Raimund Harmstorf

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Raimund Harmstorf (1980s)

Raimund Harmstorf (born October 7, 1939 in Hamburg ; † May 3, 1998 in Marktoberdorf ) was a German actor . He became known in the early 1970s for the lead role in the TV series The Seewolf .


Raimund Harmstorf grew up as the son of a doctor in Hamburg. He became the decathlon champion of Schleswig-Holstein and studied medicine, later music and performing arts. He was seen in smaller television roles from the late 1960s. He had his breakthrough as an actor in 1971 in the role of Wolf Larsen in The Sea Wolf , the film adaptation of Jack London 's novel of the same name .

Harmstorf suffered serious injuries in several accidents over the course of his life. His fish restaurant "Zum Seewolf", which he ran in Deidesheim , had to file for bankruptcy. In the last years of his life, the actor suffered from Parkinson's disease and was treated in a psychiatric clinic . Raimund Harmstorf was most recently in a relationship with Gudrun Staeb.


Raimund Harmstorf's grave

The police and the investigative reporter Günter Wallraff see part of the blame for Harmstorf's death in the media, especially the Bild newspaper . On May 2, 1998, she reported under the headline “Seewolf Raimund Harmstorf in the psychiatry” about the actor's illness and that he had been found by the police with his wrists cut. He was then taken to a psychiatric hospital. His partner (Staeb) reported that Harmstorf first said to the Bild newspaper report : “That must be a bad joke” and then: “This is my death sentence.” After the report, the Harmstorf house was besieged by reporters. A confidante of the family said: "The visit of the journalists was the drop that broke the barrel." The following night he died by suicide on his farm in Selbensberg .

The Bild-Zeitung report was incorrect in that Harmstorf - apparently triggered by Parkinson's medication - suffered from delusions and anxiety and attempted suicide with tablets (the public prosecutor confirmed this). As a result, he had himself admitted to a mental hospital. The coverage of the Bild newspaper and the reporters who appeared afterwards triggered something in Harmstorf that took away his courage to live, whereupon he took his own life. The police confirm this: “There is evidence that a co-trigger for the suicide can be seen in the media coverage of last Saturday.” Günter Wallraff went one step further and said: “BILD has the actor Raimund Harmstorf on his conscience. "

Harmstorf's grave is located in the cemetery in Bad Oldesloe , the place of origin of his father, where he himself spent several parts of his life and a street was named after him.

Acting career

1971 Harmstorf played the role of the brutal Captain Wolf Larsen in the ZDF - Adventure Vierteiler The Sea Wolf , which based on the novel by Jack London was born. Although the producers initially thought the 31-year-old actor was too young, the athletic Harmstorf was able to convince them through his physical presence that he was the right man for the role. To Harmstorf's displeasure, his “too young” voice was replaced by the voice of the older voice actor Kurt E. Ludwig .

Harmstorf became famous through the four-part television film. He became the epitome of the vital adventurer and as an actor from then on identified with the role of the sea ​​wolf .

Harmstorf had reached the peak of his career as a sea wolf. In the 1970s he appeared in several international adventure films and shot with stars such as Franco Nero and Charlton Heston . But the films were mostly second or third class, and Harmstorf was often only allowed to appear in the cliché role of the “bad German”. In 1976, the actor celebrated a second television success in Germany when he was in the same four-part adventure than Michael Strogoff occurred, based on the novel of Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne was born. In 1978 he played in the film They called him Mücke as an opponent of Mücke (played by Bud Spencer ) an unpopular football coach for the US Army stationed in Italy. After his film career came to a standstill in the 1980s, Harmstorf appeared in German television productions such as Tatort , Klinik unter Palmen and Die Schwarzwaldklinik . However, fewer and fewer roles were offered to him.

Harmstorf was regularly seen as a theater actor and appeared, for example, several times in Karl May stage productions :

Further theater performances:

Filmography (selection)

Television productions


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. All biographies state 1940 as the year of birth, but the grave inscription is 1939.
  2. a b Focus, May 2, 2008: Raimund Harmstorf - The sad end of the sea wolf
  3. knerger.de: The grave of Raimund Harmstorf
  4. ^ Stormarner Tageblatt: When the "sea wolf" still lived in Bad Oldesloe.
  5. The sad end of the 'sea wolf'. in FOCUS of May 2, 2008, accessed on October 14, 2018