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Tappert in 1971
26 May 1923
|Died||13 December 2008
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Spouse(s)||Ursula Pistor (m. 1957)|
|Awards||Bambi (1979, 1990, 1998)
Telegatto (1986, 1987, 1990, 1999)
Horst Tappert (26 May 1923 – 13 December 2008) was a German movie and television actor who played Inspector Stephan Derrick in the television drama Derrick.
Horst Tappert was born on 26 May 1923 in Elberfeld (now Wuppertal), Germany. His father was a civil servant. Following high school, Tappert was drafted into the German army in World War II and ended up as a prisoner of war. Like the later author of the Derrick series, Herbert Reinecker, Tappert joined the Waffen-SS. Initially a member of the SS-Flak-Ersatzabteilung (Arolsen), he was listed as a member of 3rd SS Division Totenkopf in March 1943. Following the war, he was hired as a bookkeeper at a theatre in Stendal, Germany, and became interested in acting. He took acting classes and gave his stage debut in Stendal, playing Dr. Stribel in Paul Helwig's Die Flitterwochen.
In the late 1950s, Tappert started taking part in movie and television productions. His big breakthrough was in 1966 with the three-part television show Die Gentlemen bitten zur Kasse, in which he played train robber Michael Donegan. In 1968, he changed sides by playing Scotland Yard detective Perkins in Edgar Wallace movies. When the second public television station in Germany, the ZDF, started planning a new mystery series with a different type of investigator in 1973, he was chosen for the character of detective Stephan Derrick, with sidekick assistant Harry Klein (played by Fritz Wepper).
The character of Stephan Derrick became a cult figure. The series was licensed in 104 countries and was popular with the Chinese, Japanese, and Italians (and even Pope John Paul II). The last of 281 episodes was filmed in 1998, when Tappert reached his self-imposed age limit of 75 years for being a television actor.
Divorced twice, he last lived in Gräfelfing near Munich with his third wife, Ursula Pistor (married in 1957). He was the father of three children. Tappert enjoyed fishing and hunting. He had a summer holiday home on the coast of northern Norway, a country where he also became a popular visitor as Derrick as well as a private person. Tappert and his wife Ursula had a cabin in Hamarøy municipality in Nordland from 1990 to 2008 when, due to his age and failing health, they had to sell the cabin. His wife Ursula Pistor is also an actor, a graduate of the same acting school in Berlin as Ellinor Hamsun, daughter of Knut Hamsun.
In interviews and his memoirs, Tappert did not elaborate on his World War II career, claiming to have served as a company medic in the Wehrmacht, after which he became a prisoner of war. In April 2013 it was revealed that he had joined the infamous 3. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf, then deployed on the Eastern Front, in March 1943. Historian Jan Erik Schulte, an expert on the history of the SS, said that the circumstances of Tappert's membership of the SS and the question of whether he was pressured or coerced into joining remain unclear.
Tappert died on 13 December 2008 in Planegg, Germany.
- 1958 The Trapp Family in America, with Ruth Leuwerik
- 1958 Arms and the Man (AAN as Best Foreign Film), with O. W. Fischer, Liselotte Pulver, Ellen Schwiers, Jan Hendriks
- 1958 Wir Wunderkinder (Aren't We Wonderful?), with Hansjörg Felmy, Robert Graf, Johanna von Koczian
- 1959 Der Engel, der seine Harfe versetzte, with Nana Osten, Henry Vahl, Ullrich Haupt
- 1959 Jacqueline, with Johanna von Koczian, Walter Reyer, Götz George, Hans Söhnker
- 1959 The Beautiful Adventure, with Liselotte Pulver, Robert Graf, Bruni Löbel
- 1959 Ruf ohne Echo (TV film), with Hans Christian Blech
