Hanns Zischler

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Hanns Zischler (2017)

Christoph Johann "Hanns" Zischler (born June 18, 1947 in Nuremberg ) is a German film actor , dramaturge , director , radio play speaker , photographer , translator and essayist .


Hanns Zischler grew up as the son of a quarry owner and stone merchant Johann Zischler in the Franconian village of Langenaltheim . After his mother's death he went to school at a Protestant boarding school in Ingolstadt , where his interest in music and philosophy was encouraged. He then attended the Marquartstein boarding school and graduated from high school in 1966 . In Munich and Berlin he took lectures in philosophy , ethnology , musicology and literature . Zischler worked as a lecturer and translator for French philosophers and went to the Berlin Schaubühne in 1968 , where he worked as a dramaturgy and assistant director from 1973 to 1975. In 1976 in Karlsruhe and Basel he staged the plays Die Schlacht und Traktor by Heiner Müller together with director Harun Farocki . He left the world of the theater behind because, according to his own statements, he did not want to work permanently in closed, windowless rooms.

As an actor, he has appeared in German film productions, including those of Wim Wenders , Peter Handke , Peter Lilienthal and Rudolf Thome, since the 1970s . He has appeared eight times in Thome's feature films. Zischler was best known in 1976 through the road movie Im Lauf der Zeit by Wim Wenders. He has also worked in international productions by auteur filmmakers such as Claude Chabrol , Andrew Birkin and István Szabó . In 2005 he played the role of Mossad agent Hans in Steven Spielberg's drama Munich .

In the Swedish crime series Kommissar Beck - The New Cases he played the role of Josef Hillman in the episodes The Cartel , The Man Without a Face , Price of Vengeance (TV, 2001), The Boy in the Glass Ball , Death by Ad , The Hermit and Sender unknown (television, 2002). In the film Hilde about the life of Hildegard Knef , which premiered at the Berlinale 2009 , Zischler played the role of UFA film producer Erich Pommer .

Zischler plays his roles with a great presence of mind and presence. In the opinion of Reclam's Lexicon of German Films , he embodies a “trusting masculinity that defies any fashionable attitude and appears sympathetically old-fashioned.” The director Jean-Luc Godard called him a gentleman actor . The FAZ judged his acting: Zischler acted in the film in “an emphatic , at the same time deliberately reserved manner”, his “trademark” was “the expressive lacony ”. He is one of the busiest actors in Germany; by 2015, more than 220 film and television roles were counted in which he portrayed very different characters. Nevertheless, to this day he is mainly valued and respected by film connoisseurs, whose recognition, however, is sufficient for him according to his own statement.

In 2006 Zischler founded the Alpheus Verlag in Berlin for the second time after 1968 , in which from 2007 to 2010 the TUMULT series . Writings on traffic science (edited by Walter Seitter and Frank Böckelmann ) appeared temporarily.

Zischler has lived in Berlin since 1968, lived with the landscape architect and artist Regina Poly (1942–2014) since 1978 and was married to her since 2008/2009. His son Julian Middendorf (1978–2013) worked as an actor, dancer and yoga teacher.


Filmography (selection)


  • Gero von Boehm meets Hanns Zischler. Talk, Germany, 2010, 44:25 min., Production: interscience, 3sat , first broadcast: November 8, 2010, film information from interscience, 3sat video depublished .
  • “I'm going into a different blue.” TV documentary on Rolf Dieter Brinkmann , BR Germany, 1981, 45 min., Script and director: Hanns Zischler, production: Südwestfunk , film data from filmportal.de .
  • "America" ​​in front of your eyes or Kafka in 43 minutes. 30 sec. Documentary film, Federal Republic of Germany, 1978, 43:30 min., Script and director: Hanns Zischler, production: WDR , first broadcast: September 1, 1978 on WDR 3 , film data from filmportal.de .

Fonts (selection)

- reverse chronological -



Audio books

Radio plays

Web links

Commons : Hanns Zischler  - Collection of Images


About Zischler

Individual evidence

  1. a b Björn Rosen, Andreas Austilat : “Tastelessness must be allowed.” In: Tagesspiegel , September 16, 2011, Sunday interview.
  2. a b c Katharina Losso: Bio- and Filmography ( Memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) on film-zeit.de , March 2009.
  3. a b In: Gero von Boehm meets Hanns Zischler. In: 3sat , November 8, 2010 and Hanns Zischler. Multi-artist. ( Memento from November 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: 3sat .
  4. Hanns Zischler. In: guenter-peter.de , accessed on May 19, 2015.
  5. Claudia Christophersen: Hanns Zischler on the art of speaking. In: NDR , April 6, 2016, interview.
  6. Michael Althen and Andreas Kilb : "Presence of mind is the only commandment." In: FAZ , January 19, 2006, interview.
  7. a b Jochen Hieber : Hanns Zischler on the sixtieth: Even when he is lying on the sofa, he remains present. In: FAZ , June 18, 2007.
  8. a b c Gerda-Marie Schönfeld: Hanns Zischler. Secret face. ( Memento from April 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) In: stern , February 4, 2006, No. 5.
  9. Hanns Zischler. In: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger , 2010.
  10. a b c Anna Loll: Hanns ... who? Oh he! In: FAZ , January 31 / January 1. February 2009.
  11. Hanns Zischler. In: IMDb , accessed on May 19, 2015.
  12. Knut Cordsen: Cicero speaker award. Award for Hanns Zischler. ( Memento from October 2, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: BR , April 7, 2016, audio file, 5:44 min.
  13. Hanns Zischler receives an honorary doctorate. Knowledge compact. In: Welt Online. April 19, 2018, accessed February 11, 2020 .
  14. Elke Schmitter : Romantic dry material. In: Der Spiegel , No. 49, December 6, 2010, page 162, review of The Butterfly Case.
  15. Wiglaf Droste : Hanns Zischler reads "Die Vollidioten" by Eckhard Henscheid. In: Taz , January 13, 2006, review.