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Heinrich Wilhelm "Heinz" Rühmann (March 7 1902October 3 1994) was a popular Germanmarker film actor.

Life and Work

Rühmann was born in Essenmarker, Rhinelandmarker.

Rühmann's role in the 1930 movie Die Drei von der Tankstelle (Those Three from the Gas Station) led him to immediate stardom. He remained highly popular as a comedic actor (and sometimes singer) throughout the 1930s and early 1940s. Although he never supported the Nazi regime, he remained in Germany and continued to work during the Nazi period, as did his friend and colleague Hans Albers. In 1944, he starred in a nostalgic comedy of mistaken identities, Die Feuerzangenbowle, which must now be called the most popular film of his career, especially as a cult movie for students at university. Rühmann had a difficult time resuming his career after the war, but by the mid-1950s the former comedian had established himself again as a star, only this time as Germany's leading character actor.

In 1956, Rühmann starred in the title role of the internationally acclaimed picture Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (The Captain of Köpenick), the true story of a Prussian cobbler, Wilhelm Voigt, who dressed up as an army officer and took over the town hall in Köpenickmarker. In the days of the German Empiremarker, the army had an almost sacred status, and this cobbler embarrassed army officers and civil servants, who obeyed him without questioning. Rühmann was also the leading man in the 1960 film version of The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schweik, set during the First World War, after the novels of Czech author Jaroslav Hašek. In 1965, Rühmann was brought to Hollywood by producer Stanley Kramer for a supporting role in his all-star movie Ship of Fools.

Rühmann was a favorite actor of Holocaust diarist, Anne Frank, who pasted his picture on the wall of her room in her family's hiding place during the war, where it can still be seen today. The enormous range of Rühmann's popularity during the Nazi era is illustrated by the fact that he was also a favorite actor of Adolf Hitler and his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

Rühmann died in Aufkirchen, Bavariamarker, in 1994. He also was buried there.



Heinz Rühmann


  • Das war's. Erinnerungen. Ullstein, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-548-20521-6


  • Franz J. Görtz, Hans Sarkowicz: Heinz Rühmann 1902 - 1994. Der Schauspieler und sein Jahrhundert. Beck, München 2001, ISBN 3-406-48163-9
  • Torsten Körner: Ein guter Freund: Heinz Rühmann. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-7466-1925-4
  • Hans-Ulrich Prost: Das war Heinz Rühmann. Bastei, Bergisch Gladbach 1994, ISBN 3-404-61329-5
  • Fred Sellin: Ich brech die Herzen..., das Leben des Heinz Rühmann. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2001, ISBN 3-498-06349-9
  • Gregor Ball, Eberhard Spiess, Joe Hembus (Hrsg.): Heinz Rühmann und seine Filme. Goldmann, München 1985, 3-442-10213-8
  • Hans Hellmut Kirst, Mathias Forster, et al.: Das große Heinz Rühmann Buch. Naumann & Göbel / VEMAG, Köln o.J., ISBN 3-625-10529-2

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