Karlheinz Hackl

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Karlheinz Hackl and his wife (Vienna 2009)

Karlheinz Hackl (16 May 1949 – 1 June 2014) was an Austrian actor and theater director whose varied career included theater, television, film and cabaret performances as well as musical performances (singing).

Hackl was born and raised in Vienna. After his Matura, he went on to study Business economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and acting at the Viennese drama school Krauss.[1][2] He began his career in 1972 at the Theater der Courage in Vienna.[2][3]

Between 1974-76 he performed at the Viennese Volkstheater, then went on to the Thalia-Theater in Hamburg before returning to Austria in 1978 and joining the Viennese Burgtheater's ensemble, where he soon became a crowd favourite.[4]

In 1988, Hackl debuted as theater director at the Volkstheater.[5] He frequently appeared in movies and television series and worked with the likes of Axel Corti and Alan J. Pakula (Sophie's Choice). He is well known for his chilling role in that film as the SS physician forcing Sophie to choose which one of her two children would be gassed and which would proceed to the labor camp. From 1996 onward, Hackl taught at the Max Reinhardt Seminar school of drama in Vienna.[6] In 1997 he married Austrian actress Maria Köstlinger.

Illness/last years[edit]

In 2003, Hackl was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, but recovered and returned to the stage in 2005, also appearing in different films and series. In 2009 he published a book about his cancer and the long process of recovery and also recorded a CD with cover versions of songs from Austrian singer Georg Danzer. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Nestroy award, an Austrian award which honors theater professionals. In mid-2013, during a performance of Danzer's songs, he collapsed and was again diagnosed with cancer.[4] On 1 June 2014, Hackl died in Vienna of cancer at the age of 65.[7]


  1. ^ (German) Krauss-Schüler, accessed on 2 June 2014
  2. ^ a b (German) Karlheinz Hackl ist gestorben, Austrian Newspaper "Die Presse", accessed on 2 June 2014. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "http:.2F.2Fdiepresse.com.2Fhome.2Fkultur.2Fnews.2F3814634.2FKarlheinz-Hackl-ist-gestorben-" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ (German) Theater der Courage, accessed on 2 June 2014
  4. ^ a b (German) "Schauspieler mit zwei Leben: Karlheinz Hackl gestorben", salzburg.com; accessed 2 June 2014.
  5. ^ (German) Karlheinz Hackl ist tot, Austrian Newspaper "Kurier", accessed on 2 June 2014.
  6. ^ (German) Schauspieler Karlheinz Hackl in Wien gestorbern, format.at; accessed 2 June 2014.
  7. ^ (German) "Schauspieler Karlheinz Hackl ist tot", wien.orf.at; accessed 2 June 2014

External links[edit]