Hellmut Lange (19 January 1923 – 13 January 2011) was an actor and journalist who became famous as action hero on TV and eventually succeeded as presenter of his popular TV show "Kennen Sie Kino?" ("Are you a cinema connoisseur?")
Hellmut Lange started his acting career on radio drama shows for the West-German Radio Station SFB (Sender Freies Berlin= Radio Free Berlin). After finishing his school formation he studied acting for two years in Hanover and then he worked as a stage actor in Munich. In the early fifties he played Old Shatterhand on an open-air stage.
On the screen
In 1961 he was the principal actor in a German Edgar Wallace adaption for cinema. The next year he had one of the main roles in a TV mini series based on a story of Francis Durbridge. He also acted as the protagonist of the TV series John Kling. Since he had already played Old Shatterhand, a hero which has evidently been inspired by James Fenimore Cooper's Natty Bumppo, it didn't come as a surprise that he was considered an appropriate choice for acting as Natty Bumppo himself. That he did with tremendous success in a German TV mini series called after the "leatherstocking ("Lederstrumpf") tales". This TV series which starred a Frenchman (Pierre Massimi) as Chingachgook was in many ways the predecessor of the also very successful Karl May films in which Lex Barker (or sometimes Stewart Granger) would team up with the French actor Pierre Brice as Winnetou (note: This cannot be true regarding that the Karl May Western films had been released between 1962 and 1968 while the "Lederstrumpf tales" were produced in 1969, HG). Lange himself didn't play Winnetou's friend Old Shatterhand again. Instead he appeared in a Hollywood picture about General Patton and was also the German voice of Richard Harris, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman and other American stars for the German dubbed versions of some of their feature films.
Career as journalist
Due to his accomplished expertise in regards to all aspects of acting and filming Lange was also much in demand as an author of articles about cinema. German TV took advantage of this well-known fact by employing him as presenter of a quiz programme ("Kennen Sie Kino?") which ran from 1971 till 1981.
Lange worked successfully as an actor on TV until he was over seventy years old. In 2009 it was published that serious health issues would hinder him continuing. Lederstrumpf and John Klings Abenteuer had just been digitally remastered and released on DVD.
- Lebensborn (1961) - Oberscharführer Nietermann
- Der Fälscher von London (1961) - Peter Clifton
- Camp der Verdammten (1962) - Harald Birk
- Mord in Rio (1963) - Peter Jordan
- Ein Mann im schönsten Alter (1964) - Ferrow
- Serenade for Two Spies (1965) - John Krim
- John Kling (1965-1970, TV series) - John Kling
- 4 Schlüssel (1966) - Thilo
- Zwei Girls vom Roten Stern (1966) - Harry Miller
- FBI - Operazione Vipera Gialla (1966)
- Diamond Safari (1966) - Robert Alphène
- Mädchen, Mädchen (1967) - Ernst
- The Blonde from Peking (1967) - Malik
- Liebesnächte in der Taiga (1967) - Captain Jimmy Braddock
- The Last of the Mohicans (1969, TV miniseries) - Lederstrumpf
- Salto Mortale (1969-1972, TV series) - Mischa
- Patton (1970) - Major Dorian von Haarenwege (uncredited)
- Das Messer im Rücken (1975) - Untersuchungsrichter
- Das Gesetz des Clans (1977) - Gordon Hamilton
- Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977) - Hitlers Kammerdiener / Goebbels-Puppenspieler / SS-Mann
- Miko - aus der Gosse zu den Sternen (1986) - Showmaster