Peter Alexander

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter Alexander with Erni Bieler (1952)

Peter Alexander , actually Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer (born June 30, 1926 in Vienna ; † February 12, 2011 ibid), was an Austrian singer , actor , pianist , parodist and entertainer . From the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s, he was one of the most popular entertainers in German-speaking countries.


A side of the single Come and Help You (1968)

Peter Alexander was the son of bank counselor Anton Neumayer (1900–1947) and his wife Bertha, b. Wenzlick (1896–1987), daughter of a music dealer from Pilsen ; In 1926 his parents lived in Vienna 9th , Sechsschimmelgasse 4. Alexander's tendency to parody was already evident during his school days . After attending primary school, he switched to the humanistic grammar school in Döbling (19th district) , which he had to leave prematurely due to various pranks and expulsion from school. His father then sent him to Znojmo , where Alexander graduated from the war school in 1944 . Peter Alexander dedicated the time when his father met his mother to the song How Böhmen was still with Austria . In the same year he became an anti-aircraft helper , then came to the labor service in Wroclaw and, when he was called up, finally reported to the Navy . In 1945 he was taken prisoner by the British . He used the months in - according to his own statement - "four or five prison camps in East Friesland " to test his talents in the form of theater evenings (including performances of the drama Jedermann by Hugo von Hofmannsthal ) or musical improvisations.

Actors and singers

Back in Vienna in 1946, Alexander, according to his parents' wishes, was to begin studying medicine and matriculated at the University of Vienna , but only attended one lecture. He wanted to become an actor, sought an engagement at the Burgtheater in Vienna and therefore completed an acting training at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna, which he graduated with honors in 1948. (His father died in 1947.) For the first time, he called himself only "Peter Alexander" , omitting all other names (Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer) . His class included Ernst Stankovski , Erwin Strahl and Gerhard Riedmann . Already here it became clear that Alexander was more intended for the comedic subject. He taught singing and piano playing autodidact in. In 1949 he appeared together with Waltraut Haas in Ludwig Schmidseder's operetta Abschiedswalzer in the Vienna Citizens' Theater . From the post-war years he adored Frank Sinatra , whom he saw for the first time in London in 1950. He then turned away from his idea of ​​getting an engagement at the Burgtheater and sought entertainment, singing, orchestra and jazz .

As early as 1951, the Austrophon record company released Alexander's first record (“Only Dolores' legs do that”). In 1953 he switched to Polydor , where the successful duo Kurt Feltz and Heinz Gietz wrote many songs for him. For Polydor, Alexander not only recorded Schlager, but also with great success cross-cuts of operettas, each conducted by Franz Marszalek . Singers like Herta Talmar , Renate Holm and Rita Bartos were his partners here. In the same year he won the Munich Schlager competition. At the end of 1965 he finally went to Ariola . By 1981 Alexander had 38 top ten hits as a singer in the Federal Republic of Germany and was represented 80 times in the top hundred. He has received numerous prizes and awards for his records, films and television shows . From 1965 to 1983 more than 15 million LPs and 25 million singles by Alexander were sold at Ariola alone , not including the creative periods at Austrophon and Polydor and those from 1983 in German-speaking countries. He brought a total of over 156 singles and over 120 original long-playing records onto the market as well as several dozen EP productions. Closely connected to Alexander's singing career was the career of producers Kurt Feltz and Ralph Siegel . In Germany alone, his sound carrier sales have been estimated at 46 million copies since 1956.

One of Alexander's most successful titles in 1976 was “Die kleine Kneipe” (Austrian version: “Das kleine Beisel ”, originally “ In 't small café aan de haven ” by Vader Abraham ). At the end of the 1980s he was at times in the hit parades with hits such as “Zeit der Rosen” or “Yesterday young, tomorrow old”, which Roland Heck and Gerd Köthe produced for him. In 1986 he sang with the German national soccer team for the album Mexico mi Amor for the upcoming soccer World Cup in Mexico . His last official LP release was in 1991 the LP "Verliebte Jahre" produced by Dieter Bohlen .

