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28 June 2013

Robert Hoffmann

Dashing Austrian actor Robert Hoffmann (1939) was best known for his title role performance in The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1964), his debut. He has since appeared in various parts in film and TV throughout Europe in Germany, Italy, France and occasionally the UK.

Robert Hoffmann
German postcard by Friedrich-W Sander-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2844. Photo: Constantin / Vienna Film. Publicity still for Der Lügner und die Nonne/The Liar and the Nun (Rolf Thiele, 1967).

Robinson Crusoe
Robert Hoffmann was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1939. After graduating from the local high school, he joined a business school. After a short stay in Sweden, he traveled to Paris where he studied acting. He also modeled and appeared in commercials. His screen debut was the title role in the French-German TV series Les aventures de Robinson Crusoë/The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (Jean Sacha, 1964). The series was based on the first of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe novels and was a huge success in several European countries. He also appeared as the handsome Chevalier de Lorraine in the first of the Angélique series, Angélique, marquise des anges/Angélique (Bernard Borderie, 1964), starring Michèle Mercier. He returned in the second part of the successful cycle, Merveilleuse Angélique/Angelique: The Road to Versailles (Bernard Borderie, 1965). He then appeared in the American-British war drama Up from the Beach (Robert Parrish, 1965) starring Cliff Robertson. The film was set in the aftermath of the Normandy Landings where a group of Allied soldiers attempt to shelter Frenchmen who faced execution by the Nazis. He then had a supporting part in the Edgar Wallace crime film Neues vom Hexer/Again the Ringer (Alfred Vohrer, 1965) with Heinz Drache. It was the direct sequel of the hit Der Hexer/The Ringer (Alfred Vohrer, 1964), shot 9 months later by the same director with mostly the same cast.

Robert Hoffmann
German postcard by Friedrich-W Sander-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2843. Photo: Constantin / Vienna Film. Publicity still for Der Lügner und die Nonne/The Liar and the Nun (Rolf Thiele, 1967).

Robert Hoffmann
German postcard by Friedrich-W Sander-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2893. Photo: Constantin / Vienna Film. Publicity still for Der Lügner und die Nonne/The Liar and the Nun (Rolf Thiele, 1967).

Playboy
Robert Hoffmann went to Italy to appear in Io la conoscevo bene/I Knew Her Well (Antonio Pietrangeli, 1965) starring Stefania Sandrelli. There he also played the lead in the adventure Una ráfaga de plomo/Executor (Paolo Heusch, Antonio Santillán, 1965) and in the crime drama Svegliati e uccidi/Wake Up and Die (Carlo Lizzani, 1966) with Gian Maria Volonté. It was based on the real life of Luciano Lutring, an Italian criminal known as ‘the machine-gun soloist’. He was the main male actor in Come imparai ad amare le donne/How I Learned to Love Women (Luciano Salce, 1966) with such gorgeous actresses as Michèle Mercier, Elsa Martinelli and Anita Ekberg. In the heist film Ad ogni costo/Grand Slam (Giuliano Montaldo, 1967), he played a playboy whose job it is to seduce the only woman with a key to the building holding the diamonds, the lovely Mary Ann (Janet Leigh). It was Hoffmann's biggest international success. Other films were the German comedy Der Lügner und die Nonne/The Liar and the Nun (Rolf Thiele, 1967) and the Israeli drama Tuvia Vesheva Benotav/Tevye and His Seven Daughters (Menahem Golan, 1968), based on stories by Sholom Aleichem, later remade as the musical Fiddler on the Roof The two-part adventure drama Kampf um Rom/The Last Roman (Robert Siodmak, 1968) with Laurence Harvey and Orson Welles was a late installment of the sword-and-sandal genre. In 1968 and 1969 he was awarded twice the Otto statuette forn one of the three most popular artists of the year, granted by the readers of Germany's Bravo magazine.

Robert Hoffmann
German postcard by Friedrich-W Sander-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2950. Photo: Constantin / Vienna Film. Publicity still for Der Lügner und die Nonne/The Liar and the Nun (Rolf Thiele, 1967).

German Guy Sexy!
During the 1970s, Robert Hoffmann often worked in Italy. He appeared in Un apprezzato professionista di sicuro avvenire/One Appreciated Professional of Sure Future (Giuseppe De Santis, 1971). Then a serious accident during filming of a comedy in Spain took two years of recovery. After that he participated in the Giallo Spasmo (Umberto Lenzi, 1974) with Suzy Kendall. In France he played a lieutenant in the war drama Le vieux fusil/Old Gun (Robert Enrico, 1975) starring Philippe Noiret and Romy Schneider. In 1975, he opened a music café in Salzburg but he also continued to act. He played a U-boat captain in another WWII drama The Sea Wolves (Andrew V. MacLaglen, 1980) starring Gregory Peck and Roger Moore. In the following decades he mainly worked for Austrian and German television. His later films include La 7ème cible/ The Seventh Target (Claude Pinoteau, 1984) with Lino Ventura, and Ilona und Kurti/German Guy Sexy! The Story of Ilona and Kurti (Reinhard Schwabenitzky, 1992). In 1997, he was interviewed by the BBC when the Robinson Crusoe series was first released on video. He was last seen in the TV film 21 Liebesbriefe/21 Love Letters (Nina grosse, 2004). Robert Hoffmann, who speaks speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish fluently, has performed in about 60 films and series.


Scene from Les aventures de Robinson Crusoë/The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1964). Source: ChunkyStab (YouTube).


Robert Hoffmann sings the Schlager Herbstwind (Autumn Wind) (1967). Source: Megayoyo1992 (YouTube).


Trailer Ad ogni costo/Grand Slam (1967). Source: DumbDistraction (YouTube).


Trailer Spasmo (1974). Source: xKronzx (YouTube).

Sources: Michaela Kroupová-Zatinka (Angelika) (Czech), AllMovie, Wikipedia (English, German and Italian) and IMDb.

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