Helmut Dietl

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Helmut Dietl (born June 22, 1944 in Bad Wiessee ; † March 30, 2015 in Munich ) was a German film and television director and screenwriter .


Helmut Dietl grew up in Munich after his parents' divorce with his mother († 1976) and again and again with his two grandmothers. His paternal grandfather was the Austrian actor and director Fritz Greiner . His father, with whom he said he had no good relationship, died around 1970 of esophageal and stomach cancer . After graduating from secondary school in Schwabing , Dietl studied theater studies and art history at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich , but without obtaining a degree. He then became production manager at television and later assistant director at the Münchner Kammerspiele . Dietl made his debut in 1974 in the early evening TV program of Bayerischer Rundfunk with the Munich Stories , which deal with observations of Munich society, a topic that would accompany him for life. The final breakthrough, however, came with the TV series The Ordinary Wahnsinn , which was released in 1979 as The Dramatic as a full-length film and was awarded the German Film Prize. After an interlude in Los Angeles (1979-1983), he returned to Germany and started for the ARD , the ten-part evening series Monaco Franze - the eternal Stenz to turn that aired from 1,983th He then shot the six-part TV series Kir Royal for Westdeutscher Rundfunk , which was shown in ARD's 1986 program. Dietl has been one of the most famous television directors in the German-speaking area at the latest since these series. He wrote several scripts with Patrick Süskind for television and film projects; the two were considered close friends.

In addition to television series and films, he also shot a few commercials (including ARD television lottery and Haribo).

The first movie by Dietl, who is considered a perfectionist, was Schtonk in 1992 ! with Uwe Ochsenknecht , Götz George and Christiane Hörbiger in the leading roles. The parody about the publication of the forged Hitler diaries in the Hamburger Illustrierte Stern in 1983 was nominated for the Oscar for best foreign language film and won the German Film Prize in the categories of film and directing. Dietl succeeded in repeating this success with Rossini - or the murderous question of who slept with whom (1997), a "melodrama" about the Munich film business, according to his own admission. In 1999 his film Late Show was released in German cinemas. It deals with the media industry and attracted almost 900,000 viewers.

At the end of 1995 Dietl started his cooperation with private television . He signed a five-year contract with Sat.1 , under which he worked as a writer, director and executive producer. In addition, he should discover and promote young talent. In 2001, together with Gerhard Hegele, he produced the television film Wambo , which focuses on the life of the murdered actor Walter Sedlmayr and retells it fictionally.

In 2003 Helmut Dietl was one of the founding members of the German Film Academy .

In 2005, he shot the comedy movie From Searching and Finding Love , which adapted the Orpheus legend. However, the film received only moderate criticism. From March 2011 Dietl made the film Zettl . The political satire is a continuation of his television series Kir Royal and is based on a script he wrote with Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre . The story is about the rise of the chauffeur Zettl ( Michael "Bully" Herbig ) to editor-in-chief of an online magazine in Berlin. The film cost 10 million euros and was released in cinemas on February 2, 2012. Despite the top-class cast, he was almost unanimously panned by the critics and largely ignored by the audience. According to his own statements, this harsh rejection offended him very much.

Dietl was married four times. First he married the journalist Karin Wichmann, then he became the husband of the Austrian actress Barbara Valentin . After another marriage to the French Denise Cheyresy, he was in a relationship with the actress Veronica Ferres from 1990 to 1999 , who also starred in several of his films. His last marriage was in 2002 with the former n-tv presenter , director and film producer Tamara Duve , daughter of the politician Freimut Duve . He lived in and around Munich with her and their daughter Serafina Marie Dietl, who was born in July 2003. He also has two older children; the son David Dietl (* 1979, from a connection with the secretary and confidante of Bernd Eichinger Marianne Dennler), who like his father became a director, and his older daughter Sharon Dietl (* 1969; joint child of him and Karin Dietl-Wichmann ) who also works in the media industry and was sometimes on the father's set.

In November 2013 Dietl announced in an interview with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit that he had already suffered a stroke in 2007 . He was also diagnosed with lung cancer at the beginning of October 2013 , with the chances of a cure being at most ten percent. "When you consider how much I've smoked, it's almost a miracle that it went well for so long," said Dietl. He added that he quit smoking in 2007 . In the year before his stroke, he is said to have smoked up to 120 cigarettes a day. He did not want to give further interviews about his illness. Helmut Dietl died of cancer on March 30, 2015 in Munich. He was buried in the Bogenhausen cemetery .

The grave of Helmut Dietl and his mother Else in the Bogenhausen cemetery in Munich.

Stephan Lebert wrote: "He discovered and made great actors such as Helmut Fischer or Franz Xaver Kroetz , and his former partner Veronica Ferres would never have become what she is without him."


After Helmut Dietl's death, plans arose to erect a monument for him next to the statue of Monaco Franze at Münchner Freiheit . At the beginning of November 2019, the culture committee of the Munich city council approved the monument plans and commissioned the artist Nikolai Tregor , who also modeled the Monaco-Franze statue, with the execution of a statue by spring 2020.

Filmography (selection)




  • Hellmuth Karasek : A stenz from Gaishoferstraße 47 . In: Der Spiegel . No. 33 , 1987, pp. 142–149 ( online - August 10, 1987 , interview with “Monaco Franze” inventor Helmut Dietl about his TV successes and TV experiences).
  • Lothar Gorris, Thomas Hüetlin : Power and sex, that's what it's all about . In: Der Spiegel . No. 3 , 2012, p. 120–125 ( online - January 16, 2012 , interview with Helmut Dietl).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, accessed on March 30, 2015.
  2. a b Helmut Dietl . In: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 15/2014 from April 8, 2014, supplemented by news from the MA-Journal up to week 47/2014 (accessed via Munzinger-Online ).
  3. ^ Helmut Dietl and Veronica Ferres separated , Rhein-Zeitung, February 10, 2000
  4. ↑ The curriculum vitae of Tamara Dietl, b. Duve, accessed on March 31, 2015. ( Memento of the original from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.tamaradietl.com
  5. Helmut Dietl became a father for the third time, report in RP Online, accessed on March 31, 2015.
  6. ZEIT interview: Helmut Dietl is seriously ill. In: zeit.de. November 27, 2013, accessed December 2, 2014 .
  7. Helmut Dietl died at zeit.de, accessed on March 30, 2015
  8. knerger.de: The grave of Helmut Dietl
  9. ^ Die Zeit , April 1, 2015, p. 41
  10. muenchen.de: Helmut Dietl receives a memorial in Schwabing. Retrieved November 21, 2019 .