Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Remembering Hannjo Hasse

Hannjo Hasse was born on August 31, 1921 in Bonn, Germany. Hannjo began his adult life working in an office. He then studied acting at Lilly Ackermann’s Training Institute for the Young German Stage. His studies were interrupted by military service during World War II. Hasse was captured and then released and then studied drama in Weimar for a short time. He made his stage debut and also wrote his first play in Nordhausen before joining a theater group in Eisleben and then Potsdam from 1954 - 1962 with the Hans Otto Theatre Group. In 1961 he appeared with Armin Mueller-Stahl in Berlin in Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night". He then joined the DEFA group of film actors. Hasse had appeared in films since 1951's "Der Untertan". Hannjo specialized in playing villainous roles and became one of DEFA’s leading actors. He appeared in five Euro-westerns: "The Sons of Great Bear" (1966), "The Falcon’s Trail" (1967), "Fatal Error" (1969), "Kit & Co" and "Ulzana" (both 1974). Later in his career he would appear in television series and films such as "Alchimisten" (1968) and "Martin Luthe" (1981) and in the TV series "Police 110" as Major Zirrgiebel. An actor of many talents he also dubbed the voices of such actors as Philippe Noiret, Pierre Brasseur and Yves Montand for German audiences. Hasse died on February 5, 1983 in Falkensee, East Germany. Today we remember one of the great stars of East German films, Hannjo Hasse, on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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