Peter Alexander (Austrian performer)

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Peter Alexander
USIS – Peter Alexander.jpg
Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer

(1926-06-30)30 June 1926
Vienna, Austria
Died12 February 2011(2011-02-12) (aged 84)
Vienna, Austria [1]
Occupation(s)Actor, singer
Years active1948–1996

Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer (30 June 1926 – 12 February 2011), commonly known as Peter Alexander, was an Austrian actor, singer and one of the most popular entertainers in the German-language world between the 1950s and his retirement.[2] His fame emerged in the 1950s and 1960s through popular film comedies and successful recordings, predominantly of Schlager and operetta repertory. Later, Alexander established himself as the acclaimed host of television shows. His career as a live singer touring the German language countries lasted until 1991, while he continued his television work until 1996.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Vienna, Alexander attended the Max Reinhardt Seminar for actors until 1948 and then began his career in acting. He starred in several musical comedies, including Liebe, Tanz und 1000 Schlager and Peter schießt den Vogel ab. He recorded Ralph Benatzky's operetta Im weißen Rößl, singing the lead role of Leopold Brandmeyer. He then performed in the 1960 movie version of the operetta.[3] He later starred in the Count Bobby movies and the Lümmel-series.

In the 1970s, Alexander started a second career as a TV host and entertainer. His music show, the Peter Alexander Show [de], was shown on black and white TV from 1963 until 1966. From 1969, the German TV station ZDF started to air a new colour version which was broadcast until 1996. The Peter Alexander Show has been seen by more than 38 million viewers and has averaged a 71% viewing rate.[citation needed]

After his death, Media Control Charts named him the biggest singles artist ever with 459 songs having charted on the German singles chart. The single "Und manchmal weinst du sicher ein paar Tränen" had the longest run with 34 weeks on that chart, while 2 other songs, "Der letzte Walzer" and "Liebesleid", were able to reach the No. 1 position.[4] Alexander won 10 Bambi Awards and in 1996 was awarded a Bambi for lifetime achievement.[5]

Alexander married Hilde Haagen in 1952; they had two children, Susanne Neumayer-Haidinger (1958–2009),[6][7] an artist, and Michael Neumayer (1963–2019). Alexander was widowed in 2003.[8][9]

Alexander died on 12 February 2011, aged 84, in his native Vienna.


Year Film Director Role
1948 Der Engel mit der Posaune Karl Hartl Visitor
1952 Verlorene Melodie Eduard von Borsody Piano player
1952 Queen of the Arena Rolf Meyer Singer
1953 Salto Mortale Victor Tourjansky Singer
1953 The Sweetest Fruits Franz Antel Singer
1953 Drei von denen man spricht Axel von Ambesser
1954 Verliebte Leute [de] Franz Antel Musician Karl Munk
1954 The Big Star Parade Paul Martin Singer
1955 Love, Dance and a Thousand Songs Paul Martin Singer Peter Alexander
1956 Musikparade [de] Géza von Cziffra Singer Peter Martin
1956 Bonjour Kathrin Karl Anton Music student Pierre
1956 Ein Mann muß nicht immer schön sein [de] Hans Quest Jazz singer Peter Moll
1957 Liebe, Jazz und Übermut [de] Erik Ode Jazz singer Peter Hagen
1957 Das haut hin [de] Géza von Cziffra Student, artist and singer Toni Matthis
1957 Die Beine von Dolores Géza von Cziffra Singer (uncredited)
1958 Munchhausen in Africa Werner Jacobs Music teacher Peter von Münchhausen
1958 When She Starts, Look Out Géza von Cziffra Jazz musician Peter Holunder
1958 So ein Millionär hat's schwer Géza von Cziffra Millionaire's Heir Edward Collins
1959 Peter Shoots Down the Bird Géza von Cziffra Porter Peter Schatz
1959 Schlag auf Schlag [de] Géza von Cziffra Registrar Hugo Bartels
1959 Ich bin kein Casanova [de] Géza von Cziffra Student and butler Peter Keller
1959 Salem Aleikum [de]
aka: Mein ganzes Leben ist Musik
Géza von Cziffra Teacher and amateur musician Peter Karmann
1960 Kriminaltango Géza von Cziffra Houseowner Peter Martens
1960 Yes, Women are Dangerous Paul Martin Fashion designer Peter Hollmann
1960 The White Horse Inn Werner Jacobs Head waiter Leopold Brandmeyer
1961 Season in Salzburg
aka: Wenn der Toni mit der Vroni
Franz Josef Gottlieb Waiter Heinz Doll
1961 The Adventures of Count Bobby Géza von Cziffra Count Bobby (Robert) Pinelski
1962 Die Fledermaus Géza von Cziffra Dr. Gabriel Eisenstein
1962 The Merry Widow Werner Jacobs Danilo
1962 Wedding Night in Paradise Paul Martin Operetta star Dr. Ulrich Hansen
1962 The Sweet Life of Count Bobby Géza von Cziffra Count Bobby (Robert) Pinelski
1963 Charley's Aunt Géza von Cziffra Diplomat Dr. Otto Wilder
1963 The Model Boy Werner Jacobs CEO Dr. Fritz Geyer
1963 Schweik's Awkward Years Wolfgang Liebeneiner Josef Schwejk
1964 Help, My Bride Steals Werner Jacobs Commercial artist Valentin Haase
1964 In Bed by Eight Werner Jacobs Teacher Dr. Eduard Frank
1965 Who Wants to Sleep? Axel von Ambesser
Rolf Thiele
Alfred Weidenmann
Peter Sommer
1966 Count Bobby, The Terror of The Wild West Paul Martin Count Bobby (Robert) Pinelski
1966 How to Seduce a Playboy Michael Pfleghar Peter Knolle
1968 Zum Teufel mit der Penne
Part #2 of the series: Die Lümmel von der ersten Bank
Werner Jacobs TV reporter Dr. Peter Roland,
Substitute teacher Dr. Wilhelm-Maria Tell
1969 Hurra, die Schule brennt!
Part #4 of the series: Die Lümmel von der ersten Bank
Werner Jacobs Teacher Dr. Peter Bach
1972 Hauptsache Ferien [de] Peter Weck Teacher Dr. Peter Markus

