For nearly forty years, actor Ulrich Tukur has been appearing in television and films. And in that time, he has not allowed himself to be pigeonholed. He has starred in dramatic films retelling important moments of history, clever comedies, and everywhere in between. So this month, let’s get to know the award-winning actor Ulrich Tukur and learn German with film!
Get to Know Ulrich Tukur
Ulrich Tukur was born Ulrich Scheurlen on July 29, 1957, in Viernheim, Germany, near Mannheim. The family — his engineer father and teacher mother — later moved near Hannover. As an exchange student, he studied in Boston and received his high school diploma. Later, he pursued acting at Stuttgart’s State University of Music and Performing Arts.
But acting is not the only performing act that Tukur is passionate about. He is also a musician. In 1995, he founded Ulrich Tukur und die Rhythmus Boys. In the group, he sings as well as playing piano and accordion. The group has released a number of albums and continues to tour internationally.
The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others is set in 1984 East Germany where the Stasi is a part of everyday life: whether you know it or not. A Stasi officer becomes both consumed and disenchanted with his assignment monitoring the most private moments of a celebrated playwright, George Dreyman portrayed by Sebastian Koch.
The officer becomes so disenchanted, in fact, that he tries to protect the man he’s assigned to surveil. The Lives of Others is a thrilling drama about the race to remain secret and shows just how much power those in control had.
The film is directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and also stars Tukur as the Stasi officer’s superior and Martina Gedeck.
The White Ribbon
The White Ribbon is intense and riveting — and not simply because it’s shot in black and white. The film is set in a strict and religious village just before the outbreak of World War. The villagers, especially the children, are governed by fear and the tension is running high.
Never is this more clear than after strange accidents begin happening in the village. But the men in power aren’t quite so innocent. Tukur portrays the baron that owns the land of the farming community.
Tukur stars as the title character of John Rabe in this drama based on true events and people and set in Nanking, China during World War II. A Siemens executive, Rabe attempts to use what little resources he has, including his reluctant membership in the Nazi party, to create an International Safety Zone and protect the Chinese from the Japanese invasions.
In addition to Tukur, the film features some big name stars, including Daniel Brühl and Steve Buscemi.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German-language actors and actresses previously featured.
Photo courtesy Trocadero, by Katharina John. This post contains affiliate links.