Heiner Lauterbach is a veteran. He has more than forty years in the film industry so it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s already crossed your path. The actor has an impressive array of television and films on his resume, not to mention theater.
And his resume is growing regularly. From comedy to drama, Heiner Lauterbach has done it all. This month’s featured German film recommendations for German learners is Heiner Lauterbach!
Get to Know Heiner Lauterbach
Heiner Lauterbach was born on April 10, 1953, in Cologne, Germany. As a teenager, Lauterbach began pursuing acting. In 1972, he began studying drama and directing at the Schauspielschule der Keller.
His first job in the film industry was dubbing American films in German. He served as the German voice of stars such as Richard Gere, Kevin Costner, Christopher Walken, and John Malkovich.
Today, Lauterbach lives outside of Munich on the Starnberg Lake with his wife and their two children. He has also has a son from a previous marriage.
Lauterbach’s breakthrough performance came in the 1985 comedy Männer (or Men). Written and directed by Doris Dörrie, Lauterbach portrays Julius. Between his successful career and the affair he is having with his secretary, Julius thinks he has got it all. That is until his wife leaves him for a starving artist. Julius is gutted.
Soon after, Julius befriends his wife’s lover, Stefan (portrayed by Uwe Ochsenknecht). The artist is not aware of their connection and the two are soon roommates. With Julius’ encouragement, Stefan uses his artistic skills to profit financially. Once Stefan realizes Julius has been deceiving him, things start to unravel.
Rossini – oder die mörderische Frage, wer mit wem schlief
Directed by the late Helmut Dietl, Rossini – oder die mörderische Frage, wer mit wem schlief stars Götz George, Mario Adorf, and Lauterbach. Known simply as Rossini in English – dropping the or the murderous question of who slept with whom – was the most successful film in Germany in 1997. The film was also well-received critically. It won Bavarian and German film prizes while Lauterbach won a Bambi award.
In the comedy, Munich‘s media elite meet nightly at the fancy Rossini restaurant. The film follows a self-involved group, including a director (George) and a movie producer (Lauterbach) who both want to work on the film adaptation of a hit new book. The story becomes quite complicated with the addition of an aspiring leading actress, a sexy journalist, and a shy author.
Willkommen bei den Hartmanns
Talk about timely. 2016’s Willkommen bei den Hartmanns addresses current events — such as Germany’s influx of refugees — head-on with both comedy and drama. It is a star-studded film: Lauterbach stars as Dr. Richard Hartmann, Senta Berger portrays his wife while Palina Rojinski and Florian David Fitz star as their adult children.
The family befriends a Nigerian refugee. The friendship complicates things. As a result, real issues bubble to the surface. The film takes a Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner approach to dealing with an issue that people have mixed opinions about. Elyas M’Barek also stars in the film while Eric Kabongo is the Nigerian refugee.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.
Top photo from Lauterbach’s official Facebook page. This post contains affiliate links.