Friday, May 11, 2012

RIP Günther Kaufmann

Berlin - German actor Günther Kaufmann has died, he collapsed on a Berlin street on Thursday May 10, 2012, a police spokesman confirmed on Friday evening, in a report in the "Bild" newspaper. He died while walking in the Grunewald district of heart failure, the newspaper said. The actor, who in 2009 went to RTL "jungle camp" and at one time was wrongly imprisoned for murder was 64 years old.

"The White Negro of Hasenbergl" - the title of his autobiography - grew up the son of a U.S. Army soldier and a German mother in Hasenbergl quarter of Munich. In the 70s and 80s, he starred in 16 Rainer-Werner Fassbinder films, including "Berlin Alexanderplatz," "The Marriage of Maria Braun" and "Querelle". In the '90s he had roles in TV series including "Derrick" and "The Old Man".

Even his merchant life at times resembled a detective story: for the love of his terminally ill wife he made a false confession and was found guilty in 2002 for the murder of his tax adviser and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Almost three years he sat in jail until the real culprit was arrested. The actor then recanted his confession and was acquitted in a retrial in Augsburg. It turned out that the real culprit had brutally attacked the accountant on behalf of the wife of a merchant now deceased.

After his release, he played in two films including the animated series "Vicky the Viking" and Michael "Bully" Herbig's, the "Terrible Sven". Recently he was seen in "Turkish for Beginners - The Movie" on the big screen. In 2009, Kaufmann was a participant in one episode of the fourth season of "I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here". He tried out for a role in an upcoming 2013 feature film about a businessman living in theaters. The father of two grown children himself, he wanted the lead role.

Kaufmann appeared in one Euro-western, director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Whity” (1971) as Whity.

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