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Günther Kaufmann is a Actor Allemand born on 16 june 1947 at Munich (German)

Günther Kaufmann

Günther Kaufmann
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Nationality German
Birth 16 june 1947 at Munich (German)
Death 10 may 2012 (at 64 years) at Berlin (German)

Günther Kaufmann (16 June 1947 – 10 May 2012) was a German film actor best known for his association with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder directed Kaufmann in a total of 14 films, casting him in leading and minor roles. Kaufmann was also romantically involved with the director for a time.

In 2002, Kaufmann was accused of murder in relation to the 2001 death of Hartmut Hagen, a 60-year-old accountant whom Kaufmann's wife had defrauded. The death was ruled accidental, though Kaufmann was sentenced to prison for lesser crimes relating to the incident. In 2005, a new police investigation discovered that Kaufmann was innocent, and had confessed to the crimes to cover up for his late wife, who may have been the perpetrator. He was subsequently released from prison and resumed his acting career.


Günther Kaufmann was born in 16 June 1947 in the Hasenbergl neighborhood of Munich. His mother was German and his father was an African-American soldier stationed in Germany following the end of World War II.

Not an actor by training, Kaufmann was discovered by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. His first role was in 1970, a bit part in a made-for-television production of Bertolt Brecht's play Baal, directed by Volker Schlöndorff. Fassbinder played the title role. The same year, Fassbinder cast Kaufmann in his film Gods of the Plague as a character named Günther.

Relationship with Fassbinder
Though Kaufmann was married when he met Fassbinder, the two men began a romantic relationship. Kaufmann is often described as the first major love interest of the director's career. Like many of Fassbinder's relationships, it was troubled, and the director would often try to buy Kaufmann's affection with expensive presents, particularly cars. During their relationship, Fassbinder married Ingrid Caven, an actress who, like Kaufmann, regularly appeared in the director's films and was a member of his tightly-knit circle of friends.

By 1971, Fassbinder and Kaufmann had split up, and the director began an even more troubled relationship with a Moroccan immigrant, El Hedi ben Salem. Fassbinder and Kaufmann continued working together though, and Kaufmann continued to appear in the director's films, sometimes also contributing songs to the soundtrack. He appeared in Fassbinder's last movie, Querelle (1982).

After Fassbinder's death, television work and third marriage
After Fassbinder died of a drug overdose in 1982, Kaufmann played bit roles in films. In 1986, he married his third wife, Alexandra Kaufmann, to whom he would remain married until her death from cancer in 2002.

In the 1990s, he had begun to act more frequently, appeared in recurring roles on many television shows. However, around 2000, acting jobs began to dry up. His wife's cancer was getting worse, and it was because of the need to pay for her treatments that the Kaufmanns ended up defrauding their accountant, Hartmut Hagen, of almost $500,000.

Death of Hartmut Hagen, conviction and exoneration
In 2001, Kaufmann's accountant Hartmut Hagen was found dead, apparently suffocated. Kaufmann and his late wife had defrauded Hagen of $500,000, and Kaufmann was accused of the accountant's murder. In 2002, the death was ruled accidental after Kaufmann, who weighed close to 260 pounds (118 kg) at the time of the incident, confessed that he had fallen on the frailer Hagen during a fight. He was instead sentenced to 15 years in prison for blackmail and robbery in relation to the incident. In 2005, a police investigation revealed that Kaufmann was not the perpetrator of the crimes, but had confessed in order to cover up for his wife. The investigation also revealed that Hagen was in fact murdered, but by three men hired by Kaufmann's wife without his prior knowledge.

Kaufmann was released from prison in 2005. He then resumed his acting career, which had been waning around the time of Hagen's death, appearing in supporting roles in films and on television.

His son Davy (born 1969) is a rock and soul singer and reached the final of the 2009 version of Germany's "Got Talent".

Kaufmann died on the evening of 10 May 2012 at the age of 64 having suffered a heart attack while out for a walk in the Grunewald locality of Berlin. A passer-by and paramedics tried to resuscitate him on site for two hours.

