Wolfgang Bahro as Jo Gerner
|Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten character|
|Portrayed by||Wolfgang Bahro|
|First appearance||Episode 185
February 3, 1993
|Created by||Reg Watson|
|Occupation||Attorney at law
Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim "Jo" Gerner is a fictional character on the longest-running German soap opera Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten. The character is portrayed by actor Wolfgang Bahro since its introduction in February 1993. Over the years the character and Bahro's portrayal have become the identification of the show.
Introduction & Personality
Jo Gerner is introduced as a ruthless attorney, who works for the powerful businessman Richard Graf (Lutz Moik). As it appears, Gerner isn't only Richard's right hand, but also his illegitimate son. Immediately it's shown that Jo Gerner is a real creep and schemer who tries to use everyone around him. The character was created to bring more storyline possibilities into the show and a character that doesn't have to be loved - but more loved to be hate - by the viewers. Actor Wolfgang Bahro took the job without even trying to land the role at the casting. He later said in an interview that he originally planned to play the part for a few weeks - months at least - and it became the role of his life instead. The character of Jo Gerner has also appeared to be a ladies man. With his convincing charm Gerner ensnares the women to let them down, when he's not interested anymore. His first "victim" would be Julia Backhoff (Marie-Christine Herriger). But she doesn't want to get herself involved with Jo, leading to him seeking revenge on her boyfriend Peter Becker (Sali Landricina), when he snaps up his workshop. But the character has also a softer side. Jo Gerner shows his magnificent talent as an attorney to his clients and is determined to win his cases. Even though when he has a personal problem with his client - happened with Tim Böcking (Oliver Bender) - he gives his best. But the real thing that Jo Gerner cares about are children. Introduced as a childless single man, Gerner would later find out that he has a grown daughter, Vanessa Moreno (Anne Bendler), and Jo also fathered two other children, Dominik (Raúl Richter) and Johanna, through the years. The character also becomes a respected businessman, being involved in having a restaurant, an airline and a hotel complex in the abroad. His restaurant Fasan serves as a location for the show for years until being shut down in summer 2008.
Jo's first marriage was to the young Nataly Jäger (Nadine Dehmel). The marriage didn't happen out of love, but more out of an accident that Gerner caused. When Nataly wasn't feeling well after having dinner in the Fasan one night, Jo Gerner offered to drive the young woman home. On the way, Gerner commits a hit and run after he hit Barbara Graf (Maren Turm), his former stepmother and longtime lover, with a car. After the accident Gerner loses control over the car in a fight with Nataly and drives against a tree. Nataly loses her memory and is diagnosed with amnesia after the troubled accident. Gerner fears that Nataly could remember one day and takes care of the young woman. It doesn't take long and Nataly falls for Jo. He sees this as a way out not to risk that his fault on the accident comes to light. Nataly gets warned by her friends about Jo, but doesn't listen since Jo is the only one she truly trust after the accident. When Nataly gets pregnant, Jo is happy and they decide to get married. But a short time before the wedding, Nataly gets her memory back and sees that she is being played, but marries Jo anyway. After the ceremony Nataly is totally confused and gets in another car accident, causing her losing the baby. Nataly seeks for revenge on Gerner, kidnaps him and wants to perform a vasectomy on him herself. She has him already lying on an operating table, when Jan Wittenberg (Rainer Meifert) and Charlotte (Stefanie-Julia Möller) stop her. After realizing what Gerner did to her and losing control in the end, she decides to leave town and divorce Jo.
After his troubled marriage with Nataly, Jo Gerner meets the single mother Patrizia Bachmann (Christin Baechler) in summer 2001 and begins to fall for her. But Patrizia's teenage son John (Felix von Jascheroff) isn't too impressed with the new man in his mother's life and thinks that Jo is just a rich smug that will break his mother's heart sooner or later. The relationship between Patrizia and Jo lives from its ups and downs, before they decide to get married. Gerner even tries to find a way to have a good relationship to John. When the newlyweds arrive on the airport to fly into their honeymoon, Patrizia is confronted with her supposedly dead husband Hannes (Klaus-Dieter Klebsch). He faked his death after he lost the family's money and wanted that they can have a normal life. Patrizia is a wreck for some time, after Hannes returned. Even though Jo gets Patrizia and Hannes officially divorced and his marriage with Patrizia legal, the young marriage keeps to have problems. After another fight with Patrizia about how to handle Hannes being back in his family's life, Gerner has a one-night stand with the attractive architect Katrin Flemming (Ulrike Frank). When Patrizia meets Katrin, she doesn't know that she is the woman her husband was cheated on her with, she commends Katrin for the remake of the Fasan. When Patrizia is gone for a while on a business trip, Jo and Katrin continue their affair. But Gerner wants to end things with Katrin before Patrizia returns. He breaks things off with her and Katrin keeps her distance. But then she keeps playing with him and shows him that she is still attracted to him. When Patrizia finds out about the affair, she ends her marriage with Jo and leaves town soon after for a new job in South Africa.
