Dieter Franke was born on October 13, 1934 in Harthau, Saxony, Germany. The son of a stage designer, Dieter began his work in the theater in Greiz, where he was a prop master and Statist worker. He attended from 1954 to 1958, the State Drama School in Berlin and subsequently received a position at the Municipal Theater in Karl-Marx-Stadt.
In 1963 he came to Berlin at the Volksbühne where he became a member of the ensemble of the Deutsches Theater since 1964. Franke developed into a prominent stage actor. He embodied important figures such as Mephisto in “Faust”, the electors in “Prince Friedrich von Homburg” and the village judge Adam in “The Broken Jug”.
From 1963 Franke also appeared in films and on television. In numerous roles he could be both a demonic comic (Devil in “Wer reißt denn gleich vor’m Teufel aus”, 1977, title role in “The Grim Reaper” 1980, TV movie) and the everyday world of ordinary characters (sick rider Adam Kowalski in “Mein lieber Robinson”, 1971, a brigadier in “Dach überm Kopf Kotbuß”, 1980).
Dieter Franke, had long suffered from a serious illness, but continued to work and in 1981 appeared in his only Euro-western “The Long Ride to School” in 1981 as Sander. In 1982 he made his final appearance in the TV film ‘Generalprobe’. Soon after, he died on October 23, 1982 in East Berlin, Germany.
Today we remember Dieter Franke on what would have been his 80th birthday.