Wolf Kaiser

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The actor Wolf Kaiser in the radio play studio in a recording by the Berlin photographer Werner Bethsold .

Wolf Kaiser (born October 26, 1916 in Frankfurt am Main , † October 21, 1992 in Berlin ) was a German theater and film actor .


Grave of Wolf Kaiser in the Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof in Berlin. Two scenes from the Threepenny Opera .

Kaiser grew up in Switzerland , where he first studied chemistry and physiology . After he was dismissed from the Wehrmacht in 1937 , he went to Berlin and took acting lessons there. He made his stage debut in 1941 at the Stadttheater Iglau , which was followed by an engagement at the Volksbühne Berlin under Eugen Klöpfer from 1942 to 1945 . After engagements in Frankfurt am Main, Munich and at the Schauspielhaus in Leipzig , Kaiser returned to Berlin in 1950, where Bertolt Brecht discovered him at the Deutsches Theater and hired him for the Berliner Ensemble .

Kaiser stayed with the Berliner Ensemble until 1967 and, due to his artistic achievements, soon became one of the most important actors in the German theater scene . With guest appearances abroad he managed to gain recognition from an international audience. His portrayal of Mackie Messer in the Threepenny Opera was legendary. In 1965 Kaiser received the GDR National Prize and two years later he was engaged at the Volksbühne. From 1969 he concentrated mainly on working in front of the camera and was a member of the actors' ensemble for television in the GDR until 1990 . But even before that, during and after the Second World War , Kaiser was active in film.

He became known through his participation in films such as The Brave Little Tailor (1956), Cabal and Love (1959), The Stinging Animal - The Blue Room (1965), Little Man - What Now? (1973) and Ursula (1978). He played his first leading role in 1956 as the marriage fraud Maurice Daurignac in the Yvette's millions . For the portrayal of Meister Falk in Benito Wogatzki's television plays The Patience of the Bold (1967), Time Is Luck (1968) and The Signs of the First (1969) Kaiser was awarded two GDR national prizes. After he retired to Switzerland in the mid-1970s and made guest appearances there both on television and on stage, he played his last major role in 1981 as Casanova in Casanova at Dux Castle . Kaiser was always present on television in the GDR .

After a long illness and due to the changes in social conditions after 1989 , he ended his life by suicide four days before his 76th birthday in October 1992 .

His written estate is in the archive of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.

Filmography (selection)


Radio plays


  • 1961: Art Prize of the GDR
  • 1965: National Prize of the GDR, 2nd class
  • 1967: National Prize of the GDR III. Great for the patience of the bold in the collective
  • 1968: National Prize of the GDR 1st class for time is happiness in the collective
  • 1977: Patriotic Order of Merit in silver
  • 1981: Patriotic Order of Merit in Gold
  • 1986: Gold medal for the Patriotic Order of Merit


Individual evidence

  1. Macheath came through - he didn't article by Peter Hof in Neues Deutschland, October 24, 1992.
  2. Wolf Kaiser Archive inventory overview on the website of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.
  3. Neues Deutschland , 4./5. October 1986, p. 5

Web links

Commons : Wolf Kaiser  - Collection of images, videos and audio files