- 1961 Zu viele Köche (TV miniseries), with Heinz Klevenow, Joachim Fuchsberger, Karl Michael Vogler
- 1961 Küß mich Kätchen (TV film), with Peter Carsten, Harald Leipnitz, Christiane Maybach
- 1961 Ein schöner Tag (TV film), with Joachim Teege, Hugo Lindinger, Trude Hesterberg
- 1962 Das Halstuch (TV miniseries), with Heinz Drache, Albert Lieven, Erica Beer, Eckart Dux
- 1962 Er kann's nicht lassen, with Heinz Rühmann, Rudolf Forster, Grit Boettcher, Lina Carstens
- 1963 Das tödliche Patent (TV film), with Wolfgang Preiss, Gisela Trowe, Siegfried Lowitz
- 1963 Zwei Whisky und ein Sofa (Whiskey and Sofa), with Maria Schell, Karl Michael Vogler, Robert Graf
- 1964 Sechs Personen suchen einen Autor (TV film), with Helmut Förnbacher, Robert Freitag
- 1964 Der Aussichtsturm (TV film), with Claudia Sorbas, Konrad Georg, Monika John
- 1964 Leonce und Lena (TV film), with Dieter Kirchlechner, Gertrud Kückelmann
- 1965 Eine reine Haut (TV film), with Herbert Fleischmann
- 1966 Die Gentlemen bitten zur Kasse (The Great British Train Robbery) (TV miniseries), with Hans Cossy, Günther Neutze
- 1966 Ein Tag in Paris (TV film), with Paula Denk, Ingeborg Solbrig, Peter Fröhlich
- 1966 Der Kinderdieb (TV film), with Isolde Bräuner, Lucie Mannheim, Walter Jokisch
- 1966 Das ganz große Ding (TV film), with Carl-Heinz Schroth, Brigitte Grothum
- 1966 Der Mann aus Melbourne (TV film), with Herbert Stass, Alf Marholm, Roma Bahn
- 1966 Jerry Cotton: Die Rechnung – eiskalt serviert, with George Nader, Heinz Weiss
- 1966 Der schwarze Freitag (TV film), with Curd Jürgens, Dieter Borsche (Tappert as narrator)
- 1967 Liebe für Liebe (TV film), with Wolfgang Büttner, Helmut Griem, Klaus Löwitsch
- 1968 Der Hund von Blackwood Castle (The Horror of Blackwood Castle), with Heinz Drache, Karin Baal, Hans Söhnker, Agnes Windeck
- 1968 Heißer Sand auf Sylt (Hot Sand on Sylt - Just to Be Loved - The New Life Style), with Charlotte Kerr, Renate von Holt, Axel Burg
- 1968 The Gorilla of Soho, with Uschi Glas, Uwe Friedrichsen, Hubert von Meyerinck
- 1968 Das Kriminalmuseum - Die Reifenspur (TV film)
- 1969 Der Mann mit dem Glasauge (The Man with the Glass Eye), with Karin Hübner, Fritz Wepper, Hubert von Meyerinck
- 1969 Seven Days Grace, with Joachim Fuchsberger, Konrad Georg, Karin Hübner, Petra Schürmann
- 1970 Perrak, with Erika Pluhar, Judy Winter, Werner Peters
- 1970 Und Jimmy ging zum Regenbogen (And Jimmy Went to the Rainbow's Foot), with Alain Noury, Konrad Georg, Horst Frank
- 1971 Bleib sauber, Liebling (The Love Keys), with Heidi Hansen, Uwe Friedrichsen, Siegfried Schürenberg
- 1971 The Devil Came from Akasava, with Fred Williams, Soledad Miranda, Siegfried Schürenberg
- 1971 The Captain, with Heinz Rühmann, Johanna Matz, Ernst Stankovski, Horst Janson
- 1971 She Killed in Ecstasy, with Soledad Miranda, Fred Williams
- 1972 Der Todesrächer von Soho (The Corpse Packs His Bags), with Wolfgang Kieling, Barbara Rütting
- 1972 Hoopers letzte Jagd (TV film), with Max Mairich, Liselotte Pulver, Florian Halm
- 1973 Eine Frau bleibt eine Frau (TV film), with Lilli Palmer
- 1973-1998 Derrick (TV series)
- 1974 Auch ich war nur ein mittelmäßiger Schüler (I Wasn't a Very Good Student Either), with Jutta Speidel, Georg Thomalla, Rudolf Platte
- 1984 Cinématon
- 2000 Der Kardinal - Der Preis der Liebe (The Cardinal) - (TV film), with Christine Reinhart, Enzo De Caro
- 2001 In 80 Jahren um die Welt (TV film)
- 2003 Herz ohne Krone (The Uncrowned Heart) - (TV film), with Eleonora Brigliadori, Franco Nero, Jacques Breuer
- 2004 Derrick - Die Pflicht ruft (Derrick - The Feature Film) - (Animated film with original voice of Tappert and Wepper)
- Heyne-Verlag, ed. (1999). Derrick und ich. Meine zwei Leben (Derrick and I. My two lives (1st ed.). Munich, Germany: Heyne-Verlag Munich. ISBN 3-453-15000-7.