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Ariola announced that Alexander was the only German-speaking singer to have featured in the German charts for six decades with his productions. The double CD "Herzlichen Glückwunsch!" (Congratulations!) Was released, which reached first place on the album charts in Austria.

Film actor, entertainer and showmaster

In his first role in 1948, Alexander acted as an extra in The Angel with the Trumpet . He appeared from 1952 to 1972 as an actor in a total of 39 entertainment and revue films, in which he was mostly heard as a singer. Gunther Philipp was often his partner. Alexander gained popularity through the impersonation of the waiter Leopold in the operetta adaptation Im Weißen Rößl (directed by Werner Jacobs , 1960). This type of entertainment film, the easy muse, also became commercially successful. In 1957, for example, Alexander was voted the best young artist by Germany's cinema owners and later received, among other things, the “ Golden Screen ” and the “Berolina”.

From 1963 to 1996, the Peter Alexander shows - 1963 to 1966 on WDR (black and white), 1969 to 1996 on ZDF / ORF - in which he appeared as a moderating host, entertainer, parodist and singer, scored up to 38 Millions of television viewers in Germany alone have very high ratings that were otherwise only available for broadcasts of football world championships . The ZDF Saturday evening shows at that time, Peter Alexander, presented specialties and we congratulate based on the books by Hans Hubberten and directed by Ekkehard Böhmer , Dieter Pröttel and Dieter Wendrich , achieved a high number of viewers.

Overall, Alexander appeared in about 200 television programs from 1955 to 1998 (without repetitions of individual programs). The last time he was seen on December 20, 1998 in the ORF program Lebens-Künstler . There he was interviewed by the former mayor of Vienna, Helmut Zilk .

During this time, Alexander established himself as the most successful show star in the entire German-speaking region. His tours in Germany, Austria and Switzerland met with a great response. They gave the artist the opportunity to use his versatility, e.g. B. as a pianist in the swing area, to present beyond the television show format.

In the period from 1969 (first tour of Germany) to his last tour in 1991, Alexander was, next to Udo Jürgens , the most successful tour artist in the entire German-speaking area, but especially in Germany he achieved great popularity. The tickets to his concerts were sold out within a short time. In 1975 450,000 people saw him at his concerts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland; In 1982 Alexander received the newly created music journalist prize because he sold over 250,000 concert tickets in just a few weeks. In the course of his career, Alexander completely filled the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund several times with 12,000 spectators each time; He received an award from the city of Cologne for having performed a total of fourteen times in the always sold-out Cologne sports hall in the course of his career ; In 1991 it filled the approximately 10,000 seats in the Wiener Stadthalle four times .

In 1987 Alexander moderated the opening of the Austria Center in Vienna with great audience interest .

On January 16, 2005, Alexander was seen again for the first time on ZDF, when his pre-recorded congratulatory contribution on the 70th birthday of producer Wolfgang Rademann was broadcast on the show. In May 2006, on his own 80th birthday, the pictorial biography Peter Alexander, compiled by the author Michael Wenk and the Alexander Fan Club director Barbara Löhr - I did it all out of love… was published . Alexander wrote the foreword. On July 16, 2006, Alexander was connected to a ZDF gala on the occasion of his milestone birthday via video transmission from his home. On this occasion he gave a short version of Thank You on the piano. Following the birthday broadcast, ZDF repeated the gala Treffpunkt Herz from 1975.

marriage and family

In May 1952, Alexander met the actress Hildegarde Haagen (1922-2003), whom he married on September 22, 1952. She gave up acting to manage her husband. The couple had two children together, the art historian and painter Susanne Haidinger-Neumayer (1958–2009) and Michael (1963–2019). In 1959, Alexander had a 10-room house with a swimming pool and its own forest, called "Casa la Sorgente", built in Morcote (Arbostora district, Ticino , Switzerland ), where he lived with his family for several decades. After selling the house in 1990, he rented an apartment in Morcote. Wife Hilde died on March 30, 2003. After her death, Alexander lived in seclusion in Grinzing in the 19th district of Döbling in Vienna . On March 8, 2009, his daughter Susanne died in a car accident on Ko Samui ( Thailand ). His son Michael died eight years after his death in Belek , Turkey in 2019 .

