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04 September 2012

Heidelinde Weis

Attractive Austrian actress Heidelinde Weis (1940) appeared in several European films in the 1960’s. She is a respected theater actress in the German speaking countries, where she also regularly appears in TV films and series.

Heidelinde Weis
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/381. Photo: Lothar Winkler.

Ambitious Stenotypist
Heidelinde Weis was born in Villach, Austria, in 1940. She was the daughter of a mercenary’s employee and she studied at a commercial school. At 14, she played the title role in an adaptation of the fairy tale Hans im Glück (Hans in the Fortune) at the Österreichischen Schulbühne (Austrian School Theatre). After her acting studies at the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar in Wien (Vienna) in 1957-1958, she became a company member of the Wiener Theater in der Josefstadt from 1959 till 1960. Weis made her film debut as an ambitious stenotypist opposite Hans Söhnker in Ich heirate Herrn Direktor/I Marry the Managing Director (1960, Wolfgang Liebeneiner). In real life she married theater producer Hellmuth Duna in 1960. From then on she toured often with his theater company. Between 1962 and 1981 she also did guest performances, amongst others at the Theater am Kurfürstendamm, in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and at Theater in der Brienner Straße in München. She was very successful in Colombe by Jean Anouilh (also adapted for TV by Hans-Dieter Schwarze in 1965), and as Isabella in Maß für Maß (Measure for Measure) and Olivia in Was ihr wollt (As You Like It) by William Shakespeare. The latter was also filmed as Was Ihr wollt/As You Like It (1962, Franz Peter Wirth). At the Salzburger Festspielen she later played Rosetta in Leonce und Lena (Leonce and Lena) (1976) and the countess in Der tolle Tag or Figaros Hochzeit (The great day, or The Marriage of Figaro) (1978).

Heidelinde Weis
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Hamburg. Photo: Wolfgang Pirker.

Attractive Corpse
In the cinema Heidelinde Weis had her breakthrough as the attractive corpse in Die Tote von Beverly Hills/The Corpse of Beverly Hills (1964, Michael Pfleghar). The thriller, based on a bestseller by Curt Goetz, won the Technical Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Next she appeared opposite child star Hansi Kraus in the comedy Lausbubengeschichten/Tales of a Young Scamp (1964, Helmut Käutner) based on the novel by Ludwig Thoma, and in the sequels Tante Frieda - Neue Lausbubengeschichten/Aunt Frieda – New Tales of a Young Scamp (1965, Werner Jacobs) with Elisabeth Flickenschildt, and Onkel Filser - Allerneueste Lausbubengeschichten/ Uncle Filser – Brand New Tales of a Young Scamp (1966, Werner Jacobs) with Michl Lang. She played the title role in the biographical costume drama Liselotte von der Pfalz (1966, Kurt Hoffmann). Other films were the James Bond spoof Serenade for Two Spies (1966, Michael Pfleghar) with Tony Kendall, the comedy Der Lügner und die Nonne/The Liar and the Nun (1967, Rolf Thiele) with Curd Jürgens, the anthology film Der Paukenspieler/The Tympanist (1967, Volker Schlöndorf a.o.) with Hans Kraus, and the British espionage drama The Man Outside (1967, Samuel Gallu) with Van Heflin. She also appeared opposite Angela Lansbury and Michael York in Something for Everyone (1970, Harold Prince).


Italian synchronized scenes from the Derrick episode Der Mann aus Kiel/The Man from Kiel (1982). The Italian voices add to the fun. Source: Derrickclub (YouTube).

Guest Starring
At the end of the 1960’s Heidelinde Weis started to focus on television. She appeared in a double role in the German miniseries Die Frau in Weiß/The Woman in White (1971, Wilhelm Semmelroth), an adaptation of the classic mystery novel by Wilkie Collins. In the following decades she did a lot of guest starring roles in popular Krimi series like Der Kommissar/The Inspector (1972) with Erik Ode, Derrick (1976-1988) with Horst Tappert, Der Alte/The Old Fox (1977-2002) with Michael Ande, Krimistunde/Crime Hour (1983) with Paul Dahlke, and Ein Fall für zwei/A Case for Two (1982) with Claus Theo Gärtner. In 1975 she recorded the LP So sing ich (That’s How I Sing) with self composed songs, for which she won the German record award Deutscher Schallplattenpreis in 1976. In 1977 she won the Goldene Kamera award. In the cinema she was seen in the Yugoslavian production Gospodjica (1980, Vojtech Jasný). Because of the longtime illness of her husband, her appearances in the 1980’s were rare. She played on TV in Die Erbin/The Heiress (1982, Rolf von Sydow) and in the series Schwarzwaldklinik/The Black Forest Clinic (1985). After her husband’s death in 1998 she played and directed the stage play Nächstes Jahr, gleiche Zeit/Same Time, Next Year, with Heiner Lauterbach. She also returned to the TV screen in e.g. the Rosamunde Pilcher TV film adaptation, Liebe im Spiel/Love in the Game (2004) and in series like the Krimi SOKO 5113 (2008) and Das Traumschiff/The Dream Ship (2008). In 2010, she had a major role in the film Die grünen Hügel von Wales/The green hills of Wales (2010, Andi Niessner). Heidelinde Weis lives in Kärnten, Austria.


Heidelinde Weis sings Superman from the LP So sing ich (1975). Source: DurianKPZ (YouTube)

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

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