Heinz Bernard Messinger was born on December 12, 1923 in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany. Heinz Bernard grew up as a Jewish child in Nuremberg in Nazi Germany. He was adopted by the Lowenstein family after his biological father died of Tuberculosis.
He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1951. After graduation he worked in the Peter Allan Theatre, possibly the last group of travelling players to operate in the British Isles, performing every night in different towns and villages in the British countryside. He went on to become the manager of the famous leftist Unity Theatre, London. As manager of Unity theatre he staged the first professional British production of a Brecht play, the ‘Visions of Simone Marchard’. Heinz Bernard also acted and directed in the travelling Century Theatre and taught at RADA, where he was director of admissions. After leaving RADA he worked under the professional name Harry Bernard, eventually dropping the Harry and becoming simply Heinz Bernard.
After World War II Heinz's mother informed him that he was adopted. His real brother and sister had reached Palestine before the war and now made contact with him. Heinz's brother was a co-founder of Kibbutz Ramat Yochanan and Heinz was a communist party member at this time (despite his conservative adopted family). He went on to run a legendary Communist Party affiliated theatre in London (Unity Theatre) and staged the first productions of Brecht in the English language. Heinz left the Communist Party in the fifties after anti-Semitic plotting by Stalin and the invasion of Hungary.
Bernard appeared in 26 films and TV appearances between 1959 and 1992 including two Euro-westerns: “God’s Guns” and “Kid Vengeance” (both 1976).
Following the death of his Israeli brother in the late sixties, Heinz decided to emigrate to Israel. He acted the part of the Rabbi in the West End production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ to raise money for the move. In Israel he became a legend on account of his performances in English teaching television programs, "Neighbours" (written by his wife Nettie) and "Here We Are". Each of the series was broadcast twice a week on the single national TV channel for over fifteen years, making him a familiar face to most Israelis. He appeared in many Israeli films of the seventies, working with Shaike Ophir, Ephraim Kishon and Menachem Golan. Among his
After ten years in Israel Heinz returned to England where he had to restart his career. He continued to work until his death of a rare blood disease on December 18, 1994.
BERNARD, Heinz (aka Harry Bernard, Heinz Bernhard, Heinz Löwenstein) (Heinz Bernard Messinger) [12/22/1923, Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany - 12/18/1994, London, England, U.K. (blood disease)] - stage, TV actor, married to author, screenwriter Nettie Lowenstein [19?? - deceased] (196?-1994).
God’s Gun - 1976 (Judge Barrett)
Kid Vengeance – 1976 (George)