Peter Alexander (Austrian performer)

Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer (30 June 1926 – 12 February 2011), commonly known as Peter Alexander, was an Austrian actor, singer and one of the most popular entertainers in the German-language world between the 1950s and his retirement.[2] His fame emerged in the 1950s and 1960s through popular film comedies and successful recordings, predominantly of Schlager and operetta repertory. Later, Alexander established himself as the acclaimed host of television shows. His career as a live singer touring the German language countries lasted until 1991, while he continued his television work until 1996.

Peter Alexander
Born
Peter Alexander Ferdinand Maximilian Neumayer

(1926-06-30)30 June 1926
Vienna, Austria
Died12 February 2011(2011-02-12) (aged 84)
Vienna, Austria [1]
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1948–1996

Life and career

During World War II, Alexander was a teenaged Luftwaffenhelfer and member of the Reichsarbeitsdienst before finally being conscripted into the Navy. He was captured by the British in early 1945 and held as a POW.

After World War II, he attended Vienna's Max Reinhardt Seminary for actors until 1948 and then began his career in acting. He starred in several musical comedies, including Liebe, Tanz und 1000 Schlager and Peter schießt den Vogel ab. He recorded Ralph Benatzky's operetta Im weißen Rößl, singing the lead role of Leopold Brandmeyer. He then performed in the 1960 movie version of the operetta.[3] He later starred in the Count Bobby movies and the Lümmel-series. In the 1970s, Alexander started a second career as a TV host and entertainer. His music show, the Peter Alexander Show, was shown on black and white TV from 1963 until 1966. From 1969, the German TV station ZDF started to air a new colour version which was broadcast until 1996. The Peter Alexander Show has been seen by more than 38 million viewers and has averaged a 71% viewing rate.

After his death, Media Control Charts named him the biggest singles artist ever with 459 songs having charted on the German singles chart. The single "Und manchmal weinst du sicher ein paar Tränen" had the longest run with 34 weeks on that chart, while 2 other songs, "Der letzte Walzer" and "Liebesleid", were able to reach the No. 1 position.[4] Alexander won 10 Bambi Awards and in 1996 was awarded a Bambi for lifetime achievement.[5]

Alexander married Hilde Haagen in 1952; they had two children, Susanne Neumayer-Haidinger (1958–2009),[6][7] an artist, and Michael Neumayer (1963–2019). Alexander was widowed in 2003.[8][9]

Alexander died on 12 February 2011, aged 84, in his native Vienna.

Filmography

YearFilmDirectorRole
1948Der Engel mit der PosauneKarl HartlVisitor
1952Verlorene MelodieEduard von BorsodyPiano player
1952Queen of the ArenaRolf MeyerSinger
1953Salto MortaleViktor TourjanskySinger
1953The Sweetest FruitsFranz AntelSinger
1953Drei von denen man sprichtAxel von Ambesser
1954Verliebte LeuteFranz AntelMusician Karl Munk
1954The Big Star ParadePaul MartinSinger
1955Liebe, Tanz und 1000 SchlagerPaul MartinSinger Peter Alexander
1956MusikparadeGéza von CziffraSinger Peter Martin
1956Bonjour KathrinKarl AntonMusic student Pierre
1956Ein Mann muß nicht immer schön seinHans QuestJazz singer Peter Moll
1957Liebe, Jazz und ÜbermutErik OdeJazz singer Peter Hagen
1957Das haut hinGéza von CziffraStudent, artist and singer Toni Matthis
1957Die Beine von DoloresGéza von CziffraSinger (uncredited)
1958Munchhausen in AfricaWerner JacobsMusic teacher Peter von Münchhausen
1958When She Starts, Look OutGéza von CziffraJazz musician Peter Holunder
1958So ein Millionär hat's schwerGéza von CziffraMillionaire's Heir Edward Collins
1959Peter Shoots Down the BirdGéza von CziffraPorter Peter Schatz
1959Schlag auf Schlag Géza von CziffraRegistrar Hugo Bartels
1959Ich bin kein Casanova Géza von CziffraStudent and butler Peter Keller
1959Salem Aleikum
aka: Mein ganzes Leben ist Musik
Géza von CziffraTeacher and amateur musician Peter Karmann
1960Crime TangoGéza von CziffraHouseowner Peter Martens
1960Yes, Women are DangerousPaul MartinFashion designer Peter Hollmann
1960The White Horse InnWerner JacobsHead waiter Leopold Brandmeyer
1961Season in Salzburg
aka: Wenn der Toni mit der Vroni
Franz Josef GottliebWaiter Heinz Doll
1961The Adventures of Count BobbyGéza von CziffraCount Bobby (Robert) Pinelski
1962Die FledermausGéza von CziffraDr. Gabriel Eisenstein
1962The Merry WidowWerner JacobsDanilo
1962Wedding Night in ParadisePaul MartinOperetta star Dr. Ulrich Hansen
1962The Sweet Life of Count BobbyGéza von CziffraCount Bobby (Robert) Pinelski
1963Charley's AuntGéza von CziffraDiplomat Dr. Otto Wilder
1963Der MusterknabeWerner JacobsCEO Dr. Fritz Geyer
1963Schwejks Flegeljahre Wolfgang LiebeneinerJosef Schwejk
1964Help, My Bride StealsWerner JacobsCommercial artist Valentin Haase
1964...und sowas muß um acht ins BettWerner JacobsTeacher Dr. Eduard Frank
1965Who Wants to Sleep?Axel von Ambesser
Rolf Thiele
Alfred Weidenmann
Peter Sommer
1966Count Bobby, The Terror of The Wild WestPaul MartinCount Bobby (Robert) Pinelski
1966Bel Ami 2000 oder Wie verführt man einen PlayboyMichael PflegharPeter Knolle
1968Zum Teufel mit der Penne
Part #2 of the series: Die Lümmel von der ersten Bank
Werner JacobsTV reporter Dr. Peter Roland,
Substitute teacher Dr. Wilhelm-Maria Tell
1969Hurra, die Schule brennt!
Part #4 of the series: Die Lümmel von der ersten Bank
Werner JacobsTeacher Dr. Peter Bach
1972Hauptsache FerienPeter WeckTeacher Dr. Peter Markus