One day before Alexander's death, at the beginning of February 2011, a lawsuit against a magazine publisher was brought on his behalf against a magazine publisher for violating his personal rights through reports about his mourning for his deceased daughter and his health. In March 2011, the lawsuit was served on the defendants. The heir continued the process and lost in all instances (LG Berlin, judgment of June 21, 2011, Az .: 27 O 145/11, KG judgment of May 3, 2012, Az .: 10 U 99/11). Ultimately, the Federal Court of Justice made it clear that a strict distinction must be made between the violation of pecuniary elements of personal rights (e.g. unauthorized use of the image for advertising) and immaterial impairments. Only in the first case can an heir pursue the claim for damages, while due to the purely satisfaction function in the second case, the highly personal character of the personal right is affected, in which there is no hereditary nature of the claim (BGH judgment of April 24, 2014, Az .: VI ZR 246 / 12, printed in BGHZ 201, 45 = GRUR 2014, 702 = NJW 2014, 2871).


Alexander died on February 12, 2011 at the age of 84. The cause of death was not disclosed to the public. He left behind his son Michael and two grandchildren. In order to give the population the opportunity to say goodbye, it was laid out in public on February 19, 2011 at the Vienna Central Cemetery . The family refused an honorary grave . Alexander's funeral took place on February 28, 2011 with his relatives at the Grinzinger Friedhof (group 7, row 1, number 2).

On October 16, 2015, Alexander's last residence, a villa in Vienna 19th , Paul-Ehrlich-Gasse between Unter- Sievering and Grinzing , was to be auctioned on behalf of his son Michael Neumayer. The attempt failed and the villa was sold to a businessman in December 2015. The villa on the 1500 square meter property was demolished on June 18, 2018. When the Viennese building code amendment from July 2018 provided that in such cases the need for preservation had to be checked, the demolition had already been completed.


* Scene (s) with Alexander were not used in the film

Television shows

From 1963 to 1996, Alexander gave numerous television shows, including:

  • December 26, 1963: Walk in Vienna
  • December 5th, 1964: Stroll through the land of operetta
  • May 11, 1966: Stroll through the land of film
  • December 3, 1966: A Viennese in Paris
  • December 2, 1973: Peter Alexander's request concert
  • November 28, 1974: Peter Alexander presents specialties
  • October 4, 1975: meeting point heart
  • December 2nd, 1976: Peter Alexander presents Walt Disney's World
  • September 29, 1977: Peter Alexander's stories in Vienna
  • August 23, 1980: Peter Alexander - Thank you Robert Stolz ! (for the composer's 100th birthday)
  • May 17, 1987: Soirée in Vienna (opening gala from the Austria Center )
  • November 19, 1987 to December 25, 1995: Peter-Alexander-Show (6 shows), ZDF / ORF
  • March 9, 1969 to December 25, 1985: Peter Alexander presents specialties (13 shows), including 1 show with the subtitle A day in Vienna with Peter Alexander and Günter Pfitzmann , ZDF
  • November 29, 1979 to November 28, 1985: Peter Alexander: We congratulate (7 shows), ZDF
  • November 20 and 27, 1986: Congratulations to Peter Alexander (2 shows on his 60th birthday)
  • November 24, 1990: Peter Alexander - A heart for Berlin
  • June 30, 1996: Peter Alexander - What are 70 years

In addition, Alexander appeared as a guest on numerous television shows, including:


Shellac record of the number one hit
The Moon Keeps His Watch , 1955

Number one success in the German singles hit parades

  • 1955: The moon keeps watch (D)
  • 1956: possibly (D)
  • 1957: I know what is wrong with you (D)
  • 1968: The Last Waltz (D)
  • 1968: Delilah (A)
  • 1969: Liebesleid (D)
  • 1971: Here is a person (A)
  • 1976: The small pub (CH)

