Gert Fröbe

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Gert Fröbe
Gert Fröbe (1965).jpg
Fröbe in 1965
Born Karl Gerhart Fröbe
(1913-02-25)25 February 1913
Oberplanitz (now Zwickau), Saxony, German Empire
Died 5 September 1988(1988-09-05) (aged 75)
Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
Cause of death Heart attack
Nationality German
Occupation Actor
Years active 1948–1988
Spouse(s) Karin Kuderer-Pistorius (1970–?)
Beate Bach (1962–1968)
Hannelore Görtz (1953–1959)
Tatjana Iwanow (one child)
Clara Peter (one child)

Karl Gerhart Fröbe, better known as Gert Fröbe (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛɐt ˈfʁøːbə]; 25 February 1913 – 5 September 1988), was a German film and stage actor. He is best known for his work as Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond film Goldfinger, as Peachum in The Threepenny Opera, as Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and as Hotzenplotz in Der Räuber Hotzenplotz.

Early life[edit]

Karl Gerhart Fröbe was born in Oberplanitz, today part of Zwickau. He was initially a violinist, but he abandoned it for Kabarett and theatre work.[1]

He joined the Nazi Party in 1929 at the age of 16 and left in 1937.[2] During the Nazi regime, he aided two German Jews by hiding them from the Gestapo.[3] In September 1944, the Nazis closed down theatres in Germany and he was drafted into the German Army, the Wehrmacht, where he served until the end of World War II.[1]

Acting career[edit]

Fröbe gained fame in one of the first German films made after the Second World War, called Berliner Ballade (The Ballad of Berlin, 1948). His character's name, "Otto Normalverbraucher" (lit. Otto Average Consumer), became a German term equivalent to "Average Joe" or "Joe Bloggs".[4]

In 1958, he was cast as the villain in the Swiss-German film Es geschah am hellichten Tag (It Happened in Broad Daylight), with the original screenplay written by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. His role as a serial killer of children drew the attention of the producers of the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger and he was chosen to play one of the best remembered villains of the series, gold tycoon Auric Goldfinger. Due to his former membership in the Nazi Party, the film was initially banned in Israel until a Jewish family he had protected during the war came forward and thanked him for saving their lives.[3]

