15 March 2018

Siegfried Rauch (1932-2018)

On 11 March 2018, popular German film and television actor Siegfried Rauch (1932) has died. In the 1970s, he appeared in several international films. He has been an actor for over 60 years, in approximately 200 productions, and remained active until his death. The 85-years-old Rauch died from injuries suffered when falling down stairs at a fire station near his home in Obersöchering near Munich.

Siegfried Rauch
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Chris Nowotny, München.

Siegfried Rauch
German promotion card by Süd Golf, Wolfratshausen.

Siegfried Rauch (1932-2018)
German autograph card by Firma Grossmann, Reinbek bei Hamburg.

Steve McQueen's rival

Siegfried Rauch was born in Landsberg am Lech, Germany, in 1932. Rauch studied drama at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Additionally, he attended private drama lessons. Since 1958, he has performed at different theatres, beginning with Bremen (until 1962), and followed by Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.

In 1956, he started his film career in the Heimatfilms Die Geierwally/Vulture Wally (Frantisek Cáp, 1956), starring Barbara Rütting and Carl Möhner, and Der Jäger von Fall/The Hunter of Fall (Gustav Ucicky, 1956), featuring Rudolf Lenz.

During the 1960s, he appeared in European coproductions like the Eurospy film Kommissar X - Drei gelbe Katzen/Death is Nimble, Death is Quick (Rudolf Zehetgruber, Gianfranco Parolini, 1966), starring Tony Kendall and Brad Harris. It is the second of seven films, loosely based on the Kommissar X #73 detective novel from the Pabel Moewig publishing house.

Another Eurospy film in which he played a supporting part was Mister Dynamit - Morgen küßt euch der Tod/Spy Today, Die Tomorrow (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1967) starring Lex Barker and Maria Perschy. Rauch also appeared in the thriller Im Banne des Unheimlichen/The Zombie Walks (Alfred Vohrer, 1968) starring Joachim Fuchsberger. It is part of the series of German screen adaptations of Edgar Wallace's thriller novels.

In the 1970s Rauch often worked in Hollywood. He appeared opposite George C. Scott in the war epic Patton (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1970) as Captain Steiger. The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture. In Le Mans (Lee H. Katzin, 1971), Rauch played the race driver Erich Stahler who is Steve McQueen's rival. Other Hollywood productions in which Rauch appeared were the war film The Eagle Has Landed (John Sturges, 1976) with Michael Caine, and Escape to Athena (George P. Cosmatos, 1979), starring Roger Moore and David Niven.

In Samuel Fuller's World War II war film The Big Red One (1980), Rauch played a German army sergeant, the opposite of Lee Marvin's character, who experiences the same events as Marvin only from a German perspective.

Mark Deming at AllMovie: “Unfortunately, Fuller was forced by his producers to work with a scaled-down budget, and he did not have final cut on the film; after his first rough cut ran nearly four-and-a-half hours, the studio took over editing on the project, and Fuller was vocally unhappy with the final results. In 2003, critic and film historian Richard Schickel initiated an effort to restore The Big Red One to a form that more closely resembled Fuller's original vision.“

Schickel's reconstruction received enthusiastic reviews when it went into limited release in the fall of 2004.

Siegfried Rauch
German autograph card.

Maria Schell and Siegfried Rauch in Die glückliche Familie (1987-1991)
German autograph card. Publicity still for the TV series Die glückliche Familie/The Happy Family (1987-1991) with Maria Schell.

Siegfried Rauch in Das Traumschiff (1997-2013)
German autograph card by 2DF. Photo: ZDF / Dirk Bartling. Publicity still for the TV series Das Traumschiff/The Dream Boat (1997-2013).

It Can't Always Be Caviar

Siegfried Rauch continued to work in the German cinema and also on TV. He played in a new version of the Heimatfilm Der Jäger von Fall/The Hunter of Fall (Harald Reinl, 1974).

His most famous leading act on German television was Thomas Lieven in the mini-series Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein/It Can't Always Be Caviar (Thomas Engel, 1977), based on the international bestseller by Johannes Mario Simmel. The series is unique for providing a little cooking show at the end of each episode. The book also includes recipes because Thomas Lieven is an accomplished amateur cook. The 13 episodes were very popular in Germany during the 1970s and 1980s, and have since attained cult-status.

Rauch’s various other roles on television established his career as an actor in Germany. Since 1997, Rauch has continuously appeared in Das Traumschiff/The Dreamboat (1997-2013), one of the most-watched television series in Germany. He also appeared in other long-running hit-series like Die Landärztin/The Country Doctor (2006-2011), the Das Traumschiff spin-off Kreuzfahrt ins Glück/Cruise to Happiness (2007-2013) and Der Bergdoktor/Mountain Medic (2008-2016, 96 episodes).

Internationally he appeared in films like the science fiction-horror film Contamination (Luigi Cozzi, 1980) starring Ian McCulloch, the action film Der Stein des Todes/Perahera, Death Stone (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1985) and another actioner Feuer, Eis und Dynamit/Fire, Ice and Dynamite (Willy Bogner, 1990), starring Roger Moore.

Siegfried Rauch, also known as ‘Sigi’, died in 2018 as a result of a fall in his hometown of Untersochering, Bavaria. He was married to Karin and had two sons, Jakob and Benedikt, and one grandchild. Steve McQueen was the Godfather of his son Jakob.

Trailer Kommissar X - Drei gelbe Katzen/Death is Nimble, Death is Quick (1966). Source: Italo-Cinema Trailer (YouTube).

Trailer for Mister Dynamit - Morgen küßt euch der Tod/Spy Today, Die Tomorrow (1967). Source: Italo-Cinema Trailer (YouTube).

Trailer Le Mans (1971). Source: Umbrella Entertainment (YouTube).

Trailer The Big Red One (1980). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).

Sources: Mark Deming (AllMovie), Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.

1 comment:

Beth Niquette said...

Hello, Paul! I really like this man's face. He's just amazing. I would have loved to had coffee with this fellow, just to hear what he might have to say.

Thank you for posting. The link is up and running now! Thank you for your patience. I was out of town and didn't know there was a problem until today.

Have a lovely rest of the week, my friend!