Arno Brandner

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Arno Brandner †
Konrad Krauss as Arno Brandner
Verbotene Liebe character
Portrayed by Konrad Krauss
Duration 1995-2012
First appearance Episode 1
2 January 1995
Last appearance Episode 4140
11 September 2012
Created by Reg Watson
Introduced by Ariane Krampe
Die längste Nacht von Königsbrunn (2014)
Classification Former; regular
Occupation Architect

Arno Brandner is a fictional character on German soap opera Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love). The character was portrayed by actor Konrad Krauss, who first appeared in the series premiere on 2 January 1995.[1]

The actor took time off from November 2009 to March 2010, from March to June 2011 and from September to December 2011. In recent years, Krauss has become a secondary character who is seen as a supporter of other featured storyline. The character made a return to the front burner one last time with a story about Alzheimer's disease in 2012.

On 31 July 2012 it was announced that Krauss will be leaving the show. He last appeared on 11 September 2012.[2]

Krauss returned as Arno's spirit for the web special Die längste Nacht von Königsbrunn in 2014.



The character of Arno Brandner is considered to be the patriarch of the Brandner family and in the beginning was the middle-class counterpart to the wealthy Christoph von Anstetten. Arno is often showed stubborn when it comes educate his children. All of them enjoyed tough love from him. But Arno is also good-hearted and loves his family. When tragedies strike Arno is one who keeps people calm.

Arno is a good businessman, who stands behind his word. He is also known for keeping trust in people, even though they sometimes disappoint him. This is seen several times over the years when Arno is at the edge of losing his business. Arno is shown as someone who works best when he's the one in charge. As he gets silent partners in his construction company in later years, it's shown that Arno can't deal with outside involvement.

He's considered to be a conservative person but lightened up in later years when it comes topics like homosexuality. Arno himself has been in love several times. He is shown as someone who can love with passion but also acts very realistic for a man of his character when it comes to long-term relationships. Arno cheated on his first wife, while he was cheated on by his second wife. This resulted for both marriages to end.

Groundbreaking storytelling[edit]

In 2012, the producers of the show created a very heartfelt storyline for the character of Arno. After being on the show for seventeen years and actor Konrad Krauss himself being in his 70s, Arno is being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.[3] The storyline got a lot of media attention due to the fact that no other German serial has dealt with the issue. GrundyUFA, the production company of Verbotene Liebe, promoted the story and promised an honest writing of what has about to be the scariest chapter in life.[4] The show offered support and information for people who are suffering Alzheimer's disease or have members in their family who do.

The portrayal of Krauss in this story is seen as phenomenal and heartbreaking. Arno would slowly lose control over his life, forgetting or misplacing things. Arno appears scared and tries desperately to hold up his old strength. As friends and family witness what happens to Arno, they get worried and want to help. But Arno would try and act normal, even leave people out and hiding episodes.


Only weeks after GrundyUFA came out to support and brought awareness to Alzheimer's disease, Krauss' exit was first announced by Deutsche-Dailys and later confirmed by the show itself.[5] Reminiscing about his seventeen years as the patriarch of the Brander family, Arno fulfilled his lifelong dream to become an architect and getting to know his grandchildren in his last year on the show.

Krauss' departure was also covered by the tabloid magazine Bild, saying that the role of Arno Brandner was the heart and soul of the show.[6] Verbotene Liebe without Arno would be unthinkable for fans but would now become a reality. Konrad Krauss told the paper that he isn't thinking of retirement:[6]

I love my job and want to work as long as I can. After so many years, all is told about the character of Arno Brander and I'm excited for new roles now.

Further Krauss explained what changed over the years he has been on the show and speaks about his experience in the beginning:[6]

The pace has become faster and of course, my role has also changed. I remember when I first read a script and asked myself 'Do I want to play it?' I have had my share of discussions with the director and given the role of a face. Contributed to the development. At that time, many have looked down on the soap product and today it's a daily series with a tremendous quality of implementation.

Konrad Krauss made his last appearance on 11 September 2012.[5][6][7]



As a young architecture student, Arno Brandner falls deeply for the head-strong Clarissa Kaufmann. The young couple plans their future together as Clarissa has the desire to money and power. When she ends up pregnant, both of the lives are shaken up. Arno tries to stay positive and supports Clarissa through her pregnancy. On a rainy night, Arno and Clarissa end up on little pension, owned by the good-hearted Fiona Beckmann. As a surprise to everyone Clarissa ends up giving birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Overwhelmed with the situation, Clarissa decides to walk out on Arno. She takes the girl with her and leaves the boy behind. Arno is heartbroken and faces financial troubles raising a child all on his own. Arno has to quit college while Fiona supports the young father. Arno eventually meets Iris Sander. She becomes a mother to Arno's son Jan and soon his wife. Arno and Iris end up having another two children. A stubborn daughter named Susanne and a rebellious son named Florian. The family ends up living in a suburban district of Cologne. Arno, even though not able to afford college to become an architect, starts his own construction company, called 'Brandner Bau'.


The Brandners prepare for Jan's twentieth birthday. Arno never really got over Clarissa leaving him and Jan behind. As he sees his past and Clarissa in his son, he never found a good way to bond with him. Arno's always hard on Jan. Even though it's Jan's birthday, father and son clash over Arno's expectations with his son. When Jan eventually is tied to the murder of Fritz Konrad, Arno publicly defends his son while he's on the run. After Jan's name is cleared, Arno has to face that his daughter wants to stay in a relationship with a convicted murderer. He tries to warn Susanne and wants her to stay away from Oliver, but she doesn't listen.

Arno finds out that Jan has met his twin-sister Julia von Anstetten. Jan fell in love with her not knowing who she really is. After Jan found out from Clarissa that Julia is his sister, he broke things off with her. Julia is eventually diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Jan becomes the donor and the truth about Julia and Jan's relation comes to light. Arno slowly get out of the shadow and wants to get to know Julia. Clarissa warns him to not feed Julia with his lies and accuses him of not caring about Julia for twenty years. Arno and Julia slowly build a father-daughter relationship, while she remains close to Clarissa's husband Christoph von Anstetten.

Iris never knew about Arno having another child with Clarissa. She feels betrayed and distances herself from Arno. Christoph can't stand the sight of Clarissa anymore. Clarissa and Arno end up sleeping with each other. The affair ends soon enough as Arno knows that Clarissa is never going to change. However, Iris finds out about Arno's affair with Clarissa and ends her marriage with him. She leaves the household and eventually finds a lover in Jürgen May. She ends up being pregnant by him and dies of an ectopic pregnancy.

Arno is unable to mourn Iris in a proper way. He covers himself in work, while feeling the resentment of Florian. He thinks that Iris never would have died if Arno didn't have an affair with Clarissa. Florian eventually forgives his father and moves away while Arno becomes involved with Ela Anders. Arno's relationship with Ela is short lived after his sister-in-law Erika moves in with her two children, Milli and Steffi. Eventually Arno falls for Erika and the two become a couple. In the meanwhile, Julia goes missing after her marriage failed and she tries to have some much needed vacation in Lanzarote. Arno, Jan, Susanne and the Anstetten family try to find Julia for months but eventually believe she has died of drowning. As Jan prepares to move to Paris with his new girlfriend Kerstin Richter, he receives a letter from Julia. She's alive and well, living in Spain. Julia wants Jan to follow and start a life with her. Even though Arno is against their incestuous relationship, he wants Jan and Julia to be happy. At the last moment, Jan changes his mind and believes that Julia has a better chance at life without him. Jan instead leaves town with Kerstin.

Shortly after Jan has left town, Susanne is the next to go while Arno becomes more of a father figure for Erika's children. However, when Clarissa is kidnapped and Charlie Schneider is in need of Arno's help, their relationship is put to a though time. Arno gets caught up in helping Charlie, who eventually takes a romantic interest in him. Arno resists Charlie but the two form a unique friendship over trying to find Clarissa. In the meanwhile, Erika is jealous with the presence of Charlie in Arno's life. Arno proves to Erika that she's the woman he wants and only has to help Charlie because she has no other to count on. As Clarissa is found and suffers amnesia, Charlie becomes head of Clarissa's estate, which holds shares in 'Brandner Bau'. Charlie tries to get involved into Arno's company. But when he teaches her a lesson, she realizes that she better stays out of it. Arno's relationship with Erika gets more serious as he proposes to her. Erika plans her wedding to Arno as she meets the lesbian waitress Nina Ryan. The two women form a friendship and Nina starts falling for Erika. Even though Erika realizes that she has feelings for Nina too, she wants to get married to Arno anyway. However, shortly before the wedding Erika decides to come forward with her feelings towards Nina and breaks off her engagement to Arno.

Arno is heartbroken over his split from Erika and ends up sleeping Clarissa. However, nothing more comes of it and Arno soon as to deal with his shady cousin Philipp. He comes to town and eventually starts working for 'Brandner Bau'. Philipp ends up to embezzle money out of the company's accounts to finance himself an expensive lifestyle. Arno has to fight for his lifelong work as Philipp has not only embezzled money but also put a risk at the image of the company. Arno has to lay off people and rebuild parts of his company. Philipp is put on trial after he tried to murder Steffi, who he had a relationship with, and her boyfriend Max Jannsen. After being sentenced he can free himself by force and goes on the run. Arno is never hearing of his cousin again.


Arno takes another shot at love when he meets Elisabeth Ryan, who of all people is Nina's mother. Elisabeth owns Ryan Cosmetics, which was founded by her late husband. Arno is fascinated by Elisabeth but it takes them time to really give in to their relationship. One obstacle is Elisabeth's estranged relationship with Nina. However, in the end it is Arno who can bring both woman closer. As Elisabeth's niece Lara Cornelius shows up in town Nina's relationship with Elisabeth is tested once more. After Elisabeth's sister Irene dies, she confesses to Arno that Lara isn't her niece but her granddaughter; Nina's daughter. Elisabeth felt that Nina was too young to be a mother and therefore Iris raised Lara as her own. After the truth comes out Lara has problems to forgive Elisabeth. Arno again proves to be a mediator and can bring the family together. Elisabeth realizes how lucky she is in her relationship with Arno. As he proposes, Elisabeth doesn't hesitate and she and Arno get married in July 2001.

Arno enjoys his young marriage and even reconciles with Clarissa on a friendly basis. However, only hours later, Arno and all other personal friends of Clarissa receive news that her plane got lost from the radar as she was on her way to take a little vacation. After an intensive search, Clarissa was declared to be presumed dead. Arno remembers about Clarissa and is time with her. In a conversation with Charlie, he admits that while Clarissa drove him mad sometimes, he's going to miss her. In the following months, Lara decided to leave town and move to Greece, to where Nina moved after getting the chance to manage a hotel.

However Arno and Elisabeth aren't alone for long when Florian returns after living in Munich for four years. Arno is happy about his son's return and hopes to now finally do right by one of his children. But he soon has to realize that Florian is in control of his own life. Arno is confused as he then is visited by his nieces Nico and Jana. The teenagers show up at their uncles doorstep and are later joined by their brother Robin. Arno soon finds out that his brother Achim was overwhelmed with raising three children after the death of his wife Vera and abandoned them instead. Arno wants to provide a home for all three of them and soon finds himself together with Elisabeth fighting for custody. Just as the three have found their place in the Brandner household, Achim shows up. He apologizes for leaving his kids behind and wants to regain their trust. While Robin wants nothing to do with his father, Nico and Jana are soon ready to forgive him. But as Achim finds old letters of his wife that assume that Jana and Nico are not his but rather a product of an affair she had, he runs out on his them again.

Nico is determined to find her biological father and starts skipping school when she has a hint of who her father could be. Arno and Elisabeth think Nico is on a school trip, while she is working as a maid. After Arno finds out about Nico's lies, she confesses to him that she has prove that Johannes von Lahnstein is her biological father. Even though Nico is craving for her real father, she wants nothing to do with Johannes after feeling rejected. Arno takes matters into his hand and talks to Johannes. He and Nico can sort things out and start building a relationship. When Nico decides to move to Johannes and the rest of her newfound family, Arno seems hurt but is told by Nico that he always has a special place in his heart.

In the meanwhile Florian started a relationship with Isabell Mohr. When he is visited by his old friend Sven Beckmann, he falls for Isabell and eventually rapes her while Florian is out of town. Isabell confesses the rape to Elisabeth, who promises to keep it a secret. When the truth comes out and Arno finds out that Elisabeth knew about the rape, the two start having marital problems. Arno doesn't seem to know if he can trust Elisabeth anymore or if she trusts him still enough. Arno's trust issues drive Elisabeth further away. When she meets the younger Luke Esser who charms Elisabeth, she starts an affair with him. Elisabeth's marriage with Arno seems to be ending as Arno finds out that Luke is a con artist, who is using Elisabeth to let her invest in some real estate project. Arno can warn his wife just in time. Elisabeth and Arno reconcile after he admits to his mistakes.

As Florian and Isabell get married and later leave town, Elisabeth and Arno have to adjust to changes in their professional life. Arno gets the chance to construct a convention center for 'Lahnstein Holding' while Elisabeth's company falls into pieces by a takeover. The building of the convention center puts 'Brandner Bau' finally on top again, but the joy isn't for long as it comes to light that Ansgar von Lahnstein and his new business partner, the just-returned, Tanja von Anstetten are laundering money over the project. The company's future is at risk as Elisabeth becomes a partner in 'Brandner Bau'. However Arno and Elisabeth's business relationship ends when they disagree too much and don't want to jeopardize their marriage.

While Robin and Jana go on with their life and leave the Brandner household, Susanne returns to town together with her two adoptive children, Paul and Lisa. She is on the run from her husband Alex Wiegand, who has cheated on her. Arno and Elisabeth are willing to let Susanne, Paul and Lisa live with them. Arno is stunned as his daughter soon finds herself in relationship with Carla von Lahnstein. Having made his own personal experience with homosexuality, when Erika cheated on him with Nina, he's not pleased with Susanne's choice of life. He believes that Susanne tries to prove something to herself after Alex cheated on her. However, as Susanne and Carla's relationship gets stronger, Arno becomes more acceptive and ultimately walks Susanne down the aisle on her wedding to Carla.

In the meanwhile, Elisabeth has started working for Johannes, who with time has become a friend of Arno's and his family. Johannes is working on setting up a new company with Elisabeth, which causes them to spend late hours together. Arno tries to stay supportive but he and Elisabeth eventually start to fight about her work load. Johannes proves to be a good friend as he listens to Elisabeth and even lets her go early to spend time with her husband. Elisabeth feels drawn to Johannes. Fully aware of their feelings for each other, Elisabeth and Johannes try to fight their attraction. When they get caught kissing by Nico, Elisabeth promises her that things between her and Johannes have stopped before they even started. Nico doesn't necessarily believe Elisabeth but is willing to accept her word for Arno's sake. As Elisabeth continues to work for Johannes the two start having an affair and are finally caught in the act by Arno.

Arno falls in depression after his failed marriage to Elisabeth. Susanne tries to get through to her father but is only pushed away. Arno stays home for days and is letting anyone near him. When he decides to go out one night, Arno ends up on a bridge with the intention to end his life. Arno is saved by a vision that gives him back his strength. In the following events, Arno becomes full of hatred towards the Lahnstein family. He starts disrespecting Susanne's marriage to Carla and isn't happy about Jana's relationship with Leonard von Lahnstein. As Jana's marriage fails because of Leonard's feelings for another woman, he once again shows his hatred for the family by publicly blaming Leonard for Jana's ultimate death.

As Arno returns from a family reunion, his cousin Matthias and his wife Katja are stopping by for a visit. Matthias and Katja soon get the chance to work in town and decide to stay permanently with Arno. They are later joined by their children Fabian, Lydia and David. Arno often appears as a mediator and advisor in various crisis. He for example supports Matthias after Katja cheated on him with Sebastian von Lahnstein.


Arno's life takes another dramatic turn as he loses his family home in February 2010. Almost burned to the grounds and filled with a lot of painful history, Arno decides to move on. He ends up living with Charlie in an apartment in Düsseldorf. In the beginning, the two must find ground to make it work. But soon Charlie and Arno enjoy each other's company and are happy to have someone to come home to. As Charlie starts chatting for a new love interest, Arno becomes Charlie's mysterious admirer. Not knowing who they are chatting with, Arno and Charlie get caught up in flirting with each other. Charlie is shocked when she finds out that she has been chatting with Arno for the entire time. Arno and Charlie are curious if there could be more between them. But after a kiss the two decide to stay friends.

Arno starts reminiscing about his life after Charlie inherited an old picture of Clarissa. With Jan and Julia's birthday coming up, Arno wants to reconnect with his children. While he hasn't spoken to Julia in about four years, Arno has no idea where Jan is. After almost getting cold feet, Charlie can get Arno to call Julia on her birthday. Julia seems disconcerted about Arno's call but eventually admits to her husband Ricardo Mendes that she misses her father. Julia decides to invite Arno to Majorca where she is living now. Arno reunites with her and his grandson Timo, trying to let the past stay hidden as Julia doesn't want to talk about her brother Jan or Clarissa for that matter.

Arno enjoys his visit and soon finds himself closer to Julia than ever. But then Arno is in for a shock when he sees a very much alive Clarissa. He finds out that Clarissa didn't die but that she innocently spent the last ten years in a South American prison. Arno tells her that he's happy that she is alive but that she has to leave as soon as possible. Clarissa however wants to reunite with her children. After she was also unable to locate Jan she at least wants to reunite with Julia. Arno doesn't want to hurt Julia and tells Clarissa that he won't support her and wants her to leave. But as he talks to Julia and realizes how many unanswered questions she has about Clarissa, Arno wants to help her. When Julia finds out that her mother is still alive, she wants to have nothing to do with Clarissa at first. However Arno can change Julia's mind and the three of them get closer.

Arno and Clarissa are stunned when they find out that Jan is living on Majorca, working as a priest. As happy as they are to see their son, Clarissa and Arno fear that the forbidden love of Julia and Jan could destroy their reunion. Clarissa wants Jan to stay away from Julia but the twins eventually meet each other for the first time since what happened in Lanzarote. Arno is warning Julia as she pretty much has Ricardo and Timo told nothing about her family. Arno slowly has to watch how his children are getting closer to each other again to the moment, where Jan is confessing his love for Julia in front of the family. Arno and Jan get into a fight where Jan calls his father out on his hypocrisy and claims that Arno never wanted to see him happy.

Arno is thrown apart by his children's tragedy as he gets to a desperate Clarissa. She takes full responsibility and wishes that she would have never left Arno and that they somehow made it work as a family so that Julia and Jan would never fall in love with each other. Timo is furious with Julia over her lies and secrets and breaks all ties with his mother. Ricardo realizes that he isn't the man Julia wants and leaves her. All alone, Jan wants Julia to come with her. But Julia knows if she would follow Jan into a new life she would lose her son forever. Clarissa and Arno take Jan to the airport, who is prepared to start over on his own once again. But somehow Jan feels something is wrong and he rushes back to Julia who almost drowned but was rescued by Timo. He realizes that he wants his mother to be happy and gives her free so she can be with Jan. Back in Düsseldorf, Arno finds out that his children are now living their forbidden love, still blaming himself for it.

Jan's daughter Leonie Richter and Timo show up in Düsseldorf as Timo prepares to find out more about his biological father, Julia's first husband Tim Sander. Timo confronts Arno with knowing that Tanja had something to do with Tim's death. Arno wants his grandchildren to stay away from Tanja and tells Timo that she's a dangerous woman. Timo ends up kidnapping Tanja and after that faces prison time. Clarissa and Arno try to support Timo as good as they can. In the end Tanja makes a statement that sets Timo free.

Arno starts to have problems with his memories. As Ricardo Mendes, who is a neurosurgeon, wants him to take some tests to find out what's wrong. Arno is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He doesn't want Timo and Leonie to know but includes his good friend Charlie and ex-wife Elisabeth into what's been happening with him. Even though Arno tries to talk the illness off and keeps symptoms to himself. Arno is scared after he seems to have blacked out hours of a day. As he sees footage of himself and not knowing what he's done, he asks himself what is happening to him. Arno soon realizes that he wants to die with dignity. He starts fantasizing about his late mother and thinks that his time soon will come. Charlie is afraid for Arno and thinks he is about to kill himself.

She eventually finds him writing goodbye letters. In one he writes about Olli's secret sister who starts wondering. While Charlie attempts to keep the secret and tells Olli that Arno wrote the letter in one of his episodes. Arno later promises to keep the secret. Instead he keeps working on his bucket list. As Arno disappeared one night, Charlie finds a note saying that he fulfills a dream of his. Charlie finds him after swimming in the pool of the No Limits. Arno's weak and dies in Charlie's arms after saying goodbye to him - taking the secret about Olli's sister to his grave and leaving behind many loved ones.