Josef Egger was born on February 22, 1889 in Donawitz, Styria, Austria-Hungary. Egger was the secretary (1907) and bureau chief (1908) at the Municipal Theatre of Leoben, where he also took on small stage roles. He opted for the acting profession and then played among others in Linz. In 1915 he was engaged at the Raimund Theater in Vienna.
In the 1920s Egger took part in mostly comic roles in operettas and stepped on stage at the Raimund Theater in Vienna. In the early 1930s, he appeared at the Deutsches Theater in Munich. At this time he received his first film offer.
He often appeared in small supporting roles with actor Hans Moser, such as a bailiff in “Schrammeln” (1944), an usher in “Liebe ist zollfrei” (1941), a postman in “Der Herr Kanzleirat” (1948). Characters with a Czech accent were his specialty. In his few leading roles, such as “Der Hofrat Geiger” (1947) or in Geza von Bolvarys “Die Fledermaus” (1946), he could show that he had a lot of character originality, but in the era of Hans Moser was used just used as an old codger . At the end of his career Josef Egger played the most famous old codger in Euro-westerns as Piripero the coffin maker in “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964) and the quirky old prophet in the sequel “For a Few Dollars More” (1966). Egger appeared in five Euro-westerns before his death on August 22, 1966 in Gablitz, Wien-Umgebung, Austria.
Today we remember Josef Egger on what would have been his 125th birthday.