Helmut Fischer in 1991
15 November 1926|
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
|Died||14 June 1997
Chiemgau, Bavaria, Germany
Helmut Fischer (15 November 1926 – 14 June 1997) was a popular award winning German actor.
Helmut Fischer was the son of a businessman and a tailor and grew up in the Munich district of Neuhausen in Donnersbergerstraße 50a, 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. In the subsequent period Fischer worked as a theater actor. In 1952 was his stage debut at the Würzburg city theatre as Albrecht III in Friedrich Hebbel's Agnes Bernauer. The reviews were devastating.
For almost 20 years Fischer remained largely unknown and had to deal with minor supporting roles. Among other things, he worked at the Munich "Oktoberfest" at the Zuban show as part of a zebra's behind. In 1953 he married the dancer Utta Martin, with whom he lived up to his death (44 years). In 1961 saw the actor's debut in Bavarian Television: as a hairdresser in Ludwig Thoma's comedy Die Lokalbahn. Fischer described himself as "terrible" 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)". As he was under-worked with acting alone, Fischer also worked as a film critic for the Munich Abendzeitung.
In 1972 he played in the Bavarian Television's first episode of the Tatort series, as assistant to then-time Inspector Veigl (played by Gustl Bayrhammer). When Veigl was "retired" in 1981, Fischer was "promoted" to Commissioner Ludwig Lenz and as such he solved a total of seven cases until 1987. In 1974 Helmut Fischer, in his favourite café Münchner Freiheit met director Helmut Dietl. The latter recognised his friend's true talent and in 1980 gave him a major role in the TV series Der ganz normale Wahnsinn in which Fischer for the first time got to play a manquéed playboy.
The final breakthrough came in 1983 with Helmut Fischer's series Monaco Franze – Der ewige Stenz. Again Helmut Dietl was the director, Patrick Süskind cooperated on the scripts to almost all episodes. In the series, which has now reached cult status among fans, Fischer alongside Ruth Maria Kubitschek, Christine Kaufmann, Karl Obermayr and Erni Singerl in inimitable way embodied an easygoing dandy, charmer and ladies' men, who always manages to master awkward situations with a sheepy smile. Famous sayings by the character role like "A bisserl was geht immer (Anything goes)" were adapted into daily language use. Matching this, Fischer also recorded a successful single titled "Spatzl (Schau wia i schau)) (Sweetheart (Look like I'm looking))".
From now on, the actor was busy with roles whose character were always based on Stenz though. Until the end of his life Fischer kept assuring that the figure of Monaco Franze had nothing to do with his real life. In the mid-1980s, Fischer played with Thomas Gottschalk and Michael Winslow in the two Zärtliche Chaoten films, from 1987 to 1992 he could be seen as "Josefbärli" along Veronika Fitz and 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), where he played the absentminded estate manager Leo Laxeneder, and as the fictitious mayor of Hohenwaldau, Peter Elfinger in Peter and Paul alongside Hans Clarin.
In 1993 Helmut Fischer was diagnosed with cancer. He kept this diagnosis largely secret, only his wife Utta knew about it. In 1996, the actor underwent treatment by the well-known and controversial cancer specialist Julius Hackethal. In November he celebrated his 70th anniversary with a great number of friends and colleagues. At the occasion the told the press: "Das Leben macht sich ja mehr und mehr aus dem Staub (Life is more and more buzzing off)". Eight months later Fischer, to the surprise of the common public, died in Chiemgau. More than 1,000 people participated in the funeral service at the mortuary of Munich's northern cemetery and the subsequent funeral at the Bogenhausen cemetery (gravesite no. 2-4-2) on 19 June 1997. In his funeral speech Munich's Lord Mayor Christian Ude, a friend and neighbour of Fischer, said: "... Populär war er in ganz Deutschland - in München wurde er geliebt. (He was popular throughout Germany - in Munich, he was loved.)"
On Fischer's favourite spot in the garden of café Münchner Freiheit in Schwabing, a bronze monument by Nicolai Tregor Jr. was revealed which depicts Fischer in his famous role as Monaco Franze.