Usually with

Harry Baer
Harry Baer
(15 films)
Kurt Raab
Kurt Raab
(9 films)
Hanna Schygulla
Hanna Schygulla
(11 films)
Lilo Pempeit
Lilo Pempeit
(8 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Günther Kaufmann (22 films)

Display filmography as list


Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods, 1h40
Directed by Christian Ditter
Origin German
Genres Comedy, Action, Adventure
Themes Seafaring films, Films based on mythology, Transport films, Films set in the Viking Age, Films based on Norse mythology, Children's films
Actors Waldemar Kobus, Nicolas Nic Romm, Jörg Moukaddam, Mercedes Jadea Diaz, Ella-Maria Gollmer, Günther Kaufmann
Roles Der schreckliche Sven
Rating55% 2.755582.755582.755582.755582.75558
Halvar a du mal à attendre que son fils devienne un puissant et courageux guerrier comme lui. Quand un jour, Sven le Terrible enlève le chef de tribu de Flake, Vic devient alors, conformément aux lois des chefs de tribu, le représentant. Vic emmène ses hommes en mission, afin de faire libérer son père, retenu par Sven le Terrible. Parallèlement, Halvar et Sven s'efforcent de retrouver le marteau de Thor.
Jerry Cotton
Genres Comedy, Crime
Actors Christian Ulmen, Mónica Cruz, Christiane Paul, Heino Ferch, Herbert Knaup, Moritz Bleibtreu
Roles Joe Brandenburg
Rating52% 2.6162.6162.6162.6162.616
Jerry Cotton est considéré comme le meilleur agent du bureau new-yorkais du FBI. Il a résolu toutes les affaires qui lui ont été confiées, à l'exception d'une seule : un vol d'or commis par Sammy Serrano, un gangster notoire. Quand Serrano est assassiné dans son appartement, Jerry Cotton est suspecté de double meurtre, après avoir été retrouvé sur une autre scène de crime, en possession de documents importants. L'agent se trouve dans une situation délicate, dont il ne pourra se sortir qu'en faisant preuve de beaucoup de perspicacité.
Wickie the Mighty Viking, 1h27
Directed by Michael Herbig
Origin German
Genres Comedy, Action, Adventure
Themes Seafaring films, Transport films, Films set in the Viking Age, Children's films
Actors Waldemar Kobus, Günther Kaufmann, Christoph Maria Herbst, Jürgen Vogel, Nicolas Nic Romm, Nora Tschirner
Roles Der schreckliche Sven
Rating56% 2.804882.804882.804882.804882.80488
Vicky (Jonas Hämmerle) is the son of Halvar (Waldemar Kobus), chief of the Viking village of Flake. Halvar is a strong and big warrior who measures the strength of people through muscles. Vicky, on the other hand, is a small but very smart boy who always has to prove his father that ingenuity of a man can meet muscles.
Killing Is My Business, Honey, 1h47
Directed by Sebastian Niemann
Genres Comedy, Crime
Actors Richard "Rick" Kavanian, Nora Tschirner, Bud Spencer, Franco Nero, Ludger Pistor, Günther Kaufmann
Roles Salvatore Marino
Rating57% 2.8630352.8630352.8630352.8630352.863035
Enrico Puzzo (Franco Nero) is an eccentric Italian author who claims he knows the mafia from inside. Based on these allegations he wrote a book and sold it under a pen name to a German publishing house. Puzzo lives in an expensive hotel, where he doesn't hesitate to threaten employees with his pistol in case something isn't to his liking. He also consumes a great deal of cocaine, sometimes even at broad daylight on the balcony of his hotel suite. As crazy as he is, he writes on a typewriter and sends a unique typescript to his publisher who is already about to have a huge press conference on this book. That is when Toni Ricardelli (Rick Kavanian), a German-born hitman of suave behaviour, comes into play. He intercepts the script just in time, leaving the publisher Christopher Kimbel (Hans-Michael Rehberg) empty-handed. Not the mafia, but the publisher is embarrassed.
Otto - The Movie, 1h25
Directed by Xaver Schwarzenberger, Otto Waalkes
Origin German
Genres Comedy
Themes Transport films, Aviation films
Actors Otto Waalkes, Elisabeth Wiedemann, Sky du Mont, Peter Kuiper, Andreas Mannkopff, Gottfried John
Roles American Soldier
Rating64% 3.2004453.2004453.2004453.2004453.200445
The film starts with debris floating in the middle of the ocean, including a toilet seat, through which Otto emerges and begins to relate how he has gotten to be in this situation.
Querelle (1982)
, 1h47
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Origin German
Genres Drama, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, Films about prostitution, Serial killer films, Erotic thriller films, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film
Actors Brad Davis, Franco Nero, Jeanne Moreau, Laurent Malet, Günther Kaufmann, Hanno Pöschl
Roles Nono
Rating66% 3.3471953.3471953.3471953.3471953.347195
The plot centers on the handsome Belgian sailor Georges Querelle, who is also a thief and murderer. When his ship, the Vengeur, arrives in Brest, he visits the Feria, a bar and brothel for sailors run by the madame Lysiane, whose lover Robert is Querelle's brother. Querelle has a love/hate relationship with his brother; when they meet at La Feria, they embrace, but also punch one another slowly and repeatedly in the belly. Lysiane's husband Nono tends bar and manages La Feria's underhanded affairs with the assistance of his friend, the corrupt police captain Mario.
Veronika Voss, 1h44
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Origin German
Genres Drama, Crime
Themes Medical-themed films, Films about drugs, Films about sexuality, Films about psychiatry
Actors Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Annemarie Düringer, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Günther Kaufmann
Roles G.I. / Dealer (as Günter Kaufmann)
Rating75% 3.795043.795043.795043.795043.79504
The film is loosely based on the career of actress Sybille Schmitz and is influenced by Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard.
Kamikaze 1989, 1h46
Directed by Wolf Gremm
Origin German
Genres Science fiction, Thriller
Themes Films about computing, Films based on science fiction novels, Political films, Cyberpunk films, Dystopian films
Actors Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Günther Kaufmann, Boy Gobert, Richy Müller, Brigitte Mira, Nicole Heesters
Roles Anton
Rating58% 2.900592.900592.900592.900592.90059
L'Allemagne dans un futur proche. Le pays est riche, tous les problèmes semblent résolus, il n'y a pas de pollution ni de chômage. L'alcool mais aussi les légumes cultivés dans son propre potager sont interdits, on ne parle plus de suicide mais de décès inopiné, la télévision veille à la tranquillité par ses émissions comme le concours annuel de l'humour (placé dans une série mettant en scène Einstein et Napoléon) et des bulletins météorologiques toujours positifs. La police (dont le symbole est un poing au pouce levé) fait régner l'ordre grâce à ses actions contre les "Prokos". Tous les médias sont entre les mains d'un groupe dont la direction appartient à la même famille. La seule parole critique se trouve dans la série de bande dessinée La Panthère bleue qui fait une caricature de patrons autocrates et réunit leurs adversaires, les "Krysmopompes".
Lola (1981)
, 1h53
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Origin German
Genres Drama, Comedy, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Films about prostitution, Erotic thriller films
Actors Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mario Adorf, Karin Baal, Ivan Desny, Hark Bohm
Roles GI
Rating73% 3.695953.695953.695953.695953.69595
In 1957–1958 in Coburg, in post-World War II West Germany, Schuckert (Mario Adorf) is a local construction entrepreneur whose methods of gaining wealth include shady business practices such as bribing the local officials. His latest scheme is endangered with the arrival of von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl), a high-minded building commissioner.
Berlin Alexanderplatz (miniseries), 14h54
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Genres Drama, Crime
Themes Medical-themed films, Prison films, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, Films about prostitution, Films about psychiatry, Political films, Erotic thriller films, Films set in psychiatric hospitals, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film
Actors Hanna Schygulla, Barbara Sukowa, Bata Kameni, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Gottfried John, Karin Baal
Roles Theo
Rating83% 4.193514.193514.193514.193514.19351
1: The Punishment Begins Berlin, 1928. Franz Biberkopf is released after serving four years in Tegel prison for killing his girlfriend Ida. After settling into his old apartment he visits Minna, Ida’s sister. Minna succumbs to his forceful advances. In a flashback we see Franz kill Ida with a cream whip after correctly suspecting she was about to leave him. Franz later runs into his old friend Meck and has a drink with him in Max’s bar, a local place. There he meets Lina Przybilla, a young Polish woman, who moves in with him. He receives notification from the Berlin Police that he is barred from living in certain Berlin districts and surrounding municipalities, under the threat of a fine or imprisonment, Biberkopf places himself under the supervision of a charity called Prisoners' Aid, to which he must report once a month, and remain in employment. By doing this, he is able to remain in Berlin.