Decorations and awards

  • Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (1985)[10]
  • Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class (1974)[11]
  • Ring of honour of Vienna (1984)
  • Golden Camera (1970, 1980, 1984 (Germany); 1979 (Austria)) as the best music star of a decade
  • Super Golden Camera 1979 (Germany) as the biggest star of all time, with participation of over 11 million readers of Hörzu
  • Bambi (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1987, 1990; 1996 for his lifetime achievement)
  • Golden Europe (1969, 1974, 1979)
  • Goldener Bildschirm (1966, 1973, 1974 and 1976); Silberner Bildschirm (1970 and 1971)
  • Bronze Bravo Otto (1971)
  • Gold Decoration for Services to the City of Vienna (1971)
  • Lion of RTL Radio, a total of 9 prizes in bronze, silver and gold (1973)
  • Honorary Lion as the best singer
  • Golden Microphone (1966) for best male music star in European show business
  • Rose Hill award (1992) for having written Austrian film history
  • Award of the City of Cologne (1976) for 14 completely sold-out events at the Cologne Sporthalle
  • Hermann Löns Gold Medal
  • Golden Romy (1992)
  • Platinum Romy (1993)
  • Other awards were: Lieber Augustin of Vienna (1968), the Golden Bear (1973), Golden Rathausmann (1970), Golden Plate of German gastronomy (1973), Golden Cleo as the most popular star in Austria (1986), German Record Award (1980), Silver Plate of Robert Stolz Foundation in (1980)
  • 4th place in the list of the 50 most important Austrians of the last 50 years in a reader poll of the daily Kurier (2004)
  • Induction into the Echo Hall of Fame (2011)
  • Naming of Peter-Alexander-Platz in Döbling (19th district of Vienna, 2012)

Bibliography

  • Michael Wenk & Barbara Loehr: Peter Alexander – Das tat ich alles aus Liebe. Wien: Ueberreuter, 2006 (ISBN 978-3800071814)
  • "Peter Alexander" entry, German version of Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2005.

References

  1. III, Harris M. Lentz (2014). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2011. McFarland. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7864-9134-6.
  2. https://www.filmportal.de/nachrichten/peter-alexander-gestorben
  3. Im weißen Rößl (1960) on IMDb
  4. "Peter Alexander mit Charts-Rekord" at Media Control Charts (14 February 2011) (in German)
  5. "Gedenken an Peter Alexander" (in German). Bambi awards. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  6. "Tochter von Peter Alexander tödlich verunglückt", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (18 March 2009) (in German)
  7. "Susanne Neumayer-Haidinger 1958–2009", Der Standard (8 March 2009) (in German)
  8. Obituary for Hilde Haagen, Peter Alexander's wife, Rheinische Post (31 March 2003) (in German)
  9. "Todesfall – Alexander-Tochter: Beerdigung in Wien", ORF (9 March 2009) (in German)
  10. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 724. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  11. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 373. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
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