Herbert Köfer: actor died at the age of 100

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Culture The prime role of Papa Paul Schmidt

Actor Herbert Köfer died at the age of 100

Herbert Köfer in February 2021 as a guest on the MDR talk show “Riverboat”

Source: pa / zb / Kirsten Nijhof

The actor Herbert Köfer is dead. The native of Berlin died on Saturday at the age of 100, as his widow Heike Köfer announced. His star role was grandpa Paul Schmidt in the GDR television series “Pensioners never have time”.

DDR television legend and audience favorite for generations: The actor Herbert Köfer, who was still active in old age, is dead. He died on Saturday at the age of 100, as his widow Heike Köfer announced. For around 80 years, the mime stood on the stage with the funny flashing eyes, which for him was always the world. He always savored the applause until the last second, as he once confessed with a smile.

“I live on with every performance, every reading and every day that I play,” he himself had described his elixir of life. The word retirement could not be heard from his mouth – and his name is always associated with the GDR television series “Pensioners have never had time”. His part as grandpa Paul Schmidt was legendary. Decades later he slipped back into the role of the bustling pensioner at performances of the touring theater he founded.

Köfer, born on February 27, 1921 in Berlin, never looked at his age. Always dressed in fashion and well groomed, he looked like a young senior. Charming and very detailed, he reported about his life and his many experiences with colleagues – dead and living. He recorded his thoughts and experiences in bullet points in a small notebook that was always ready to hand and which he took out of his pocket as needed. This is how some of his books came into being. Work keeps him young, he had repeatedly emphasized.

Walks with the third wife

With his third wife Heike, 40 years his junior, Köfer went for a lot of walks. In 2012, when he was almost 90, he built a new house on Seddiner See in Brandenburg – and had himself photographed in action with a wheelbarrow. Energetic, of robust health, that is how he liked to present himself. In comparison to his contemporaries, Köfer sometimes showed off his fitness level with push-ups. He wiped away possible health problems with a wave of his hand.

He also did not miss out on modern technical developments: when he was almost 100 years old, he had his own well-maintained website, a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. “I think it’s good that you can express yourself on social media,” he said at the age of 99. Everything that appears on his Facebook page, he adds himself – no management. However, his wife helps him: “Because she is simply faster on the keyboard.”

He owes his fans “that I think my life is beautiful,” he said happily. “I wanted to do something that would attract attention,” the mime recalled when he began his acting career in the 1940s, initially at the theater. As a teenager he found himself rather thin and wanted to stand out.

Most of the time he didn’t have breakfast until noon

After the Second World War he started working for GDR television, where he read the first news in 1952 – including a birthday greeting from the GDR leadership to Stalin. And Köfer was also present at the New Year’s Eve gala in 1991 when the lights went out for GDR television. He played in Defa films such as “Nackt unter Wölfen” (1963), in which a child is smuggled into the Buchenwald concentration camp. After the fall of the Berlin Wall he could be seen in popular series such as “In aller Freundes”, “Soko Leipzig” or “Ein starkes Team”.

He was seen on the screen, on stage or on television in teasing and comedies, but also in plays on serious topics. “A nice role in a film is fun, on stage it’s completely different, the stage is my podium,” he said. He didn’t want to hear about retirement. “The job is connected with beauty and the strenuous work with fulfillment.” But he never wanted to be carried on stage.

He only made the only concession to his age when he was just over 90: He let the days go on more calmly and usually only had breakfast at noon without a guilty conscience. And he was no longer annoyed if it lasted a little longer while learning the roles.

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