William Berger (actor)

William Berger, also known as Bill Berger and Wilhelm Berger, born Wilhelm Thomas Berger (June 20, 1928 – October 2, 1993) was an Austrian American actor, mostly associated with Euro and spaghetti Westerns, as well as travel documentaries.

William Berger
Berger in 1967
Wilhelm Thomas Berger

June 20, 1928
Innsbruck, Austria
DiedOctober 2, 1993(1993-10-02) (aged 65)
Other namesBill Berger
Wilhelm Berger
Children6, including Debra and Katya Berger



A former roommate of Keith Richards, his earliest work was in Broadway theatre, but while visiting Italy, he was cast in his first Western, Break Up, in 1965. A series of Westerns followed, including Faccia a faccia (1967), Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die! (1968), If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968), Sabata (1969), and Keoma (1975). He also starred in the horror films Five Dolls for an August Moon, My Dear Killer, Monster Shark, and The Murder Clinic.

Berger was heavily into drug experimentation, which frequent co-star Brett Halsey said sometimes interfered with filming, recounting one incident where they were shooting a scene on horseback and without warning Berger leaned forward and slid off his horse.[1] In the early 1970s, Berger spent some time in an Italian prison, wrongly accused of possession of hashish and cocaine, but resumed his acting career after his release. His later fare included Super Fly T.N.T. (1973), Oil! (1977), Hercules (1983), and The King's Whore (1990). His 1985 memoirs, Half Way Home, recount his life to that point.

Berger collaborated with his good friend, famed Spanish horror film director Jesus Franco, appearing in seven of his films: The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff, Night of the Killers, Faceless, Golden Temple Amazons, Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun,[2] Dirty Game in Casablanca,[3] and A Captain of 15 Years.

Personal life

William Berger was married five times and was father to five children. He had three children with his first wife Marjorie Berger: daughters Carin Berger (born in 1952) and actress Debra Berger (born March 17, 1957), and son Wendell Nelson Berger (born December 28, 1972). After his marriage to Marjorie ended, he married actress Carolyn Lobravico. While Berger was busy with the filming of The Murder Clinic, Carolyn was arrested for drug possession. A diabetic, she died in prison from lack of insulin.[1]

His third marriage was to singer and actress Hanja Kochansky. They had one child together, son Kasimir Berger (born in London on October 7, 1974). Berger was also stepfather to actress Katya Berger, daughter of Hanja Kochansky from a previous relationship. Berger starred with his son Kasimir in the TV miniseries Christopher Columbus and Tuareg – The Desert Warrior.

After his divorce from Kochansky, he married his fourth wife, Dörte Völz. With her, he had a son named Alexander Völz.

His fifth and last marriage was to Linda Berger.

William Berger died on October 2, 1993 in Los Angeles, California, of prostate cancer.[4] Jesus Franco was particularly upset by his passing, speaking of his grief in various interviews.

Selected filmography


  1. Lucas, Tim (2007). Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark. Video Watchdog. pp. 816–7. ISBN 0-9633756-1-X.
  2. "Jesús Franco, una antalogía" (in Spanish): 6. Retrieved 25 September 2018 via Scribd Inc. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Sáinz, Salvador. "Juego sucio en Casablanca (1985)". Diario de Cine (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  4. Prickette, James (20 January 2012). McLendon, Charles Anthony (ed.). Actors of the Spaghetti Westerns. Xlibris Corporation. p. 63. ISBN 9781469144290.
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