For a long time, Jo and Katrin had an on- and off-going affair. One of them resulting in daughter Johanna, who was born in 2006. Katrin was only planned as an surrogate mother with getting two million Euro, after the child is born. But Katrin developed feelings for her daughter after all. She wants to get sole custody, claiming that her deal with Jo to give up their daughter was never legal. Katrin wins in court, when Johanna gets kidnapped soon after the judgment. Katrin believes that Jo is behind it, but he has an alibi. Later evidence appears that Johanna is dead and was killed by a convicted criminal, named Robert Deuerling (Thomas Mai). Katrin and Jo mourning over the death of their daughter. But Gerner hides a dark truth: He engaged Maria Schmidt (Tilla Kratochwill) to kidnap his daughter and bring her to Switzerland. Then he framed Deuerling with the murder of his daughter with planting false evidence. But Leon Moreno (Daniel Fehlow) comes behind Gerner's fraud. Jo is already alarmed when Leon wants to tell Katrin the truth. He kidnaps Leon and brings him in a mental hospital. Leon get free and bring Johanna back to Katrin. After her life is threatened during a condition, Katrin and Jo decide that they can't keep with fighting with each other. They get married for Johanna's sick and try to be a family. Even though the two have separate bedrooms. Dominik, Jo's returned young son, is living with them and later they are joined by Katrin's illegitimate daughter Jasmin (Janina Uhse). The Gerner clan more and more works as a family, even though Jo doesn't like the fact that his son has fallen in love with Katrin's daughter. When Katrin finds out that Jasmin was abused by her adoptive father, Dieter Nowak (Egon Hofmann), for years, she gets carried away and shoots him. Katrin later gets arrested for attempted murder. Jo is doing all in his power to get her free. He manipulates evidence so that the judge believes that acted out of self-defense. Alexander Cöster (Clemens Löhr) finds out the truth, but when he finds out what Jasmin has lived for years he keeps his mouth shut. Katrin is free and thankful to Jo, leading that the two form at least a friendship after all.
Jo Gerner has two daughters and one son out of three different relationships. His first-born daughter is Vanessa Moreno. She came to town in April 1996 to find her biological father. First she thinks that it's Clemens Richter (Frank-Thomas Mende), but he can prove her wrong. Vanessa is saddened, but decides to stay in town and work as manager of the noble restaurant Fasan. Gerner finds out that Vanessa is his daughter, but decides to stay quiet about it out of fear of telling her the truth. Even when Vanessa feels attracted to him, he just tells her that their relationship should remain professional. Vanessa takes a trip out of town to forget about her feelings for Gerner and is shocked when she comes back and is diagnosed with leukemia. Only a kidney donation from a relative could help her. But all her biological relatives are dead or unknown. When Jo finds out about his daughter's faith and tells her that he is her father. Vanessa is angry at him to hiding the truth from her for so long, but with time she begins to think about Jo as a father and the two can build a good relationship with each other. She later decides to move to Taiwan and begin a new life with her boyfriend Frank Richter (Torsten Stoll), where the two open a hotel. Her contact with Jo remains with several phone calls over the years. His son Dominik was born on-screen in 1994 under the name Felix Löpelmann. Dominik's mother Claudia (Aelrun Goette) had an affair with Jo Gerner and got pregnant. Since she didn't want to have a child she gave their son free for adoption. He was adopted by Michael Gundlach (Udo Thies) and his wife Iris (Andrea-Kathrin Loewig), who changed his name into Dominik. After Iris was murdered by a serial killer, Claudia tried to win Michael's attention to get her son back. A little while later, Claudia and Michael moved together with Dominik in the country. Gerner never found out what happened to his son until a grown up Dominik came to Berlin to finally get to know his biological father, after Michael told him when Claudia died on a stroke. Dominik is a good-hearted soul and works as a carpenter, which doesn't go very well with Jo. But Dominik and Jo can build a normal father-son-relationship, with Dominik seeing that his father has more than on side. Jo's youngest child, Johanna, with now-wife Katrin is born in 2006 and lives him and Katrin.
Jo Gerner applies for the job as mayor of Berlin-Mitte in 2009. His family isn't very excited about Gerner's newfound interest. Jo doesn't care much about their opinion and goes ahead with his plans. He tries to present a positive image about him and his family. Clemens, who wants revenge on Jo for Tim leaving town, is the first one who makes his election campaign complicated. When he and Katrin visit a kindergarten as a public appearance, Clemens storms in and screams at Jo for causing his son's drug addiction. Gerner can let appear Clemens' accusations as unsubstantial. When he then doesn't receives the public attention to win the election, Jo buys the local newspaper, Morgenecho, through a stooge. Gerner now controls the paper and uses it on a daily basis for his campaign. Journalist Alexander Cöster gets curious about the long-term reports on Gerner and finds out that Jo is ultimate owner. He tries to buy Alexander off with offering a better job or if he tells anyone fire him instead. Alexander, who needs the family to feed his family, decides to stay quiet. The day of the election arrives and Jo is disappointed to see that not a single member of his family showed up. He wins and doesn't know that Jasmin, Dominik and Katrin have been arrested because of the shooting on Dieter Nowak. Katrin is later accused of attempted murder, which causes a political scandal and brings Jo to resign as mayor.
- First air date
- Cult around the character of Jo Gerner
- Story point: Jo is Richard's son
- First ex-wife
- Story point: Nataly wants to perform a vasectomy
- Story point: Nataly leaving town
- Story point: Hannes returns
- Story point: Patrizia leaves Jo and takes a job in South Africa
- Story point: Katrin planned as a surrogate mother
- Story point: Deuerling's involvement in Johanna's faked death
- Story point: Gerner manipulates evidence to get Katrin free
- Story point: Vanessa feeling attracted to her father
- Story point: Vanessa is diagnosed with leukemia
- Story point: Vanessa leaves town with Frank
- Story point: Dominik coming back to Berlin
- Story point: Johanna lives with Katrin and Jo
- Story point: Jo wants into politics - his family not so much
- Story point: Jo has to resign as mayor