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18 September 2014

Oliver Grimm

Oliver Grimm (1948) was Germany's favourite child star for more than a decade. He made 17 films between 1952 and 1963.

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden (Westf.), no. F 16. Photo: Constantin (Looschen). Publicity still for Kleiner Mann - ganz gross/Little Man on Top (Hans Grimm, 1957).

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 32. Photo: Niczky.

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-29. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

Handsome Boy Actor


Oliver Grimm was born in Munich, Germany, in 1948 as the son of film director Hans Grimm and Ufa-actress Hansi Wendler.

He already made his film debut in 1951 in the comedy Ich heiße Nicki/My name Is Nicki (Rudolf Jugert, 1952) starring Paul Hörbiger.

The following years more parts followed in Vater braucht eine Frau/Father Needs a Woman (Harald Braun, 1952) starring Dieter Borsche and Ruth Leuwerik, Moselfahrt aus Liebeskummer/A Boat Trip On the Mosel Because of Lovesickness (Kurt Hoffmann, 1953), Morgengrauen/Dawn (Viktor Tourjansky, 1954) and Frühlingslied/Springtime Song (Hans Albin, 1954).

It was his leading role in Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne/Like father Like Son (Hans Quest, 1955) that made him one of the most famous child stars in Germany. In this film he co-starred as the son of a musical clown played by Heinz Rühmann.

Other family films with the handsome boy actor in the lead role soon followed as Griff nach den Sternen/Reaching for the Stars (Carl-Heinz Schroth, 1955), Mein Vater, der Schauspieler/May father, the Actor (Robert Siodmak, 1956) opposite O.W. Fischer, and Das schöne Abenteuer/Beautiful Adventure (Kurt Hoffmann, 1959) starring Liselotte Pulver.

He often appeared in films directed by his father, including Kleiner Mann: ganz groß/Little Man on Top (Hans Grimm, 1957) and Der schwarze Blitz/The Black Blitz (Hans Grimm, 1958) starring ski champion Toni Sailer.

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1220 Photo: NF / Lilo. Publicity still for Morgengrauen/Dawn (Viktor Tourjansky, 1954).

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. 1279. Photo: Albin-Film / Deutsche London / Roeder. Publicity still for Frühlingslied/Springtime Song (Hans Albin, 1954).

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 2000. Photo: H. / Fü.

Walt Disney


Internationally, Oliver Grimm may be best remembered for the role of a blind boy in two episodes of the television show Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (Georg Tressler, 1962) opposite Karlheinz Böhm.

One of his best performances he gave in the British World War II drama Reach for Glory (Philip Leacock, 1962). A group of boys, evacuated from London to a coastal town, form a gang and play war games. Grimm played a jewish evacuee from Austria who runs off during a fight. The youths decide to give him a fake court-martial and he is killed by accident.

Grimm’s film career was over in 1963 when he was 14-years-of-age. He only provided the voice of Kimba the young lion in the German version of the Japanese animated series Janguru taitei/Kimba the White Lion (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1965-1967).

After leaving school Grimm studied three semesters with the intention to become a civil engineer. Then he decided for the acting profession, and took acting classes in Berlin.

As an adult he was not able to establish himself in the film business again, but since the 1970s he worked steadily as a voice actor and played at theatres in Berlin, Munich and Zurich. He also regularly works behind the camera.

In 1975 he made a guest appearance on TV in the popular krimi-series Derrick. After 38 years Oliver Grimm returned to the big screen as a teacher in the German comedy Schule/No More School (Marco Petry, 2000) starring Daniel Brühl.

His most recent screen appearances were interviews in the documentaries René Deltgen: Der sanfte Rebell/René Deltgen: The Gentle Rebel (Michael Wenk, 2004) and Heinz Rühmann - Der Schauspieler/Heinz Rühmann – The Actor (Michael Strauven, 2007) in the TV series Hitlers nützliche Idole/Hitler’s Useful Idols (2007).

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 231. Photo: Berolina / Constantin-Film.

Oliver Grimm
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 152. Photo: Constantin / Bokelberg.

Oliver Grimm
Italian postcard in the series 'Piccoli Uomini nel Cinema' by Ed. Villagio del Fanciullo, Bologna. Photo: Titanus. Publiity still for Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne/If the Father and the Son (Hans Quest, 1955) with Waltraut Haas and Robert Freytag.


Scene from Vater braucht eine Frau/Father Needs a Woman (Harald Braun, 1952). Source: Liebhaberalterfilme (YouTube).


Scene from Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne/Like father Like Son (Hans Quest, 1955). Source: Filmkiste (YouTube).

Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-line - German), Karl Williams (AllMovie), CVMC, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.