18 June 2024

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek (1931-2024)

Czech-born, German-Swiss actress Ruth-Maria Kubitschek (1931) died on 1 June 2024 in Ascona. She appeared in over 160 film and television productions in around six decades. Kubitschek became known to television audiences as Annette von Soettingen, alias ‘Spatzl’, in Monaco Franze - Der ewige Stenz (1983), as newspaper publisher Friederike von Unruh in Kir Royal (1986) and as Margot Balbeck in Das Erbe der Guldenburgs (1987). Ruth-Maria Kubitschek was 92.

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek in Mittsommernacht (1967)
West German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg, no. 4731. Photo: Gloria. Ruth-Maria Kubitschek in Mitsommernacht/Midsummer Night (Paul May, 1967).

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek
West German autograph card.

The first East German/Polish Science Fiction film in colour

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek was born in 1931 in Komotau, Czechoslovakia (now Chomutov, Czech Republic). She was one of five sisters. Her father was in charge of a coal mining operation in northern Bohemia in the Czech Republic until the end of the Second World War. After the end of World War II, the family fled to Köthen (Saxony-Anhalt). Kubitschek grew up in the GDR.

Against her parents' wishes, she decided to become an actor. After high school, she went to the University for Theatre and Music (Hochschule für Theater und Musik) in Halle and then to the German Theatre Institute (Deutsches Theater-Institut) in Weimar. She made her stage debut in Bertold Brecht's 'Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti'. Then, she had engagements at the Maxim-Gorki-Bühne Schwerin, the Theater der Freundschaft Berlin, and the Staatstheater Schwerin.

Already a noted star on the East German stage, she began her screen career with DEFA. In 1953, Kubitschek made her film debut in the comedy Jacke wie Hose/Swings or Roundabouts (Eduard Kubat, 1953) in the role of Eva. She also had supporting parts in the East German films Thomas Muentzer (Martin Hellberg, 1956), about the life of the 16th-century Protestant theologian and peasant leader Thomas Muentzer, and Der Fackelträger (Johannes Knittel, 1957).

She also acted in Der schweigende Stern/Milcząca Gwiazda/The Silent Star (Kurt Maetzig, 1960), starring Günther Simon and Yoko Tani. The first East German/Polish Science Fiction film in colour was based on the novel 'The Astronauts' by Polish Sci-Fi writer Stanisław Lem. In 1959, Kubitschek stayed in West Germany after a theatre performance. There she initially also performed various theatre performances.

She also appeared in a few West German films such as the mystery Er kann's nicht lassen/He Can't Stop Doing It (Axel von Ambesser, 1962) starring Heinz Rühmann. It was loosely based on the Father Brown stories by G. K. Chesterton. Rühmann reprised his role from the film The Black Sheep (1960). Other films were the comedy-drama Sperrbezirk (Will Tremper, 1966) starring Harald Leipnitz, the Norway-situated Heimatfilm Mitsommernacht/Midsummer Night (Paul May, 1967) with American TV actor Robert Fuller, and the Guy de Maupassant adaptation Madame und ihre Nichte/Madame and Her Niece (Eberhard Schröder, 1969) with Edwige Fenech and Fred Williams.

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek (1931-2024)
East German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 305, 1957. Photo: Albert Kolbe / DEFA.

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek (1931-2024)
West German autograph card by TURA.

The artistic highlights of her career

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek gained great popularity through television. First, she appeared in the Francis Durbridge thriller Melissa (Paul May, 1966). She starred alongside Ralf Wolter in the 13-part series Ein Fall für Titus Bunge/A Case for Titus Bunge (Günter Gräwert, 1967). She had other well-known television roles in Tatort: Blechschaden/Crime Scene: Fender Bender (Wolfgang Petersen, 1971) with Klaus Schwarzkopf and Götz George, Der Kommissar: Blinde Spiele/The Commissioner: Blinde Spiele (Theodor Grädler, 1972), and Das Erbe der Guldenburgs/The Legacy of the Guldenburgs (Gero Erhardt, Jürgen Goslar, 1986-1989).

She later rated two series directed by Helmut Dietl, Monaco Franze – Der ewige Stenz/ Monaco Franz - the Eternal Dandy (Helmut Dietl, 1983) with Helmut Fischer, Kir Royal (Helmut Dietl, 1986) with Franz Xaver Kroetz, as the artistic highlights of her career. Kubitschek appeared alongside Mathieu Carrière as Countess Sophie von Hohenstein in the TV series Schloß Hohenstein/Hohenstein Castle (1992-1995) and played the successful businesswoman Marlies Holbein in Freunde fürs Leben/Friends for life (1992-2001).

In the cinema, Kubitscheck showed her comedic talent alongside Dieter Hallervorden in the comedy of mistaken identity Didi - Der Doppelgänger/Non-Stop Trouble with My Double (Reinhard Schwabenitzky, 1984) in the female leading role of Heidi Immer. In 1992, she took on the role of Frau von Lodenwald in the comedy Otto - Der Liebesfilm/Otto: The Love Film (Otto Waalkes, Bernd Eilert, 1992), Otto Waalkes' fourth feature film.

In addition to her stage and film work, Kubitschek worked as a dubbing actress and lent her voice to Danielle Darrieux for 8 femmes/8 Women (François Ozon, 2002), Daliah Lavi for Old Shatterhand (Hugo Fregonese, 1964) and Delphine Seyrig for Muriel ou Le temps d’un retour/Muriel or the Time of Return (Alain Resnais, 1963). Kubitschek was also the author of novels and esoteric books. She was a strong supporter of meditation and believed in elfins and ghosts. In 1953 she married opera director and writer Götz Friedrich. They had a son, Alexander (1957) and divorced in 1962 or 1963. From 1976 until he died in 2016, she was the companion of TV producer Wolfgang Rademann. Since 2013, she was a Swiss citizen.

Wolf Gremm directed her in Im Fluss des Lebens/Journey of Life (Wolf Gremm, 2011), based on Kubitschek's novella of the same name. She played the leading role of writer Agnes Berg. In 2013, she shot her last film, the comedy-road movie Frau Ella (Markus Goller, 2013) opposite Matthias Schweighöfer. For her title role, she received the Jupiter Film Award. That year, she also received the Bavarian Television Prize, an honorary award from the Bavarian Prime Minister for her life's work. In 2014, she withdrew from the public eye, but still exhibited her paintings. Ruth-Maria Kubitschek died in 2024 in Ascona at the Lago Maggiore in Switzerland.

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek
West German autograph card.

Ruth-Maria Kubitschek
West German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Roberto Ferrantini, Roma.

Sources: Wikipedia (German, Dutch and English) and IMDb.

No comments: