Buddy Elias

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Elias on a reading in the Anne Frank Zentrum in Berlin 2012

Bernhard Paul ″Buddy″ Elias (2 June 1925 – 16 March 2015) was a Swiss actor and president of the Anne Frank Fonds, the foundation dedicated to preserving the memory of his cousin Anne Frank.


Elias was born in Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 1925. His father, Erich Elias, became head of the Basel-based Opekta company in 1929 and Bernhard moved there in 1931. In 1947 he joined Holiday on Ice and was with them for over ten years and later acted on stage in Switzerland, Great Britain, France, and Germany. In the mid-1970s, he appeared increasingly in film and television, mainly in Holocaust-themed productions. His mother was Helene Frank, Anne Frank's paternal aunt.

Elias was the first cousin and last-surviving close relative of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in February or March 1945. He was president of the Anne Frank Fonds, located in Basel. The Anne Frank Fonds is responsible for the rights of Franks' Diary of a Young Girl, which until his death in 1980 had been headed by her father, Otto Frank.

Elias lived in Basel with his wife, Gerti Elias (née Wiedner), where he died on 16 March 2015. They had two sons, Patrick and Oliver, who became actors.



  • Die Abenteuer des Odysseus. Buch Jürgen Knop, Director Ulli Herzog, 1982.
  • Hugo Rendler: Finkbeiners Geburtstag. Radio-Tatort, SWR 2010.
  • Bibi Blocksberg: Ein verhexter Urlaub
  • Benjamin Blümchen as Rudi Rundleder.


  • 2012: Ehrenplakette der Stadt Frankfurt am Main (Medal of Honour of the City Frankfurt am Main)[1]
  • 2007: Basler Stern[2] (in German)



  • Andreas Kotte, ed. (2005). "Buddy Elias". Theaterlexikon der Schweiz (TLS) / Dictionnaire du théâtre en Suisse (DTS) / Dizionario Teatrale Svizzero / Lexicon da teater svizzer [Theater Dictionary of Switzerland]. 1. Zürich: Chronos. p. 528. ISBN 978-3-0340-0715-3. LCCN 2007423414. OCLC 62309181.

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