Ruth Drexel

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Ruth Drexel (born July 12, 1930 in Vilshofen an der Donau , Lower Bavaria , † February 26, 2009 in Munich ) was a German actress and director . She achieved particular popularity as a Bavarian folk actress and character actress .

Education and theater

Ruth Drexel's father died in World War II in 1943 . A higher education was not intended for her as the eldest daughter. She grew up in Trostberg an der Alz. Trained at the Otto Falckenberg School in Munich , she received her first engagement at the Münchner Kammerspiele . Ruth Drexel played in Bertolt Brecht's play Der gute Mensch von Sezuan in Munich in 1955 , where Brecht was present at the rehearsals, and in 1956/57 she belonged to the Berlin ensemble he founded . In the following two years she played, among others, the Yvette in Mother Courage and Madame Dullfeet in the world premiere of Der Aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui . Drexel was described by the press as a "scandal witch" for her role in Franz Xaver Kroetz 's play Heimarbeit in 1971 at the Münchner Kammerspiele. Kroetz later gave this name imprecisely in an interview as "Ruth Drexel, Pornohexel".

Further stations were the Schaubühne on Halleschen Ufer in Berlin, the Wuppertaler Bühnen, the Stuttgart State Theater , the Darmstadt State Theater , the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and, from 1976, the Bavarian State Theater . Drexel was the first woman to direct Nestroy's play The Talisman there in 1981 . Outstanding roles were Brecht's mother Courage in 1982 and later Mrs. Eichmann in Heinar Kipphardt's brother Eichmann at the Munich Residenztheater . Other roles and Dieter Giesing's direction were the Balbina in Marieluise Fleißer's folk play The strong trunk and Valerie in Horvath's Tales from the Vienna Woods . In 2003 she performed at the Städtische Bühne Heidelberg . In 2005 she left the Munich theater. She saw herself as a critical popular actress, immune to both mannerisms and intellectual arrogance. She worked with theater makers like Peter Stein and Rainer Werner Fassbinder .

Movie and TV

In 1949 Ruth Drexel first appeared in the film (Secret Rendezvous) . In 1954 she played the title role in the television adaptation of Ludwig Thomas Magdalena . She also played the title role in the 1972 television film Adele Spitzeder , directed by Peer Raben . In 1974 she was in the evening series Munich stories by Helmut Dietl , the role of hostess "Ruth Hiller Meier", mother of "Susi", the girlfriend of the central figure "Karl 'Tscharlie' Häusler" ( Günther Maria Halmer ). In 1983 she was seen as "Lisi Schleibinger", the ex-wife of Franz Münchinger ( Helmut Fischer ), in Monaco Franze . In 1986 she played the "Weißwurst-Paula" in Franz Xaver Bogner's series Zur Freiheit . In the same year she acted as the mayor of the series Somehow and Anyway .

Since 1995 Drexel has worked as "Resi Berghammer" in the Sat.1 and ORF series Der Bulle von Tölz as the mother of Commissioner "Benno Berghammer" ( Ottfried Fischer ). In addition, since 2004 she played the leading role as the German Miss Marple in Agathe can not help . For ARD , she worked alongside Uschi Glas in the series Zwei am Großer See, which was filmed from 2004 to 2006 .


In addition to her acting activities, she was director of the Munich Volkstheater from 1988 to 1998, making her the first woman to succeed Jörg-Dieter Haas, the first director of the Volkstheater . In 1991 she staged Horváth's “Italian Night” in Munich and suddenly started talking about the Gulf War, because for her the present could not be excluded from theater work. From 1999 to 2002 she was again the artistic director and managing director of the Münchner Volkstheater, where she achieved notable successes with her snappy and critical Volkstheater . As early as 1981 she was the first woman to present a directorial work ( Nestroy's Talisman ) at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel . She was also co-founder of the Tiroler Volksschauspiele in Telfs in 1980 and staged there from 1981, from around 1998 to the end of 2008 she was also its director.