Fröbe made several appearances in all-star casts in the 1960s, including the films The Longest Day, Is Paris Burning?, Monte Carlo or Bust and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. During the 1980s, Fröbe played small parts in Mercedes Benz W123 commercials, helping to promote the coupé and the sedan. Aside from acting, Fröbe was a prolific reciter of lyric poetry, especially that of Christian Morgenstern and Joachim Ringelnatz.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Fröbe died in Munich in September 1988 at age 75 from a heart attack.[3]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1948 Der Herr vom andern Stern (de) Extra Uncredited
Berliner Ballade Otto Normalverbraucher
1949 Nach Regen scheint Sonne Konstantin
1952 The Day Before the Wedding Rundfunkreporter
1953 Man on a Tightrope Police Agent Uncredited
Salto Mortale Jan
A Heart Plays False Briefüberbringer
Die vertagte Hochzeitsnacht Gondoliere
Arlette Conquers Paris Manager Edmond Duval
Hochzeit auf Reisen Herr Mengwasser
1954 Die kleine Stadt will schlafen gehen Oskar Blume
Morgengrauen Bit part
Das Kreuz am Jägersteig Kobbe
They Were So Young Lobos
Das zweite Leben Mittelmeier
The Eternal Waltz Gawriloff
1955 Vom Himmel gefallen Olaf
Der dunkle Stern (de) Deltorri
Ich weiß, wofür ich lebe Pfeifer, Inspektor Jugendfürsorge
Mr. Arkadin Munich Detective
Heroes and Sinners Hermann
Das Forsthaus in Tirol Bäuerle, Kaufmann
Dunja
1956 Ein Mädchen aus Flandern (de) Rittmeister Kupfer
Ein Herz schlägt für Erika (de) Heubacher
Winter in the Woods Gerstenberg
1957 Typhon sur Nagasaki Ritter
The Girl and the Legend Mr. Gillis
He Who Must Die Patriarcheos
The Mad Bomberg Kommerzienrat Gustav-Eberhard Mühlberg
Charmants Garçons Edmond Petersen
The Heart of St. Pauli Jabowski
1958 Polizeiaktion Dynamit (de) Hans
Nasser Asphalt Jupp
It Happened in Broad Daylight Schrott
Rosemary Willy Bruster
Grabenplatz 17 (de) Titu Goritsch
Der Pauker Freddy Blei
Das Mädchen mit den Katzenaugen Tessmann
1959 Nick Knattertons Abenteuer (de) Hugo
Prisoner of the Volga Professor
Douze heures d'horloge Blanche
Jons und Erdme Smailus
The Forests Sing Forever Dag
Menschen im Hotel Preysing
Am Tag, als der Regen kam (de) Doctor Albert Maurer
Der Schatz vom Toplitzsee (de) Johannes Grohmann
Old Heidelberg Doctor Jüttner
1960 The High Life Doctor Kölling
Le Bois des amants Le général
Soldatensender Calais Der Chef
The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse Inspector Kras
Bis daß das Geld euch scheidet (de) Jupp Grapsch
Der Gauner und der liebe Gott (de) Paul Wittkowski
1961 The Green Archer Abel Bellamy
Via Mala Jonas Lauretz
The Return of Doctor Mabuse [note 1] Kommissar Lohmann USA screening in 1966
Auf Wiedersehen Angelo Pirrone
1962 Redhead Kramer
Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (de) Kommissar Lohmann
The Longest Day Unteroffizier Kaffeekanne
1963 Le Meurtrier Melchior Kimmel
Heute kündigt mir mein Mann (de) Alfred Paulsen
Die Dreigroschenoper (de) Peachum
Banana Peel Raymond Lachard
1964 Greed in the Sun Castigliano
Tonio Kröger Policeman Peterson
Backfire Karl Fehrman
Goldfinger Auric Goldfinger
1965 A High Wind in Jamaica Dutch Captain
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines Colonel Manfred von Holstein
Who Wants to Sleep? Emil Claasen
1966 The Upper Hand Walter
Ganovenehre (de) Importen-Paul
Is Paris Burning? General Dietrich von Choltitz
Triple Cross Colonel Steinhager
1967 I Killed Rasputin Grigori Rasputin
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon Professor von Bulow
1968 Caroline chérie (fr) Doctor Belhomme
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Baron Bomburst
1969 Monte Carlo or Bust [note 2] Willi Schickel / Horst Muller
1971 $ Mr. Kessel
1972 Ludwig Father Hoffmann
1974 Der Räuber Hotzenplotz (de) Hotzenplotz
And Then There Were None Wilhelm Blore Dubbed into English by Robert Rietti.
Nuits Rouges Commissaire Sorbier
1975 Docteur Justice (fr) Max Orwall
1976 Death Rite Vestar
1977 Das Gesetz des Clans Philip Brown
The Serpent's Egg Inspector Bauer
Tod oder Freiheit (de) Graf von Buttlar
1978 Der Schimmelreiter (de) Tede Volkerts
Der Tiefstapler (de) Felix von Korn
1979 Bloodline Inspector Max Hornung
1980 The Umbrella Coup Otto Krampe ("Whale")
1981 The Falcon Jug Bogdan
1986-1987 The Little Vampire (TV series) Detective Gurrmeyer

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also known as The Phantom Fiend.
  2. ^ Also known as Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fokart, Burt A. (7 September 1988). "Gert Frobe, 75; Portrayed Goldfinger in Bond Movie". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ "Hotzenplotz und Pickelhaube". kultiversum.de (in German). 2 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gert Frobe, an Actor, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Associated Press. 6 September 1988. 
  4. ^ Deutsches Bühnen-Jahrbuch. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

James Bond
Preceded by
Joseph Wiseman
Dr. No
Titular Character Actor
1964
Succeeded by
Christopher Lee
TMWTGG
Preceded by
Lotte Lenya
Villain Actor
1964
Succeeded by
Adolfo Celi