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Volker Spengler

Volker Spengler

German actor
Volker Spengler
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German actor
Was Actor Film actor Film director Fashion designer Costume designer Film crew member Scenographer Television actor
From Germany
Type Fashion Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 16 February 1939, Bremen, Germany
Death 8 February 2020, Berlin, Margraviate of Brandenburg (aged 81 years)
Star sign Aquarius
The details (from wikipedia)


Volker Spengler ([ˈfɔlkɐ ˈʃpɛŋlɐ]; 16 February 1939 – 8 February 2020) was a German stage and film actor. Spengler was best known to international audiences as a member of director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's acting ensemble, including his role as the transsexual Erwin/Elvira of Fassbinder's In a Year of 13 Moons (1978). Spengler appeared in about 40 film and television productions between 1966 and 2004, also working with other directors such as Christoph Schlingensief and Volker Schlöndorff. On stage, he performed at Berlin's Volksbühne and with the Berliner Ensemble.


Born in Bremen, Spengler began a commercial apprenticeship at age 18. From 1959 to 1961, he attended the Schauspielschule in Salzburg and the Vienna Reinhardt-Seminar. He played boulevard theatre from 1965, alongside Heinz Erhardt in Stuttgart, with Ida Ehre in Hamburg, and with Fritz Rémond [de] in Frankfurt. Spengler was discovered for the Schiller Theater by director Fritz Kortner in 1967.

Spengler played in many films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. His most noted role with him was the transsexual Erwin/Elvira in In a Year of 13 Moons in 1978. Spengler played the lead role with Ingrid Caven, Eva Mattes and Elisabeth Trissenaar. He participated in productions of Pina Bausch's Tanztheater in Wuppertal.

Spengler appeared in about 40 film and television productions between 1966 and 2004, working also with directors such as Christoph Schlingensief and Volker Schlöndorff. In Schlöndorff's Der Unhold, he played Hermann Göring, alongside Gottfried John and John Malkovich.

With Schlingensief, he played on stage at Berlin's Volksbühne, such as in Rosebud. He was a long-standing veteran at the Volksbühne and also the Berliner Ensemble. On stage, he worked with directors such as Frank Castorf, Peter Palitzsch and René Pollesch. In Heiner Müller's last production, Brecht's Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui with the Berliner Ensemble, he played Giri together with Martin Wuttke.

His trademark was his raspy voice. His longtime partner Bob died on 20 April 1994 of AIDS. Spengler died on 8 February 2020, eight days shy of his 81st birthday.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 10 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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