Helmut Fischer (15 November 1926 – 14 June 1997) was a popular award-winning German actor.

Helmut Fischer
Helmut Fischer Schauspieler.jpg
Helmut Fischer in 1991
Born(1926-11-15)15 November 1926
Died14 June 1997(1997-06-14) (aged 70)


Helmut Fischer was the son of a businessman and a tailor and grew up in the Munich district of Neuhausen in Donnersbergerstraße 50a,[1] where he also went to school. When the secondary school rejected him, he joined Otto Falckenberg's drama school, which he quit after a short time. In the subsequent period Fischer worked as a theater actor. In 1952 was his stage debut at the Würzburg city theatre as Albrecht III in Friedrich Hebbel's Agnes Bernauer. The reviews were devastating.

For almost 20 years Fischer remained largely unknown and had to deal with minor supporting roles. Among other things, he worked at the Munich "Oktoberfest" at the Zuban show as part of a zebra's behind. In 1953 he married the dancer Utta Martin, with whom he lived up to his death (44 years). In 1961 saw the actor's debut in Bavarian Television: as a hairdresser in Ludwig Thoma's comedy Die Lokalbahn. Fischer described himself as "terrible" and said in retrospect: "Richtig g'schämt hab' ich mich, wie überzogen ich damals g'spielt hab (I was terribly ashamed about my totally excessive acting)". As he was under-worked with acting alone, Fischer also worked as a film critic for the Munich Abendzeitung.

In 1972 he played in the Bavarian Television's first episode of the Tatort series, as assistant to then-time Inspector Veigl (played by Gustl Bayrhammer). When Veigl was "retired" in 1981, Fischer was "promoted" to Commissioner Ludwig Lenz and as such he solved a total of seven cases until 1987. In 1974 Helmut Fischer, in his favourite café Münchner Freiheit met director Helmut Dietl. The latter recognised his friend's true talent and in 1980 gave him a major role in the TV series Der ganz normale Wahnsinn in which Fischer for the first time got to play a manquéed playboy.

Memorial for "Monaco Franze" (Helmut Fischer) at Münchner Freiheit

The final breakthrough came in 1983 with Helmut Fischer's series Monaco Franze – Der ewige Stenz. Again Helmut Dietl was the director, Patrick Süskind cooperated on the scripts to almost all episodes. In the series, which has now reached cult status among fans, Fischer alongside Ruth Maria Kubitschek, Christine Kaufmann, Karl Obermayr [de] and Erni Singerl [de] in inimitable way embodied an easygoing dandy, charmer and ladies' men, who always manages to master awkward situations with a sheepy smile. Famous sayings by the character role like "A bisserl was geht immer (Anything goes)" were adapted into daily language use. Matching this, Fischer also recorded a successful single titled "Spatzl (Schau wia i schau)) (Sweetheart (Look like I'm looking))".

From now on, the actor was busy with roles whose character were always based on Stenz though. Until the end of his life Fischer kept assuring that the figure of Monaco Franze had nothing to do with his real life. In the mid-1980s, Fischer played with Thomas Gottschalk and Michael Winslow in the two Zärtliche Chaoten films, from 1987 to 1992 he could be seen as "Josefbärli" along Veronika Fitz and Ilse Neubauer in the series Die Hausmeisterin (The House Keeper). Fischer enjoyed his last success in the series Ein Schloß am Wörthersee (A castle on the Wörthersee), where he played the absentminded estate manager Leo Laxeneder, and as the fictitious mayor of Hohenwaldau, Peter Elfinger in Peter and Paul alongside Hans Clarin.

In 1993 Helmut Fischer was diagnosed with cancer. He kept this diagnosis largely secret, only his wife Utta knew about it. In 1996, the actor underwent treatment by the well-known and controversial cancer specialist Julius Hackethal. In November he celebrated his 70th anniversary with a great number of friends and colleagues. At the occasion the told the press: "Das Leben macht sich ja mehr und mehr aus dem Staub (Life is more and more buzzing off)". Eight months later Fischer, to the surprise of the common public, died in Chiemgau. More than 1,000 people participated in the funeral service at the mortuary of Munich's northern cemetery and the subsequent funeral at the Bogenhausen cemetery (gravesite no. 2-4-2) on 19 June 1997. In his funeral speech Munich's Lord Mayor Christian Ude, a friend and neighbour of Fischer, said: "... Populär war er in ganz Deutschland - in München wurde er geliebt. (He was popular throughout Germany - in Munich, he was loved.)"

On Fischer's favourite spot in the garden of café Münchner Freiheit in Schwabing, a bronze monument by Nicolai Tregor Jr. was revealed which depicts Fischer in his famous role as Monaco Franze.


TV seriesEdit

Stage playsEdit

  • 1952: Agnes Bernauer - at the Würzburg city theatre
  • 1953: Diener zweier Herren (Servant of Two Masters) - am Stadttheater Würzburg
  • 1964: Die großen Sebastians (The Great Sebastians) - at the Kleine Komödie in Munich
  • 1966: Italienische Nacht (Italian Night) - at Residenz Theatre
  • 1969-1970: Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern (Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria) - Münchner Kammerspiele
  • 1975: Fast wie ein Poet (Almost like A Poet) - at Residenz Theatre - Director: Rudolf Noelte
  • 1984-1985: Waldfrieden (Peace in the Woods) - Münchner Volkstheater
  • 1984-1985: Die Brautschau (Looking for a Wife) - am Münchner Volkstheater mit Hans Brenner



  • Fischer, Helmut (1997), A bissl was geht immer, ISBN 3-7654-2887-6
  • Helmut Fischer - Der unsterbliche Stenz - Erinnerungen von seinen Freunden (Helmut Fischer - the immortal Stenz - Memories of his Friends) (2006), ISBN 3-7844-3058-9


  1. ^ "Erzählungen, Geschichtliches und Gefundenes aus Neuhausen" (in German). Ulrike Wolf. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24.

External linksEdit