der ewige Stenz. Together with Dietl, author Patrick Süskind co-wrote the scripts for almost all of the show's ten episodes. In the series, which has now reached cult status, Fischer alongside Ruth Maria Kubitschek, Christine Kaufmann, Karl Obermayr [de] and Erni Singerl [de] played an easy-going dandy, charmer and ladies' men, who always manages to wiggle his way out of awkward situations with his trademark sheepish smile. Famous quotes by the character ("A bisserl was geht immer") became popular quickly, to the point where they found their way into the everyday use of Germans. At the time, Fischer also recorded a successful record titled "Spatzl (Schau wia i schau)) (Sweetheart (Look like I'm looking))."

Following the show's success, the actor kept busy with roles whose properties were reliably based on theStenz cliché, even though until the end of his life Fischer kept reassuring the public that the figure of Monaco Franze had nothing in common with his personal life. In the mid-1980s, Fischer played with Thomas Gottschalk and Michael Winslow in the Zärtliche Chaoten movies. Between 1987 to 1992, he appeared on the screen as "Josefbärli", along with Veronika Fitz, and with Ilse Neubauer in the series Die Hausmeisterin (The House Keeper). Fischer enjoyed his last success in the series Ein Schloß am Wörthersee (A castle on the Wörthersee), in which he played the absent-minded real estate manager Leo Laxeneder, and the fictitious mayor of Hohenwaldau, Peter Elfinger in Peter and Paul, alongside Hans Clarin.

In 1993, Helmut Fischer was diagnosed with cancer; at the time, only his wife Utta knew about it. In 1996, the actor underwent treatment by controversial cancer specialist Julius Hackethal. In November of the same year, he celebrated his 70th birthday with a number of friends and colleagues. At the occasion, he told the press: "Das Leben macht sich ja mehr und mehr aus dem Staub (Life is increasingly buzzing off)." Eight months later, Fischer passed away in Chiemgau. On 19 June 1997, more than 1,000 people participated in his funeral service at the mortuary of Munich's northern cemetery, and the subsequent funeral at Bogenhausen cemetery (gravesite no. 2-4-2). In his funeral speech, Munich's Lord Mayor Christian Ude, a personal friend, and long-time neighbor of Fischer, said: "... Populär war er in ganz Deutschland - in München wurde er geliebt. (He was well-liked all over Germany - in Munich, he was loved.)"

Two years after his death, a bronze monument of Fischer, commissioned by Munich's municipal government, and done by sculptor Nicolai Tregor Jr. was revealed. It is located at the actor's former favorite spot in the garden of café Münchner Freiheit in the Schwabing district.

FilmographyEdit

TV seriesEdit

Stage playsEdit

  • 1952: Agnes Bernauer - at the Würzburg city theatre
  • 1953: Diener zweier Herren (Servant of Two Masters) - am Stadttheater Würzburg
  • 1964: Die großen Sebastians (The Great Sebastians) - at the Kleine Komödie in Munich
  • 1966: Italienische Nacht (Italian Night) - at Residenz Theatre
  • 1969-1970: Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern (Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria) - Münchner Kammerspiele
  • 1975: Fast wie ein Poet (Almost like A Poet) - at Residenz Theatre - Director: Rudolf Noelte
  • 1984-1985: Waldfrieden (Peace in the Woods) - Münchner Volkstheater
  • 1984-1985: Die Brautschau (Looking for a Wife) - am Münchner Volkstheater mit Hans Brenner

AwardsEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • Fischer, Helmut (1997), A bissl was geht immer, ISBN 3-7654-2887-6
  • Helmut Fischer - Der unsterbliche Stenz - Erinnerungen von seinen Freunden (Helmut Fischer - the immortal Stenz - Memories of his Friends) (2006), ISBN 3-7844-3058-9

SourcesEdit

  1. ^ "Erzählungen, Geschichtliches und Gefundenes aus Neuhausen" (in German). Ulrike Wolf. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24.

External linksEdit