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Sim

RIP Manfred Krug

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German actor and jazz musician Manfred Krug died at the age of 79.

Perhaps most of you don't know him, as he probably wasn't very known internationally, but for me, he was a well-known face when growing up.

 

Krug started as theatre and then movie actor in East Germany. One of his movies, "Spur der Steine" ("Trace of Stones" from 1966), caused a controversy after the East German government banned the movie 3 days after the premiere. Krug played in various movies and also toured with different jazz bands.

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Above: "Spur der Steine" ("Trace of Stones")

When in 1976, the East German government denied East German singer-songwriter Wolf Bierman the return back to the GDR after a West-German tour, Manfred Krug was on the list of artists who signed a protest note. Following this open disagreement with the communist dictatorship, Krug was allowed to move to West-Germany in 1977.

In West Germany, he continued his carreer mostly as actor on tv, he played lead roles in several tv series.

I remember him well as one of the human roles in the German version of "Sesame Street" I watched as a kid in the 80s, but among Krug's most famous roles perhaps is that of Police Commissioner Stoever in the tv movie anthology crime series "Tatort" (="Scene of the Crime"), where he played this role in 41 tv movies between 1984 and 2001.

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Above: Manfred Krug in the German version of "Sesame Street"

 

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Above: Manfred Krug as slightly shabby, uncouth Berlin lawyer Robert Liebling

Another series I am very fond of is "Liebling Kreuzberg", a law-comedy series about a lazy, uncouth lawyer in one of Berlin's "problem quarters" which soon became a gentrified hotspot for the alternative scene. Five seasons were produced between 1986 and 1998, mirroring the peculiar atmosphere of the "island" of West-Berlin sourrounded by the Wall, then the change of the city after 1989. Krug plays the lawyer "Liebling" in his very distinctive, unimitable style, a weird mix of lazy uncouthness, charm and moral integrity.

YouTube: "Liebling Kreuzberg" trailer from 1986 (German)

 

RIP Manfred Krug!

Edited by Sim

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Was the cop show more like Columbo or something more like Rockford Files from back in the day? He's got that Columbo type hat, and the Peter Faulk like wink, so I'd say Columbo.

My parents used to watch all those old cop shows here.

Also German Sesame Street looks surreal and cool. I saw the opening online. It has a bear instead of a giant elephant mammoth. Oscar is in it though. Maybe they just didn't get Big Bird.

Did he do any Star Trek like shows? It seems his bio is more or less drama with some occasional comedy roles.

The guy looked like a character.

Edited by Chimera82405

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Was the cop show more like Columbo or something more like Rockford Files from back in the day? He's got that Columbo type hat, and the Peter Faulk like wink, so I'd say Columbo.

My parents used to watch all those old cop shows here.

I don't know the Rockford Files, but most German crime/police shows ("Krimi") are different in style from American shows... less action, more drama, only casual humor and more "realism". It's definitely closer to Columbo than, say, CSI, as the emphasis is on the investigation work, rather than on action or technology.

I guess Germans in general have few imagination, so these German crime shows like "Tatort" are basically how Germans imagine "real" police work looks like (although in recent years, this anthology show has become more diverse and brings more action and humor).

As "Tatort" is an anthology of tv movies (90 minutes per episode), featuring different actors in different roles running for more than 40 years, there have been especially popular roles and actors on this show -- Manfred Krug's Inspector Stoever was certainly among those fans of the show remember best.

Also German Sesame Street looks surreal and cool. I saw the opening online. It has a bear instead of a giant elephant mammoth. Oscar is in it though. Maybe they just didn't get Big Bird.

Yeah, the bear Samson is the main animal character on the German version. :) The human actors changed over the decades, but the bear is still there.

The short sequences in between, Muppets, Kermit, the Cookie Monster and so on have been taken from the American version and dubbed, but the frame of the show was refilmed in Germany.

Did he do any Star Trek like shows? It seems his bio is more or less drama with some occasional comedy roles.

The guy looked like a character.

He indeed was!

Unfortunately, no science-fiction... there was only few science fiction produced in Germany. German tv productions are usually rather unimaginative and cheap, so I guess 90% of German tv shows are either crime/"Krimi" or drama of some kind.

But IMO, that law-comedy series with Manfred Krug was really great. Low production values, but the acting and especially dialogues are just great. The show got a lot of situational humor, due to very weird law cases, most of the time peculiar minor cases. Plus, it was filmed in (West-)Berlin just during the time when the Berlin Wall fell, so it's an interesting document of its time, too.

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