Horst Tappert

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Horst Tappert (1971)

Horst Tappert (born May 26, 1923 in Elberfeld ; today Wuppertal , † December 13, 2008 in Planegg ) was a German actor . His best-known role was that of Chief Inspector Derrick in the TV crime series of the same name.


Horst Tappert's urn grave in Graefelfing near Munich

Tappert was born in 1923 as the son of a civil servant in what is now the Elberfeld district of Wuppertal . After elementary school he completed an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk from 1937 to 1940 . In 1940 he was drafted into the Wehrmacht .

At a later point in time Tappert was a soldier in the Waffen-SS and was initially deployed with an anti-aircraft unit in Arolsen and - like the creator of the later television series Derrick , Herbert Reinecker - with the SS Panzer Grenadier Division Totenkopf in the Soviet Union in 1943 ; In 1943 he was an SS grenadier .

Tappert himself said little about his life during the Second World War . In 1998 he stated in an interview that he first worked for the labor service and built roads in Russia, after which he was trained as a company paramedic.

In 1945 he was interned as a prisoner of war in Seehausen / Altmark and worked in agriculture for a family in Packebusch .

After the war he lived in Graefelfing near Munich and was married to Ursula, nee Pistor, in third marriage from 1957. He had three children from his first two marriages. His hobbies included fishing and hunting . In 1990 Ursula and Horst Tappert received an offer from the municipality of Hamarøy ( Nordland , Norway ) for a free piece of land for a holiday home. His wife Ursula had attended the same drama school as Ellinor Hamsun , daughter of Knut Hamsun . Horst Tappert was also an avowed Hamsun reader. The Tapperts kept their holiday home until 2008, although they had not been able to visit it for several years.

Tappert died on December 13, 2008 at the age of 85 in a clinic in Planegg near Munich. His urn grave is in the Gräfelfing cemetery in the Munich district .



After returning from captivity, he introduced himself as an accountant at the newly opened Altmark Theater in Stendal (Saxony-Anhalt). He got to the local artistic director who persuaded him to work as an actor. In his first play he played the leading role of Dr. Striebel in Paul Helwig's comedy Honeymoon . From 1946 he received acting lessons from Paul Rose . Under him he gained his first stage experience in Köthen and at the State Theater Württemberg-Hohenzollern . 1947 Tappert was in Tübingen and for that of Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann , co-founded the theater company syndicate Freilichtspiele operates.

His further path led him to the Stadttheater Göttingen (1949–1950), the Staatstheater Kassel (1950–1951) and the Theater der Stadt Bonn (1951–1953) to the municipal theaters in Wuppertal and finally to the Munich Kammerspiele in 1956 . From 1967 Tappert worked as a freelance actor.

Radio, film and television

At the end of the 1950s, he first appeared in cinema and television films. However, he had his first (wordless and only seconds long) role as early as 1949 in gynecologist Dr. Praetorius . After the films The Trapp Family in America (1958) and The Angel Who Moved His Harp (1959), Tappert played a hotel detective in the television series Too Many Cooks (1961). Then he was seen as vicar in the six-part Durbridge - street sweeper Das Halstuch (1962) and in the same year played a crook in the Pater Brown film He can not help it next to Heinz Rühmann . His real breakthrough on television began in 1966 with the three-part crime thriller The Gentlemen ask for cash , in which he played the role of the mail robber boss Michael Donegan. In 1966, Tappert was once again on the side of the bad guys in the Jerry Cotton movie The Bill - Served Ice Cold .

In 1968 Tappert swam with the Edgar Wallace wave , first in The Dog of Blackwood Castle , and then switched from crook to law enforcement officer that same year and played Scotland Yard inspector Perkins twice , first in The Gorilla of Soho and then again in The Man with the Glass Eye (1969). For the ZDF Tappert played with in its first crime series, also in 1968 , the Crime Museum . In 1970 Tappert was again to be seen as an inspector in the "powder-dry Sittenreißer" (advertising line) Perrak . In 1971 Tappert was in the TV movie Yester - the name is right? to see, the title of which is reminiscent of the successful television series Graf Yoster is honored from 1967, but was shot based on an American detective novel.

In 1972 Tappert revived his role from The Gentlemen Ask To Cashier in the two-part television series Hoopers Last Hunt . Now his name was Michael Richardson, but he was basically the same gangster as the Gentlemen and was hunted again by the restless investigator from The Gentlemen .

When the producer Helmut Ringelmann was planning a new crime series, he remembered Tappert. Screenwriter Herbert Reinecker wrote the follow-up to the very successful crime series Der Kommissar , in which Tappert had already starred in 1970 and 1973. The new series was called Derrick and was supposed to show a different type of criminalist. From October 20, 1974, Tappert played the main role of Chief Inspector Stephan Derrick in the first episode Waldweg , who was joined as assistant Harry Klein (played by Fritz Wepper , taken directly from the series Der Kommissar ). Between 1973 and 1998 281 episodes of the series were filmed, which was not only a success with the German audience: It was broadcast in over 100 countries. As Stephan Derrick he was still in 2004 in the cartoon Derrick - The duty calls to hear.

From the mid-1950s, Tappert was also frequently used as a radio play speaker. He was featured in well over 100 radio plays in a wide variety of genres, mostly in leading or extended supporting roles. In 1962, he appeared in the multi-part SF radio play Terra Incognita as Dr. Gauge, an expert in very special criminal cases, together with his colleague Inspector Adams ( Heinz Schimmelpfennig ) on the hunt for eerie creatures that lived deep underground and fought against human attempts at atomic bombs.