The Marriage of Maria Braun, 2h
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Origin German
Genres Drama, War
Themes Pregnancy films, Films about sexuality, Political films, Films about marriage
Actors Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Gisela Uhlen, Ivan Desny, Gottfried John, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Roles American on Train
Rating76% 3.8463953.8463953.8463953.8463953.846395
The film starts in Germany in 1943. During an Allied bombing raid Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries the soldier Hermann Braun (Klaus Löwitsch). After "half a day and a whole night" together, Hermann returns to the front. Postwar, Maria is told that Hermann has been killed. Maria starts work as a hostess in a bar frequented by American soldiers. She has a relationship with an African-American soldier Bill (George Byrd), who supports her and gives her nylon stockings and cigarettes. She becomes pregnant by Bill.
The Third Generation, 1h45
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Origin German
Genres Drama, Comedy, Crime
Themes Films about terrorism, Political films
Actors Hanna Schygulla, Margit Carstensen, Eddie Constantine, Bulle Ogier, Harry Baer, Günther Kaufmann
Roles Franz Walsch
Rating67% 3.3935853.3935853.3935853.3935853.393585
P.J. Lurz, an industrialist with an office in a Berlin high-rise, informs his American headquarters that the company has difficulty selling its security-related computer systems to the West German government in Bonn. Nevertheless Lurz has hatched a secret plan to boost sales. Meanwhile Susanne, Lurz’s secretary, receives a phone call with the message: The world as will and idea. This is a code phrase among a secret group of thirty-something middle-class leftists and would-be terrorists to which she belongs. The phrase has been taken from the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation. With these words, Susanne sets an ambiguous covert plot into motion, alerting the members of the terrorist cell of an upcoming meeting. They are: August Brem, the ringleader; Susanne's composer husband Edgar; feminist history professor Hilde Krieger; Petra Vielhabor, a housewife who is constantly arguing with her banker husband Hans; and Rudolf Mann, a clerk in a record store.
In a Year with 13 Moons, 2h4
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Origin German
Genres Drama, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, Films about suicide, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, Films about prostitution, Transgender in film, Erotic thriller films, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film
Actors Volker Spengler, Ingrid Caven, Gottfried John, Karl Scheydt, Eva Mattes, Günther Kaufmann
Roles Chauffeur
Rating73% 3.692683.692683.692683.692683.69268
The film recounts the last few days in the life of Elvira (Volker Spengler), a transsexual woman formerly known as Erwin. After being beat up for trying to buy sex in a park, she returns home to her longtime lover Christoph (Karl Scheydt), who's been away for six weeks. Christoph abuses her verbally and physically, and when he announces he's leaving for good, she desperately tries to stop him, only to be rescued by her friend Zora (Ingrid Caven). We watch as Elvira and Zora visit a slaughterhouse and the orphanage where Elvira grew up, and her later contacts with her family and former lover Anton Saitz (Gottfried John), as she attempts to come to terms with the consequences of her decision to change her sex.
Rio das Mortes, 1h24
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Origin German
Genres Comedy
Actors Hanna Schygulla, Günther Kaufmann, Harry Baer, Katrin Schaake, Ulli Lommel, Ingrid Caven
Roles Günther
Rating62% 3.142663.142663.142663.142663.14266
Mike and Gunther lead a boring life in Munich. Hanna, Mike’s girl friend, wants to get married but he is not interested. The two friends get hold of a treasure map of the Rio das Mortes area and decide to set out to find it in Peru. They are looking for freedom and adventure. Against Hanna’s opposition, the car is sold, and the two men try to raise money. Their ignorance and clumsiness seems to lead to failure, but eventually, by luck, they find a sponsor. In the final scene, at the Munich airport, a rejected Hanna is about to shoot them as they walk to the airplane.