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31 July 2015

Werner Fuetterer

At 18, German actor Werner Fuetterer (1907-1991) was discovered to play the young lover in a series of silent films. For more than four decades he went on to work as a supporting actor in nearly 100 films.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1507/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Hans Natge.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1718/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Hans Natge.

Werner Fuetterer
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5382. Photo: M. v. Bucovich / Atelier K. Schenker, Berlin.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1925/1, 1927-1928. Photo: M. v. Bucovich / Atelier K. Schenker, Berlin.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3655/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Europäische Film-Production.

Archangel Michael


Werner Fueterer grew up in Guatamala, where his father managed a hacienda. In 1919 the family returned to Germany and went to live in Lübeck. In 1924 Werner started to study acting at the Berliner Schauspielschulr.

He left the school prematurely in 1925 when he got a surprising offer for a role in the Swedish film Flygande holländaren/The Flying Dutchman (Karin Swanström, 1925). Soon he became quite popular as a young lover in the German silent cinema of the 1920s.

He appeared in successful films like Kreuzer Emden/Cruiser Emden (Louis Ralph, 1926) and Die Brüder Schellenberg/The Brothers Schellenberg (Karl Grune, 1926), with Conrad Veidt and Lil Dagover.

His best knownrole in this period was that of archangel Michael in the Goethe adaptation Faust – eine deutsche Volkssage/Faust: A German Folk Legend (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1926). The film became a worldwide success, but Fuetterer was merely offered supporting roles afterwards.

He appeared in films like Die keusche Susanne/The Innocent Susanne (Richard Eichberg, 1926), Du sollst nicht stehlen/Thou Art Not Steal (Victor Janson, 1928), and Das Mädel mit der Peitsche/The Girl With The Whip (Carl Lamac, 1929) with Anny Ondra.

Werner Fuetterer, Dorothea Wieck
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 61/2, 1926. Photo: Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka). Publicity still for Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren/I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (Arthur Bergen, 1926) with Dorothea Wieck.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4050/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin / Europäische Film-Production. Publicity still for Morgenröte/Dawnings (Wolfgang Neff, Burton George, 1929).

Werner Fuetterer
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5193.

Werner Fuetterer, Dina Gralla
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5363. Photo: Hugo Engel-Film. Publicity still for Das Girl von der Revue/The Girl of the Revue (Richard Eichberg, 1928) with Dina Gralla.

Lilian Ellis and Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5025/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Hegewald-Film. Publicity still for Wiener Herzen/Viennese Hearts (Fred Sauer, 1930) with Lilian Ellis, a late silent film and a German-Austrian-Czech coproduction.

Betty Amann, Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5325/2, 1930-1931. Photo: Silva-Film. Publicity still for O alte Burschenherrlichkeit/Oh Those Glorious Old Student Days (Rolf Randolf, 1930) with Betty Amann.

Best Friend


Smoothly Werner Fuetterer continued his career into the sound era with roles opposite Anny Ondra in Die Grausame Freundin/The Cruel Girl Friend (Carl Lamac, 1932) and Die Tochter des Regiments/The Regiment's Daughter (1933).

Other examples of his popular early sound films were Nacht der Versuchung/Night of Temptation (Léo Lasko, Robert Wohlmuth, 1932) with Elga Brink, and Einmal eine große Dame sein/To Be a Grand Lady Once (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1934) starring Käthe von Nagy.

In the 1930s and 1940s he was often cast as the best friend of the leading man like in the Heinz Rühmann comedies Der Mustergatte/Model Husband (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1937) and Ich vertraue Dir meine Frau an/I Trust To You My Wife (Kurt Hoffmann, 1940). He became established as a popular film actor and also worked in the theatre.

From 1937 till 1939 he toured through the USA. After World War II he continued his career without a problem. His films included the comedies Es geschehen noch Wunder/Miracles Still Happen (Willi Forst, 1951) and Das kann jedem passieren/This Can Happen To Everybody (Paul Verhoeven, 1952) starring Heinz Rühmann, the circus drama Salto Mortale (Viktor Tourjansky, 1953), Des Teufels General/The Devil's General (Helmut Käutner, 1955), and Liebling der Götter/Sweetheart of the Gods (Gottfried Reinhardt, 1960), a bio pic of film star Renate Müller.

For many years Werner Fuetterer was chairman of the Film Actor’s Union in Germany. From 1957 on he lived in Spain, where he managed a camping and a bungalow parc. His last supporting part was in the adventure film Mister Dynamit - morgen küßt Euch der Tod/Die Slowly, You'll Enjoy It More (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1967) starring Lex Barker. In 1991 Werner Fuetterer died in Benidorm.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3655/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Europäische Film Production.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3655/1, 1928-1929. Photo Europäische Film Production.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4068/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Balázs, Berlin.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4851/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Tauber Tonfilm G.m.b.H / Emelka. Publicity still for Ich glaub nie mehr an eine Frau/Never Trust a Woman (Max Reichmann, 1930).

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Atelier Balasz, Berlin. (The edges of this card were cut off. We've photoshopped them for this scan).

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, Berlin, no. A 3701/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann / Terra.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. 3930/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Star-Foto-Atelier / Tobis.

Werner Fuetterer
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 838. Photo: T. von Mindszenty / Deutsche London Film. Still for Keine Angst vor grossen Tieren/Don't Fear Big Animals (Ulrich Erfurth, 1953).

Sources: Wikipedia, Thomas Staedeli, and IMDb.