10 October 2012

Joachim Hansen

Blonde German actor Joachim Hansen (1930 - 2007) was best known for his starring roles in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s and played in over 70 films and TV series. Later he was often cast in international films in roles portraying Nazi officers and World War II German officials.

Joachim Hansen
German postcard by UFA, Berlin-Tempelhoff, no. CK-198. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm / UFA.

Joachim Hansen
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhoff, no. FK 4702. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm.

Luftwaffe Pilot
Joachim Hansen was born as Joachim Spieler in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany, in 1930. He was the son of a school teacher. After following acting classes at the Max-Reinhardt-Schule in Berlin he first started a stage career. Director Alfred Weidenmann then asked him for the lead in the WW II film Der Stern von Afrika/The Star of Africa (1957, Alfred Weidenmann). This epic about the popular pilots of the German Luftwaffe became the most successful German cinema production of the year and meant a national breakthrough for Hansen and his co-stars Hansjörg Felmy, Horst Frank and Peer Schmidt. The new star followed his hit up with popular films like the adventure Madeleine und der Legionär/Escape from Sahara (1957, Wolfgang Staudte) with Hildegard Knef, the war drama Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben/Stalingrad: Dogs, Do You Want to Live Forever? (1958, Frank Wisbar), the Heimat-melodrama Und ewig singen die Wälder/Beyond Sing the Woods (1959, Paul May) and the sequel Das Erbe von Björndal/Heritage of Bjorndal (1960, Gustav Ucicky), Via Mala (1961, Paul May) with Gert Fröbe and Christine Kaufmann, and the Edgar Wallace adaptation Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer/The Secret of the Black Trunk (1962, Werner Klingler). Between 1957 and 1962 he played leads in 19 feature films.

Joachim Hansen
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 4314, licency holder for Ufa/Film-Foto in the Netherlands. Sent by mail in 1959. Photo: Ufa.

Joachim Hansen
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden, Westfalen, no. 1071. Photo: Cinelux / Deutsch Cosmopol-film / Haenchen. Publicity still for Der Schatz vom Toplitzsee/The Treasure of Toplitzsee (1959).

Joachim Hansen
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-178 Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Grimm / Ufa.

Führer, Volk Und Vaterland
From the mid 1960’s on Joachim Hansen appeared in such international hits as Paris brûle-t-il?/Is Paris Burning? (1966, René Clément) starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, The Bridge at Remagen (1968, John Guillermin), Le vieux fusil/The Old Gun (1975, Robert Enrico), Une femme à sa fenêtre/A Woman at Her Window (1976, Pierre Granier-Deferre) with Romy Schneider, The Eagle Has Landed (1976, John Sturges) starring Michael Caine, and The Boys From Brazil (1978, Franklin J. Schaffner) with Gregory Peck. He portrayed Lt. Gen. Alfred Jodl in the TV mini-series adaptations of Herman Wouks' The Winds of War (1983, Dan Curtis) and War and Remembrance (1988, Dan Curtis, Tommy Groszman) both starring Robert Mitchum. He often portrayed the German military who believed till the end in ‘Führer, Volk und Vaterland'. In Germany he played in TV films like Operation Walküre (1971, Franz Peter Wirth) in which he portrayed Graf Claus von Stauffenberg, and he also acted in two TV films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Welt am Draht/World on a Wire (1973) and Nora Helmer (1974). His last film was the romantic comedy Palace (1985, Edouard Molinaro) with Claude Brasseur. He emigrated to Canada in 1986 but returned occasionally to Germany to work on the stage or for TV. Joachim Hansen died of brain haemorrhage in Berlin, Germany, in 2007.

Marianne Koch, Joachim Hansen
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhoff, no. FK 3658. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Brünjes / Neue Emelka / Herzog Film.

Joachim Hansen
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhoff, no. FK 3995. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Marszalek / UFA.

Scene from Der Stern von Afrika/The Star of Africa (1957).

Sources: Stephanie D'Heil (Steffi-line) (German), Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.

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