Bernhard Wicki

Bernhard Wicki (28 October 1919 3 January 2000) was an Austrian actor and film director.

Bernhard Wicki
Born(1919-10-28)28 October 1919
St. Pölten, Austria
Died3 January 2000(2000-01-03) (aged 80)
Munich, Germany
Film director
Years active1940–1994

Life and career

Wicki studied in the city of Breslau such topics as Art History, History and German Literature. In 1938, he transferred to the drama school of the Staatliches Schauspielhaus in Berlin. In 1939, because of his membership in the Bündischen Jugend he was imprisoned for many months in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. After his release he moved to Vienna, and then in 1944 to Switzerland.

After the end of World War II, he starred in many films, like Die letzte Brücke (1953) and Es geschah am 20. Juli (1955). He was also a photographer. His first attempt at directing came three years later with the documentary Warum sind sie gegen uns? (1958). He became internationally famous with his anti-war film of 1959 called Die Brücke, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[1] In 1961, he won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 11th Berlin International Film Festival for his film The Miracle of Father Malachia.[2] His break in Hollywood came shortly thereafter when he was chosen to direct Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner in the highly acclaimed World War II espionage thriller, Morituri in 1965.

After his death, a fund was started in 2001 and named after him in Munich, the Bernhard Wicki Memorial Fund. Since 2002, it has awarded a film prize, The Bridge, being considered a peace prize. A further prize was endowed in 2006 with 15,000 euros, a prize given in the city of Emden since 2000. He was a patron of the International Film Festival in Emden-Norderney which first started in 1990.

He first married Agnes Fink, a fellow acting colleague, and later married Elisabeth Endriss, also a colleague. In the documentary Verstörung - und eine Art von Poesie (June, 2007), Elisabeth Wicki-Endriss portrayed the life and work for Wicki.

He is buried at the Nymphenburger cemetery in Munich (grave number 4-1-23).

Selected filmography



Decorations and awards


  1. "The 32nd Academy Awards (1960) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  2. "Berlinale 1961: Prize Winners". Retrieved 22 January 2010.

Further reading

  • Peter Zander: Bernhard Wicki. Bertz + Fischer Verlag, Berlin 1995, 2. überarbeitete Auflage, ISBN 3-929470-04-7
  • Richard Blank: Jenseits der Brücke. Bernhard Wicki. Ein Leben für den Film, 1999 ISBN 3-430-11473-X
  • Andreas Weber (ed.): Er kann fliegen lassen. Gespräche und Texte über Bernhard Wicki. Literaturedition Niederösterreich, St. Pölten 2000, ISBN 3-901117-47-4
  • Filmfestival Nordrhein-Westfalen (Hrsg.): Sanftmut und Gewalt - Der Regisseur und Schauspieler Bernhard Wicki. Filmographie, Biographie, Essays, Interview. Mit Beiträgen von Robert Fischer (Vorwort), Alexander Kluge, Laurens Straub, Wilhelm Roth, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Hans Abich, Gunther Witte, Hermann Barth. edition filmwerkstatt, Essen 2004, ISBN 3-9807175-6-9
  • Inka Graeve Ingelmann (Hrsg.): Bernhard Wicki. Fotografien. Dumont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, Köln 2005, Gebunden, ISBN 3-8321-7570-9, Ausstellungskatalog
  • Elisabeth Endriss-Wicki: Die Filmlegende Bernhard Wicki. Verstörung - und eine Art von Poesie. Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89487-589-3
  • Michel Quint, "Die schrecklichen Gärten". btb-Verlag 2002, ISBN 3-442-75068-7 (Übersetzung von Elisabeth Edl), Original edition: "Effroyables Jardins", Editions Joelle Losfeld, Paris 2000
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