Paul Klinger

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Paul Klinger (14 June 1907, Essen – 14 November 1971, Munich), whose real name was Paul Karl Heinrich Klinksik, was a German stage and film actor who also worked in radio drama and soundtrack dubbing.

Family life[edit]

His father, a civil engineer, was Karl Heinrich Klinksik; his mother was Gertrud Emma Mathilde (née) Uhlendahl.[1] He was first married from 1936 to 1945 to the actress Hildegard Wolf with whom he had one child. There were two more children from his second marriage in 1950 to Karin Anderson, another actress.[2] Paul Klinger and Karin Andersen, twenty years his junior, met during the filming of a crime thriller in 1950 when she was working on the set as a stills photographer. They would later appear together in two of the Immenhof[3] films, Hochzeit auf Immenhof, 1956 and Ferien auf Immenhof, 1957.[4]

Education and career[edit]

Paul Klinger and Nadia Gray; 2007 stamp based on the poster to the 1956 film Hengst Maestoso Austria

Klinger's secondary education was at the Helmholtz-Realgymnasium, which he attended to Abitur level taking part in amateur dramatic productions with his friend, Helmut Käutner.[5] However, his father was opposed to any idea of a career in the theatre and sent him to the Technische Hochschule München (Technical University Munich), where he once again met up with his old school friend Helmut Käutner. The latter persuaded him to change from architecture to a theatrical course. He completed six semesters, he and his friend working as extras at the Otto-Falckenberg Schauspielhaus.[1] The death of his father meant that he could no longer afford to study and he accordingly decided to become a professional actor.

Theatre[edit]

One of his first engagements was at the Bayerische Landesbühne (a travelling theatre) – and from 1929 at theatres in Koblenz, Oldenburg, Düsseldorf and Breslau – where his powerful and distinctive voice landed him major parts for which he was really too young. Things were to change in 1933 when the director Heinz Hilpert took him to the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, where he was cast in the roles of young heroes, as was the case with a production of Uta von Naumberg in which he appeared with Käthe Dorsch. He would remain in theatre in Berlin until 1948, appearing not only at the Deutsches Theater but also at the Komische Oper, the Theater am Kurfürstendamm, the Hebbeltheater, the Schloßpark-Theater and in comedy.[1]

Early films[edit]

In Breslau, under the direction of his cousin, Karl-Heinz Uhlendahl, he passed some television screen tests and began his film career in 1933 with Du sollst nicht begehren (Thou Shalt not Covet), which landed him simultaneous contracts with the then biggest German studios Ufa, Terra Film and Tobis.[1] His second film was Männer vor der Ehe in 1936, this to be followed by numerous roles in other films. As for his film work during the period of the Third Reich, the theatrical director Hellmuth Matiasek commented: "His appearance and manner – evoking pre-war salons rather than the trenches of the Eastern Front – spared him from productions commissioned by Joseph Goebbels and he played in classics by Goethe, Theodor Storm and Fontane."[5] A short film made early in the war, Barbara, did not get past the censor: in this he played the soldier husband of Lotte Werkmeister. However, when he was sent to the front, his wife would find fulfilment with a job on the railway. In the NS-inspired war film, Spähtrupp Hallgarten, directed by Herbert B Fredersdorf, Klinger comes across as boyish, eye-winking and at times foolhardy.[1]

Post war films[edit]

He had other film parts after the Second World War, reaching the peak of his popularity in the 1950s in films of Erich Kästner novels such as Anna Louise and Anton and The Flying Classroom, as well as others in the Heimatfilm genre of the Immenhof trilogy. In the latter, Klinger, in the role of Jochen von Roth, is an amiable, substitute father-figure who manages to turn the impoverished farm into a successful pony-trekking centre.[1]

Dubbing[edit]

As early as 1943, Klinger was involved in film dubbing. In the 1950s and 60s he was one of the busiest dubbing actors in the German film industry, speaking the parts of many well known actors including Charlton Heston, Bing Crosby (12 times), Jean Gabin, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Stewart Granger, William Holden and Tyrone Power.[6]

TV and radio[edit]

From the early 1960s, he was seen less frequently on the big screen but embarked on a television career where he became known to a wide audience in the six-part WDR blockbuster, Tim Frazer by Francis Durbridge, and the ZDF police series, Kommissar Brahm.

In addition to his work for theatre, film and television, Klinger appeared from 1940 onwards in numerous German radio dramas. In 1967 he took over the title role, which had been played by René Deltgen, in the twelfth and final episode of the famous Paul Temple radio series, Paul Temple und der Fall Alex (Paul Temple and the Alex Affair) by Francis Durbridge. Like almost all the other broadcasts in the series, this WDR production was released on a CD.[7] In the eleventh episode (1966) Paul Temple und der Fall Genf[8](Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery), he was heard not in the title role but as Maurice Lonsdale.

Death and honours[edit]

Paul Klinger, who appeared in over 70 films, died in Munich on 14 November 1971 from a heart attack while he was attending a meeting of the Bundesfachgruppe der Film- und Fernsehschaffenden of the Deutsche Angestellten-Gewerkschaft.[1][9] He is buried in the cemetery at Söcking near Starnberg.[2]

In 1974, the non-profit association ‘Paul-Klinger-Künstlersozialwerk e.V.’ (Paul Klinger Artist Welfare-Aid Foundation) was founded to honour his work for disadvantaged artists.[5]

On the anniversary of his birth in 2007, Germany honoured Paul Klinger with a commemorative postage stamp that had a print-run of ten million. The stamp was launched at a ceremony on 14 June 2007 by the Paul-Klinger-Künstlersozialwerkes e.V. at Höhenried Castle on Lake Starnberg in the presence of his family and former colleagues, the latter including Sonja Ziemann, Ernst Stankovski, Kurt Weinzierl, Mady Rahl und Eva-Ingeborg Scholz.[5]

A road is named after him in his birthplace, Essen.[10] It is located in the Essen-Westviertel district, close to the Colosseum Theatre on land where once stood factory premises of the firm Friedrich Krupp AG.

Filmography[edit]

Radio drama[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Paul Klinger". Lexikon zum deutschsprachigen Film. D1. München: Hans-Michael Bock. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography for Paul Klinger". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  3. ^ Immenhof was the supposed farmland setting of a series of German films made between the 1950s and 1970s.
  4. ^ "Paul Klinger". Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  5. ^ a b c d Thissen, Rolf (May 2007). "Paul Klinger - Charakterdarsteller mit Charakter" (PDF). Paul Klinger Report (in German). Paul-Klinger-Künstlersozialwerk e.V. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  6. ^ "Top 100 list of (German) dubbing actors". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  7. ^ ISBN 3-89940-436-X
  8. ^ ISBN 3-89940-405-X
  9. ^ Film and TV Professionals of the German Salaried Employees' Union
  10. ^ "Stadtplan Essen". Branchenbuch Deutschland. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 

External links[edit]