Josef Stöckel was born on September 27, 1894 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Josef was the son of a Munich architect and at 16 years of age attended the State Drama School - even though his father only wanted him to learn a "decent trade". After a apprenticeship at the Munich Court Theatre he had his first engagements in Bayreuth and Landshut. Then became a comic operetta specialist and performed as a comedian in the Gärtner-seat Theater.
In the 1920s he founded his own film company in which he produced the then known internationally film series “Joe Marco, der Mann der Kraft”. Stöckel played the lead role as Joe, who had had the most sensational adventures. He transformed the river Isar in Munich to a Wild West setting and Americanized his first name Joseph. From then on he was called Joe.
He belongs alongside Karl Valentin, White Ferdl, Josef Eichheim and Beppo Brem as pioneers of Munich film.
Joe Stöckel's main claim to fame was, however, to having brought the comedy to Bavarian film. He adapted stage classics such as “Die drei Dorfheiligen”, “Das sündige Dorf”, “Der scheinheilige Florian” and worked as a screenwriter or director on these films. He was probably the first to use the contrast between Bavaria and other German ethnic groups, especially as "Prussia", used for comedy.
Joe reached the peak of his career after the Second World War, he worked on a total of about 170 films, of which he himself was the director on about 30 times.
Joe appeared as an actor, screenwriter and director on over a half-dozen Euro-westerns in 1919-1921.
Josef Stöckel died in Munich, Germany on June 14, 1959.
Today we remember Joe Stöckel on what would have been his 120th birthday.