Harry Baer

Harry Baer (born Harry Zöttl on 27 September 1947) is a German actor, producer and author, best known for his work with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He has also been credited as Harry Bär.

Harry Baer
Born(1947-09-27)27 September 1947
Occupationactor, assistant director


Harry Baer began his career in Munich when he joined the Action Theatre, a theatrical experimental group that later regrouped as the Antitheather under the leadership of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.[1] He made his debut in Fassbinder's play Katzelmacher and had his first movie role in Fassbinder's film adaptation. He had starring roles in Gods of the Plague (Götter der Pest) (1970) and Jail bait (Wildwechsel) (1973), both directed by Fassbinder.[2] During this early period of his career he also had the leading role in director Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's film Ludwig: Requiem for a Virgin King (Ludwig - Requiem für einen jungfräulichen König) (1972), in which he played the title role, King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

In the mid-1970s Harry Baer and Fassbinder had a professional and personal split that lasted until Fassbinder called him back in 1978 to work as his assistant director on The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun).[3]

Baer played small roles in many of Fassbinder's movies and was his production manager and assistant director for many films including Fassbinder's last: Querelle (1982). Beyond their professional relationship, Baer was one of the director's closest friends. On the night of Fassbinder's death, Baer was the last person with whom he spoke before his body was found. Baer wrote a book about his life and times with Fassbinder: I can sleep when I'm dead. The breathless life of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (originally Schlafen kann ich, wenn ich tot bin. Das atemlose Leben des Rainer Werner Fassbinder) Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Köln 1990, ISBN 3-462-02055-2.

After Fassbinder's death Baer acted in movies by Mika Kaurismäki, Werner Schroeter, Jeanine Meerapfel, Bernhard Sinkel and Doris Dörrie among others.[2] He has also worked as a production manager on a number of film productions and is a member of the German Film Academy.[2]



  1. Lorenz Chaos as Usual, p.48
  2. Lorenz Chaos as Usual, p.47
  3. Lorenz Chaos as Usual, p.56


  • Lorenz, Juliane (ed.) Chaos as Usual: Conversations About Rainer Werner Fassbinder , Sutton Publishing, 2004, ISBN 1-55783-262-5
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