Decorations and awards[edit]

  • Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (1985)[10]
  • Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class (1974)[11]
  • Ring of honour of Vienna (1984)
  • Golden Camera (1970, 1980, 1984 (Germany); 1979 (Austria)) as the best music star of a decade
  • Super Golden Camera 1979 (Germany) as the biggest star of all time, with participation of over 11 million readers of Hörzu
  • Bambi Award (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1987, 1990; 1996 for his lifetime achievement)
  • Golden Europe (1969, 1974, 1979)
  • Goldener Bildschirm [de] (1966, 1973, 1974 and 1976); Silberner Bildschirm (1970 and 1971)
  • Bronze Bravo Otto (1971)
  • Gold Decoration for Services to the City of Vienna (1971)
  • Lion of RTL Radio, a total of 9 prizes in bronze, silver and gold (1973)
  • Honorary Lion as the best singer
  • Golden Microphone (1966) for best male music star in European show business
  • Rose Hill award (1992) for having written Austrian film history
  • Award of the City of Cologne (1976) for 14 completely sold-out events at the Cologne Sporthalle
  • Hermann Löns Gold Medal
  • Golden Romy (1992)
  • Platinum Romy (1993)
  • Other awards were: Lieber Augustin of Vienna (1968), the Golden Bear (1973), Golden Rathausmann (1970), Golden Plate of German gastronomy (1973), Golden Cleo as the most popular star in Austria (1986), German Record Award (1980), Silver Plate of Robert Stolz Foundation in (1980)
  • 4th place in the list of the 50 most important Austrians of the last 50 years in a reader poll of the daily Kurier (2004)
  • Induction into the Echo Hall of Fame (2011)
  • Naming of Peter-Alexander-Platz in Döbling (19th district of Vienna, 2012)


  • Michael Wenk & Barbara Loehr: Peter Alexander – Das tat ich alles aus Liebe. Wien: Ueberreuter, 2006 (ISBN 978-3800071814)
  • "Peter Alexander" entry, German version of Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2005.


  1. ^ III, Harris M. Lentz (2014). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2011. McFarland. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7864-9134-6.
  2. ^ "Peter Alexander gestorben |".
  3. ^ Im weißen Rößl (1960) at IMDb
  4. ^ "Peter Alexander mit Charts-Rekord" at Media Control Charts (14 February 2011) (in German)
  5. ^ "Gedenken an Peter Alexander" (in German). Bambi awards. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Tochter von Peter Alexander tödlich verunglückt", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (18 March 2009) (in German)
  7. ^ "Susanne Neumayer-Haidinger 1958–2009", Der Standard (8 March 2009) (in German)
  8. ^ Obituary for Hilde Haagen, Peter Alexander's wife, Rheinische Post (31 March 2003) (in German)
  9. ^ "Todesfall – Alexander-Tochter: Beerdigung in Wien" Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, ORF (9 March 2009) (in German)
  10. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 724. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 373. Retrieved 9 January 2013.

External links[edit]