From 1955 to 1965 Ruth Drexel was married to Michael Adami, whom she met during her training at the Otto Falckenberg School . This marriage came from the daughter Katharina Adami, born in 1956, a business journalist with BR television . From 1969 until his death in 1998 she was in a relationship with the actor Hans Brenner , this connection comes from the daughter Cilli Drexel , born in 1975.

Ruth Drexel said goodbye to the stage of the Munich Volkstheater in December 2005 with the play Late Region . In 2007 she had to take a break because of her cancer, which also caused her to die. Most recently she lived in Feldkirchen near Munich, where she was buried on March 2, 2009.


"No matter what she plays, she fills every scene."

- Walter Bannert , director

honors and awards

In 2017, a primary school named after Drexel opened in Prinz-Eugen-Park in Munich-Bogenhausen . It is located in the street also named after Drexel.



Radio plays


  • Christine Dössel: The mother courage of the popular theater. Lower Bavarian lioness, principal, workhorse: on the death of director and actress Ruth Drexel. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung No. 53 v. March 5, 2009, p. 13.
  • Ruth Fühner: The Lady and the Crocodile. Ruth Drexel and the critical German folk theater. In: Ursula May (Ed.): Theater women. Frankfurt am Main 1998, pp. 181-194.
  • Krista Hauser: Ruth Drexel. A biography. Innsbruck, Vienna 2005.
  • Franz Höll (Hrsg.): Münchner Volkstheater: the seasons 1999–2002. Ruth Drexel, artistic director; a look back. Munich 2002.
  • Siegfried Hummel: Ruth Drexel. Eulogy. In: Bezirk Oberbayern (Ed.): Oberbayerischer Kulturpreis 1994. Munich 1995, pp. 6–13.
  • Gerhard Stadelmaier: The neighbor Kurasch. On the death of Ruth Drexel. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung v. March 5, 2009.
  • Andrea Zückert: A principal with courage. Ruth Drexel. In: Das Bayerland 1990/2, pp. 46–48.
  • Sybille Krafft: Bavarian folk actor. 12 personal portraits by Sybille Krafft. Munich, 2013 ( Allitera Verlag , ISBN 978-3-86906-535-9 )
  • Gunna Wendt: Ruth Drexel, a woman with obstinacy. Munich, 2014, LangenMüller Verlag, ISBN 978-3-7844-3349-3 .
  • Klaus F. Rödder: The faces of Jane Marple - The most important actresses of Miss Marple in the cinema, TV and on stage. ISBN 978-3-00-056290-7

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. https: //www. Ingo Löchel: Ruth Drexel - An obituary
  2. ^ Donaukurier (Ingolstadt) dated June 1, 2011 (accessed December 1, 2019)
  3. Ruth Fühner, Die Dame und das Krokodil , Ruth Drexel and the critical German Volkstheater, in: Ursula May (Ed.), "Theaterfrauen", Frankfurt am Main 1998, suhrkamp TB 2876, p. 184
  4. a b roles in Brecht's dramas according to zauberspiegel-online, accessed on September 1, 2018
  5. Krista Hauser: Ruth Drexel. A biography , Haymon 2005, p. 67.
  6. Thomas Bärnthaler and Gabriela Herpell: "Blood! Sperm! Tears! Underneath I don't do it", Interview with Franz Xaver Kroetz, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin 25/2020, p. 16.
  7. ^ Obituary in the Tagesspiegel of March 5, 2009, accessed on September 1, 2018
  8. ^ Obituary in the SZ , accessed on September 1, 2018
  9. Ruth Fühner, Die Dame und das Krokodil , Ruth Drexel and the critical German Volkstheater, in: Ursula May (Ed.), "Theaterfrauen", Frankfurt am Main 1998, suhrkamp TB 2876, pp. 184 and 187
  10. Ruth Drexel's silent farewell , obituary at of March 7, 2009 (no longer available online)
  11. The grave of Ruth Drexel
  12. The bull from Tölz no longer has an obituary at from March 4, 2009
  13. Ruth Drexel Primary School starts with students from the Knappertsbusch School - A school without students? Retrieved June 20, 2020 .