His songs were featured in the charts of the German-speaking countries between 1955 and 1992. He made the jump to first place in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Awards and honors

Peter Alexander Steg in Pörtschach am Wörther See

Alexander's awards and honors include:


  • Eva Kresic: A piece of heaven. Ueberreuter, Vienna 2019, ISBN 978-3-8000-7724-3 . ( Online reminder of the last years of his life from his housekeeper and confidante).
  • Michael Wenk, Barbara Löhr: Peter Alexander - "I did it all out of love ..." Ueberreuter , Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-8000-7181-9 (pictorial biography for his 80th birthday in 2006 with a foreword by Alexander).
  • Claudio Honsal: Peter Alexander - Life is worth living. Amalthea, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-85002-564-0 .
  • Eva Roither, Andreas Kloner: It was lovely, thank you. ORF radio feature, 2006, 54 min., On the occasion of Alexander's 80th birthday.
  • Peter Alexander: Allow me, Peter Alexander. Bertelsmann , Gütersloh / Vienna 1971, ISBN 3-570-00005-2 .


  • Legends - Peter Alexander. Documentary, ARD, Germany, 2007, 45 min., Script and director: Birgit Kienzle, production: SWR , series: Legenden , first broadcast: August 19, 2007, summary of Das Erste . After his death in 2011, the broadcast was updated and repeated.
  • Kulenkampff's shoes . Documentation, Germany 2018, 92 minutes, script and direction: Regina Schilling. Created on behalf of the SWR.

Web links

Commons : Peter Alexander  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Peter Alexander obituary at
  2. Lehmann's Allgemeiner Wohnungsanzeiger , Vienna, edition 1926, Volume 1, p. 967 (= p. 1016 of the digital representation)
  3. a b c Peter Alexander - Interview 2001 on his 75th birthday at Lake Wörthersee.
  4. Waltraut Haas' biography
  5. a b Biography of Peter Alexander Neumayer ( Memento of the original from April 6, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been 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 /
  6. Peter Alexander - Films ( Memento of the original from May 29, 2013 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. on @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Book ( Memento of the original from May 20, 2013 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. "Peter Alexander: I did it all out of love ..." on @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Michael Wenk, Barbara Löhr: Peter Alexander - I did it all out of love book criticism.
  9. Cf. life dates and first name spelling on the tombstone, cf. Peter Alexander in the Find a Grave database . Retrieved January 25, 2013. Image of the tombstone (Vienna, Grinzinger Friedhof) at; other sources incorrectly state 1932 as their year of birth.
  10. Peter Alexander at Ticin ARTE (accessed on August 5, 2014)
  11. A Star and His Life Love ,, June 30, 2006 (accessed March 27, 2009)
  12. Peter Alexander's daughter has an accident ,, March 9, 2009 (accessed March 27, 2009)
  13. Peter Alexander's son died in Turkey. January 16, 2019, accessed April 7, 2019 .
  14. Peter Alexander - Secrets of a Big Star ,, July 3, 2006 (accessed March 27, 2009)
  15. ^ Funeral only with family on ORF on February 19, 2011.
  16. Peter Alexander buried in the family grave in: ORF of March 1, 2011.
  17. The grave of Peter Alexander
  18. Quiet sale of the Alexander villa . October 16, 2015 ( [accessed May 21, 2018]).
  19. Peter-Alexander-Villa on sale . October 22, 2015 ( [accessed May 21, 2018]).
  20. Villa market in Währing and Döbling is booming (, accessed July 12, 2018)
  21. Peter Alexander's villa was demolished . July 12, 2018 ( [accessed July 12, 2018]).
  22. Peter Alexander's villa demolished. In: Salzburger Nachrichten . July 14, 2018, p. 13.
  23. Peter Alexander - Shows ( Memento of the original from February 19, 2011 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. on @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  24. Peter Alexander as a guest in other TV shows (according to
  25. Awards and honors ( Memento of the original from May 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  26. List of all decorations awarded by the Federal President for services to the Republic of Austria from 1952 (PDF; 6.9 MB)