As early as 1960 he played the title role in the play The Legend of the Holy Drinker , in 1968 he was seen as "Mackie Messer" in a radio play adaptation of the Threepenny Opera . He was also heard in the BR's only Paul Temple radio play from 1959, Paul Temple and the Conrad case .

After the start of the Derrick series, he seldom appeared on the radio as a speaker. In 1976 he spoke in the radio play The case of the commissioners also the role of the chief inspector. Domestic and foreign investigators appeared in this story, each voiced by their original actors and original voice actors.

After Tappert's membership in the Waffen SS became known in 2013, ZDF decided in 2016 not to broadcast any more repetitions of Derrick episodes.

Stage roles (selection)


Radio plays

year title role Director
1957 The Rico brothers Joe Leonard Steckel
1958 The song of the barrel organ host Heinz-Günter Stamm
1959 Paul Temple and the Conrad case Mr. Günther, hotelier Willy Purucker
1959 Peter Voss, the millionaire thief Lawyer Heinz-Günter Stamm
1960 The transport Gerlach Fiedler
1960 Winter trip man Fritz Schröder-Jahn
1960 Have appeared to the reception John Heath Fritz Schröder-Jahn
1960 The Käthchen von Heilbronn (The Trial by Fire) Heinz-Günter Stamm
1960 The legend of the holy drinker The drinker Raoul Wolfgang Schnell
1960 The rainbow from the sphere August Everding
1961 The song of songs The managing director Oswald Döpke
1961 Fisher boys August Everding
1962 Sherlock Holmes relaxes Cunningham Heinz-Günter Stamm
1962 The yellow crocodile August Everding
1962 Guests from Germany Grandpierre, community secretary Fritz Schröder-Jahn
1962 An elephant from Cartagena Otto Kurth
1962 Terra Incognita Dr. Andrew Gauge Wilm ten Haaf
1963 Silver ray Colonel Ross Heinz-Günter Stamm
1963 The lady of the camellias Baron of Varville Heinz-Günter Stamm
1964 The trial of the donkey's shadow Physignatus attorney Otto Kurth
1964 dreams Otto Kurth
1965 Allow me, my name is Cox : Drumming is part of the trade Don Alvarez Quinto
1965 The secret agreement Wilm ten Haaf
1965 The Miss von Scuderi king Edmund Steinberger
1965 Buddenbrooks Christian Buddenbrook Wolfgang Liebeneiner
1965 The murder on Rue Morgue Monsieur Auguste Dupin Edmund Steinberger
1965 The bells of Bicêtre Andoire Gert Westphal
1965 A five-mark piece called Müller death Karl Wittlinger
1966 Prince and beggar boy teller Jan Alverdes
1967 castling glasses Dieter Giesing
1967 The information Information officer Paul Portner
1968 The Threepenny Opera Mackie knife Ulrich Lauterbach
1968 The gentlemen ask for cash Sándor Ferenczy
1969 The attack Strunz Peter Michel Ladiges
1970 Lost illusions Baron du Chatelet Fritz Schröder-Jahn
1970 Travel description professor Raoul Wolfgang Schnell
1971 The horse thieves in Arkansas Rawson Jan Alverdes
1971 Deadly experiment Duncan Fleet Karl Ebert
1971 The snake's nest Ralph Cherril Fritz Schröder-Jahn
1972 Nora or a doll's house Dr. Rank Heinz-Günter Stamm
1972 The last hard bill Pepe Zantoza Heinz-Günter Stamm
1974 Fathers and sons Pavel Kirsanov Gert Westphal
1976 The case of the commissioners Chief Inspector Derrick Günther Sauer
1977 How was the film, tell us Heiner Schmidt
1978 Do you think Constanze is doing the right thing? Günther Sauer
1996 To the last flap Chief Inspector Derrick Caroline Draber

Prizes and awards



Web links

Commons : Horst Tappert  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Hanns-Georg Rodek : Herbert Reinecker: Derrick and his creator, the SS officer . In: The world . September 15, 2011.
  2. a b Andreas Platthaus : Derrick's background: Horst Tappert was with the Waffen-SS . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . April 26, 2013, p. 39.
  3. Florian Stark: Contemporary history: "Derrick" Horst Tappert was with the Waffen-SS. In: welt.de . April 26, 2013, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  4. ^ A b Susanne Stampf-Sedlitzky : Modern Life: Senior Inspector a. D. In: Focus . No. 2, January 5, 1998
  5. ^ A b Christian Wohlt, Arno Zähringer: Stendal - springboard for "Derrick". In: az-online.de. April 30, 2013, accessed May 1, 2013 .
  6. Interview with Horst Tappert: The Last Derrick ( Memento from January 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: DigitalVD , 1997.
  7. ↑ Rearview mirror: quotes . In: Der Spiegel . tape 42 , October 12, 1998 ( spiegel.de [accessed January 4, 2019]).
  8. Susanne Lysvold: "Derrick" selger hytta. September 24, 2008, accessed January 4, 2019 (nb-NO).
  9. "Derrick" actor: Horst Tappert is dead . In: Spiegel Online . December 15, 2008
  10. tz.de : Tappert's funeral in Graefelfing , accessed on March 25, 2014
  11. ^ Klaus Nerger: Grave of Horst Tappert
  12. Susanne Beyer: His name was Derrick, in: Der Spiegel 50/1997, accessed on May 16, 2013.
  13. tagesspiegel.de , July 22, 2016
  14. Merit holders since 1986. State Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, accessed on March 11, 2017 .