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. 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 also 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
1941Love is Duty FreeSwiss customs officer
1941Bieder der FliegerOskar Bider
1943Wilder UrlaubSergeant Epper
1948Die Frau am Wegethe fugitive
1949White GoldAndreas
1950Es liegt was in der Luft
1951Decision Before DawnSgt. Paul Richter
1953The Village Under the SkyDr. Michael Ellert
1954A Woman of TodayAldo Mattei
1954Circus of LoveRichards
1954Conchita and the EngineerCyll Farney
1954Der schweigende EngelRobert
1954Dear Miss DoctorFather Anselmus
1955Ich weiß, wofür ich lebePeter Neumann, mechanic
1955The Plot to Assassinate HitlerCaptain Lindner
1955Magic FireAugust Roeckel
1955Wenn der Vater mit dem SohneRoy Bentley
1955Il prigioniero della montagna (Flucht in die Dolomiten)Sergio
1956The First Day of SpringBruno
1956Der Meineidbauerfirst border policeman
1956Von der Liebe besiegt (Schicksal am Matterhorn)Beni Kronig – mountain guide
1957The Big ChanceChaplain Sommer
1959SOS – GletscherpilotEngineer Gisler
1961William TellWilliam Tell
1961The Last Chapter (Das letzte Kapitel)Lawyer Robertsen
1962The Longest DayMeye's AideUncredited
1963The Great EscapeCaptain Posen
1981Berlin Tunnel 21Dr. Lentz
1984BluebeardTV film
1985Wild Geese IIStroebling
1985A Crime of Honour a.k.a. A Song for EuropeMoserTV film
2001Die Liebenden vom Alexanderplatz(final film role)

Notes and references

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