10 June 2014

Walter Müller

Austrian actor Walter Müller (1911-1969) was a popular star of operettas on stage and in the cinema. In the 1940s he appeared as the funny, singing Sonny Boy of many German films and in the early 1950s he often played the friend or competitor of the real hero.

Walter Müller
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1001. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel. Publicity still for Hurra - ein Junge/Hooray - a boy! (Ernst Marischka, Georg Jacoby, 1953).

Buffo and Operetta Tenor

Walter Müller was born in Prague in Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic) in 1911. He was the son of Anton and Theresia Mueller and grew up in Wien (Vienna).

He began his artistic career in 1927 as a chorister at the Landestheater Linz (Linz State Theatre). He then worked in Bodenbach as a Choir pupil and in Bad Hall for the first time as an actor. Mueller had further engagements in Reichenberg (Liberec), Brünn (Brno), Iglau (Jihlava) and Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary).

In Mährisch-Ostrau (Moravia-Ostrava) he performed as a Buffo and operetta tenor. In 1938 he came as a second Bass at the Volksoper in Vienna and sang in such operettas as Frau Luna (Mrs. Luna) and Der Graf von Luxemburg (The Count of Luxembourg).

In 1939 he moved to the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin, and from 1940 till the barring of the Berlin theatres in 1944, he was the lead actor of many revues and operettas at the Metropol-Theater.

After the war he played at the Wiener Bürgertheater, where he also directed occasionally.

Since 1938 he also worked extensively for the radio.

Walter Müller
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3712/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Berlin-Film / Foto Wesel.

The Funny, Singing Sonny Boy

Walter Müller appeared in the cinema from 1940 on and he always played the funny, singing Sonny Boy.

His film début was in the comedy Herzensfreud – Herzensleid/Heartwarming - Heartaching (Hubert Marischka, 1940) with Paul Klinger.

Very enjoyable is the musical Die Frau meiner Träume/The Woman of My Dreams (Georg Jacoby, 1944) starring Marika Rökk.

During the first half of the 1950s, he was popular in roles as the friend or competitor of the real hero.

His more successful films include the comedy Es schlägt 13/13 O’Clock (E.W. Emo, 1950) with Hans Moser and Theo Lingen, the musical comedy Johannes und die 13 Schönheitsköniginnen/Johannes and the 13 Beauty Queens (Alfred Stöger, 1951) with Sonja Ziemann, and Das Land des Lächelns/Land of Smiles (Hans Deppe, Erik Ode, 1952) starring Márta Eggerth and Jan Kiepura.

He also often played the type of the comic lover, as in Hurra - ein Junge!/Hurray, it’s a boy! (Ernst Marischka, 1953) with Theo Lingen, and Hurra - die Firma hat ein Kind/Hurray, the Firm has a Child (Hans Richter, 1956).

In the early 1960s, his film career was coming to an end. He acted mainly in operetta roles in the theatre again and in 1966 he celebrated his final success in a performance of Maske in Blau (Mask in blue) in the Theater des Westens (theater of the West) at the side of Marika Rökk.

His last film was Spukschloß im Salzkammergut/The Haunted Castle of Salzkammergut (Hans Billian, Rolf Olsen, 1966) starring singer Udo Jürgens.

For some time, he also ran a wine tavern-restaurant in Vienna.

Walter Müller died in 1969 in Starnberg, Germany. Since 1937 he was married to Hedwig Jahnel and they had one daughter.

Walter Müller
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 788. Photo: Kitt / NF. Publicity still for Einmal keine Sorgen haben/Once have no worries (Georg Marischka, 1953).

Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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