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Robert Freitag

Robert Peter Freytag (7 April 1916 in Vienna – 8 July 2010 in Munich), known professionally as Robert Freitag, was an Austrian-Swiss stage and screen actor and film director.


Freitag was the son of the Swiss opera singer Otto Freitag (Otto Freytag). He was trained as an actor at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. During the Nazi era, he went to Switzerland, where he was active as an actor at the Schauspielhaus Zürich (Zürich playhouse). In 1945, he married the German actress Maria Becker, who had studied acting in Vienna and who since had been at the Schauspielhaus Zürich, which had benefitted from the presence of German émigrés during the Second World War. Becker became a Swiss citizen by marrying Freitag.[1][2]

In 1949, Freitag began participating in the Salzburg Festival. Later he performed, among other places, at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus and the Hamburger Kammerspiele, both in Hamburg.

With his wife Maria Becker and the German stage actor Will Quadflieg, he founded the Zürcher Schauspieltruppe in 1956 in Zürich, where he was also a part-time administrator. That troupe performed throughout the German-speaking countries and in the United States.[1]

On stage, he played many classical and modern roles. Beginning in 1941, he appeared in films— in particular in the starring role in William Tell. Later, he often appeared on television.

Freitag and Maria Becker were divorced in 1966, but they continued to work together, especially in the travelling theater company Schauspieltruppe Zürich that they had founded. They had three sons, two of whom—Benedict Freitag and Oliver Tobias—became actors.[1]

In 1994, Freitag's autobiography, Es wollt mir behagen, mit Lachen die Wahrheit zu sagen was published by Pendo Verlag.

In 2001, at the age of 85, he had a role in the made-for-TV film Die Liebenden vom Alexanderplatz (The Alexanderplatz Lovers), directed by Detlef Rönfeldt.

Freitag's second marriage, to the German actress Maria Sebaldt, lasted from 1966 until his death. They lived in Grünwald, Bavaria. They had a daughter.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1941 Love is Duty Free Swiss customs officer
1941 Bieder der Flieger Oskar Bider
1943 Wilder Urlaub Sergeant Epper
1948 Die Frau am Weg [de] the fugitive
1949 White Gold Andreas
1950 Es liegt was in der Luft
1951 Decision Before Dawn Sgt. Paul Richter
1953 The Village Under the Sky Dr. Michael Ellert
1954 A Woman of Today Aldo Mattei
1954 Circus of Love Richards
1954 Conchita and the Engineer Cyll Farney
1954 The Silent Angel Robert
1954 Dear Miss Doctor Father Anselmus
1955 I Know What I'm Living For Peter Neumann, mechanic
1955 The Plot to Assassinate Hitler Captain Lindner
1955 Magic Fire August Roeckel
1955 Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne Roy Bentley
1955 Escape to the Dolomites Sergio
1956 The First Day of Spring Bruno
1956 Der Meineidbauer first border policeman
1956 Von der Liebe besiegt [de] (Schicksal am Matterhorn) Beni Kronig – mountain guide
1957 The Big Chance Chaplain Sommer
1958 Resurrection Simonson
1959 SOS – Gletscherpilot [de] Engineer Gisler
1961 William Tell William Tell
1961 The Last Chapter [de] (Das letzte Kapitel) Lawyer Robertsen
1962 The Longest Day Meye's Aide Uncredited
1963 The Great Escape Captain Posen
1976 Néa [fr] Benito
1976 Riedland
1981 Berlin Tunnel 21 Dr. Lentz
1984 Bluebeard [pl] TV film
1985 Wild Geese II Stroebling
1985 A Crime of Honour a.k.a. A Song for Europe Moser TV film
2001 Die Liebenden vom Alexanderplatz (final film role)

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d "Schauspieler und Regisseur Robert Freitag gestorben (obituary in German)". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  2. ^ Oliver Meier (4 March 2010). "Ich habe heute noch Lampenfieber (I still have stage-fright today)". Berner Zeitung. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
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Robert Freitag
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