- 1958 – Cherchez la femme (Curse the Women); with Helen Vita
- 1959 – Hubertusjagd (St. Hubert's Hunt); with Angelika Meissner and Wolf Albach-Retty
- 1960 – Oh! This Bavaria!; with Liesl Karlstadt and Ludwig Schmid-Wildy
- 1960 – Die vor die Hunde gehen (Those Who go to the Dogs)
- 1962 – Florence und der Zahnarzt (Florence and the Dentist)
- 1970 – Der Röhm-Putsch (Night of the Long Knives); with Hans Korte and Gustl Bayrhammer
- 1978 – Sachrang (Order of the Case); with Gustl Bayrhammer
- 1978 – Das Einhorn (The Unicorn)
- 1978 - Derrick - Season 05, Episode 04: "Ein Hinterhalt"
- 1979 – Blauer Himmel, den ich nur ahne (Blue Heavens which I can but sense); with Jörg Hube and Hans Stadtmüller
- 1979 – Der Durchdreher; Director: Helmut Dietl
- 1980 – Die Undankbare (The Ungrateful)
- 1984 – Mama Mia – Nur keine Panik (Mamma mia - don't panic); with Uschi Glas and Thomas Gottschalk
- 1987 – Hexenschuß (Lumbago); with Birte Berg and Beppo Brem
- 1987 – Zärtliche Chaoten (Tender Chaotics); with Thomas Gottschalk and Michael Winslow
- 1988 – Starke Zeiten (Hard Times); with Karl Dall, Hans-Joachim Kulenkampff and David Hasselhoff
- 1988 – Zärtliche Chaoten 2; with Thomas Gottschalk und Michael Winslow
- 1989 – Jede Menge Schmidt (Lots of Schmidt); with Anja Schüte
- 1992 – Der Unschuldsengel (Innoncent as an Angel); with Hans Clarin and Iris Berben
- 1993 – Probefahrt ins Paradies (Test Run to Paradise)
- 1995 – Drei in fremden Kissen (Three in Foreign Sheets); with Hans Brenner and Fritz Wepper
- 1996 – Drei in fremden Betten (Three in foreign Beds); with Fritz Wepper and Heidelinde Weis
- 1997 – Fröhlich geschieden (Happily divorced); with Rainhard Fendrich
- Funkstreife Isar 12 (Patrol Car Isar 12); with Wilmut Borell and Karl Tischlinger
- Graf Yoster gibt sich die Ehre (Count Yoster); with Lukas Ammann and Wolfgang Völz
- 1972–1981 – Tatort; as Kommissar Veigl's (Gustl Bayrhammer) assistant Ludwig Lenz, with Willy Harlander
- 1972 Münchner Kindl
- 1973 Weißblaue Turnschuhe (White and blue Sneakers)
- 1973 Tote brauchen keine Wohnung (Dead Persons need no Flat)
- 1974 3:0 für Veigl (3-0 for Veigl)
- 1975 Als gestohlen gemeldet (Reported stolen)
- 1975 Das zweite Geständnis (The second Confession)
- 1976 Wohnheim Westendstraße (Westendstraße Boarding House)
- 1977 Das Mädchen am Klavier (The Girl at the Piano)
- 1977 Schüsse in der Schonzeit (Shots during Closed Season)
- 1978 Schlußverkauf (Sale-out)
- 1978 Schwarze Einser (Black Ones)
- 1979 Ende der Vorstellung (End of the Show)
- 1979 Maria im Elend (Miserable Maria)
- 1980 Spiel mit Karten (A Card Game)
- 1981 Usambaraveilchen (Saintpaulias)
- 1981–1987 – Tatort; as Hauptkommissar Ludwig Lenz
- 1981 Im Fadenkreuz (In the Crosshairs)
- 1982 Tod auf dem Rastplatz (Death on the resting place)
- 1983 Roulette mit sechs Kugeln (Roulette with six Bullets)
- 1984 Heißer Schnee (Hot Snow)
- 1985 Schicki Micki (Fancy)
- 1987 Die Macht des Schicksals (The Power of Fate)
- 1987 Gegenspieler (Opponent)
- Tatort series as visiting commissioner in:
- 1976 Transit ins Jenseits (Transit to the Afterlife)
- 1977 Wer andern eine Grube gräbt (Harm set, Harm get)
- 1979 Der King (The King)
- 1987 Wunschlos tot (Perfectly Dead)
- 1968 – Die seltsamen Methoden des Franz Josef Wanninger (The Strange Methods of F. J. Wanninger) - Die Beschützer (The Protectors); TV police series
- 1972 – Gestern gelesen (Read Yesterday)
- 1978 – Derrick - Ein Hinterhalt (An Ambush); TV police series with Horst Tappert and Fritz Wepper
- 1979 and 1986/1987 – Der Millionenbauer (The Million Mark Farmer); with Walter Sedlmayr and Veronika Fitz
- 1979 – Fast wia im richtigen Leben (Almost like Real Life); with Gerhard Polt
- 1979 – Der ganz normale Wahnsinn (The Ordinary Madness)
- 1982 – Meister Eder und sein Pumuckl - Die abergläubische Putzfrau (The Superstitious Cleaner); Children's series
- 1983 – Krimistunde (Thriller Time)
- 1983 – Monaco Franze – Der ewige Stenz; with Ruth Maria Kubitschek
- 1983 – Unsere schönsten Jahre (Our best Years); with Uschi Glas and Elmar Wepper
- 1986 – Das Traumschiff (The Dreamliner); guest role
- 1986 – Rette mich, wer kann (Save Me who Can!); with Gundi Ellert
- 1987–1992 – Die Hausmeisterin (The House Keeper); with Veronika Fitz
- 1992–1993 – Ein Schloß am Wörthersee (A Castle on Wörthersee); with Uschi Glas
- 1993–1994 – Peter und Paul (Peter and Paul); series with Hans Clarin
- 1996 – Wir Königskinder; with Fritz Wepper
- Lilli Lottofee (roughly: Lilli Lucky Fairy)
- 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
- 1983 – Goldener Gong for "Monaco Franze", together with Ruth Maria Kubitschek and Helmut Dietl
- 1983 – "Rose des Jahres (Rose of the Year)" by tz (Munich tabloid)
- 1983 – "Stern des Jahres (Star of the Year)" by Münchner Abendzeitung
- 1987 – "Bambi"
- 1990 – "Bambi"
- 1990 – Adolf Grimme Awards for Die Hausmeisterin, together with Veronika Fitz and Cornelia Zaglmann-Willinger (author)
- 1991 – "München leuchtet" medal (for merits on Munich)
- 1992 – Siegfried Sommer Literary Awards
- 1993 – Golden Romy for "Most popular actor"
- 1997 – Bronze monument by Nicolai Tregor in Munich Schwabing
- – "Krenkl-Preis" by the Munich Social Democrats for moral courage and civil engagement
- – The Helmut-Fischer-Platz (Helmut Fischer Square) in Munich's Schwabing-West was named after him
- 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
- "Erzählungen, Geschichtliches und Gefundenes aus Neuhausen" (in German). Ulrike Wolf.