Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RIP Jesper Klein

After a short bout with liver cancer the popular Danish actor Jesper Klein died last night August 22, 2011. "The family was together, so my father died in the bosom of his family," said his son, director, screenwriter Sebastian Klein

Jesper Klein was born on November 13, 1944 in Naestved, Denmark and first appeared on TV in 1968. Klein never took any formal acting training, but is considered one of the biggest and most versatile Danish drama talents ever. He originally wanted to be a musician, but was quit his music studies and became a pub pianist and, after some theater studies became an actor. The breakthrough came in 1969 in "Camel Lady" by Jytte Abildstrøm. The same year, he played a major role as the rootless, young dairy worker in "The Ballad of Carl-Henning" and was awarded a Bodil. Then he became involved in a long series of memorable roles. Both in the theater and in films such as Niels Malmros '"Beauty and the Beast'. But for most Danes, he was known from television. On television, from the early 1970s he was a permanent freelancer in DR's children and youth series. He wowed generations of "Radio Tirana", "Mrs. Bak Sweep", "Christmas Calendars", and the controversial youth program "Pepper Grinder" and many more. It was also on TV in 1974 he was put together with Tom McEwan and Jess Ingerslev which became the legendary musical mad trio "Avocets'.

Besides the many funny, wry and quirky roles, he was among other things, admired for his unique ability to use his voice. Jesper Klein was able to give voice to virtually all kinds of characters, and placed voices for a large number of puppet and animated films, such as "Jungle Beast Hugo" and in the cartoons "Samson and Sally" and "Bicycle Mosquito Egon".

Klein was married to fellow actress Lykke Nielsen for 37 years. She died five years ago after a very long and difficult struggle against breast cancer. In this context, he said that he would hate to have a death as cruel and painful as his wife.

Jesper Klein is survived by his son Sebastian Klein, who has two children, a daughter, Sandra, who lives in Norway and also has two children.

Klein appeared in two Euro-westerns, "Tough Guys of the Prairie" (1970) and "Gold for the Tough Guys of the Prairie" (1971).

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