11 September 2016

Michael Ande

German actor Michael Ande (1944) was a well-known child star of the German cinema during the 1950s. Nowadays he is best known for his role as in the West German Krimi TV series Der Alte/The Old Fox (1977-2016).

Michael Ande
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3875. Photo: Hämmerer / Vienna / Schorcht Film. Publicity still for Skandal in Ischl/Scandal in Bad Ischl (Rolf Thiele, 1957).

Michael Ande
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 251. Photo: Kolibri / Sander.

The Trapp family

Michael Ande was born in 1944 in Bad Wiessee, Germany.

He made his film debut in the French-German film Marianne de ma jeunesse/Marianne (Julien Duvivier, 1955) featuring Marianne Hold. The film made him a popular child star.

During the following years, he played in several Heimatfilms, such as Das Hirtenlied vom Kaisertal/The Shepherd's Song from Kaisertal (Max Michel, 1956). In the Austrian family drama Der schönste Tag in meinem Leben/The Most Beautiful Day of My Life (Max Neufeld, 1957) he played a chorister in the Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys' Choir).

Michael also played in two German films about the Trapp family: Die Trapp-Familie/The Trapp Family (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1956) and its sequel Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika/The Trapp Family in America (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1958), both starring Ruth Leuwerik. The Trapp Family became one of the most successful German films of the 1950s, and was the inspiration for the Hollywood musical The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965), starring Julie Andrews. Michael Ande played Werner in the Trapp-films. In The Sound of Music the boy's name is Kurt.

Another popular film was the adventure drama El Hakim (Rolf Thiele, 1957), in which he played O.W. Fischer’s character as a child.

Michael Ande
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 251. Photo: Kolibri / Enzwieser.

Michael Ande
German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 178. Photo: Donau Film / Börcsök.

Krimi star

Like many other child stars, Michael Ande had difficulty continuing his career as an adult actor. A reason was his youthful-looking face.

He made his debut as stage actor in 1961 and had a successful career in the theatre. Ande returned successfully on the screen as Jim Hawkins in the French-German TV mini-series Die Schatzinsel/Treasure Island (Jacques Bourdon, Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1966), based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

From 1977 on he appeared in the German Krimi series Der Alte/The Old Fox (1977-2016) created by Helmut Ringelmann. The TV series premiered on 11 Apri 1977 on ZDF and became later part of the legendary Friday Crime Night of the network. In 401 episodes Ande played Gertd Heymann, one of the assistants of Munich detective ‘The Old Fox', from 1977 till 1986 played by Siegfried Lowitz.

Ande's later films include Verdammt zur Sünde/Condemned to Sin (Alfred Weidenmann, 1964) as the son of Martin Held, Der Paradiesgarten/The Paradise Garden (Bernd Schwamm, 1970) and the gay drama Zurück auf Los!/Return to Go! (Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss, 2000).

He was also the German dubbing voice of Sam Neill, James Woods and martial arts star Fu Sheng in several films.

In 2016, after nearly 40 years on the series, Michael Ande decided to stop with Der Alte and to retire. He lives with his family in Schliersee in the south of Germany.

Michael Ande
German autograph card. Photo: Kövesdi.

Michael Ande
German autograph card.

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

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